I have repeatedly criticized the U.S. Postal Service for providing slow and inaccurate estimates of retiree benefits (see below), so it’s only fair that I point out the “eRetire” program it announced today.
“eRetire is the new employee self-service application that allows employees to plan for and initiate retirement activities online via LiteBlue [the Postal Service intranet],” says the announcement in today’s edition of the USPS Postal Bulletin. Employees can access the service by logging into LiteBlue, going to Employee Apps, and choosing “eRetire”.
See the follow-up article, USPS Getting Its Retirement Act Together? Nope, which shows that eRetire is not all it's cracked up to be.
Employees (except part-timers and postal inspectors) who are eligible to retire or within six months of eligibility can use the new online service to get an annuity estimate, order a Retirement Application Package, or schedule a Retirement Counseling Session. Those within five years of retirement eligibility can get estimates of what their retirement annuity will be.
This certainly sounds like a step in the right direction for an organization that needs to downsize (and that seems to have so many employees ready to retire if given relatively minimal incentives).
Now we’ll have to see how accurate the estimates are and how quickly the annuities are paid out once employees retire.
Some Dead Tree Edition critiques of the Postal Service's communications to potential retirees include: