Thursday, October 7, 2010

Postal Service Steps Up Communications With Potential Retirees

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:


Anonymous said...

It's nice that they're doing this, but it's really just a cosmetic change- replacing a telephone call with a visit to a web site, and taking a couple of days off the time it takes to get your annuity estimate. Employees can already get the information offered by eRetire by calling an 800 number and having the estimate mailed to them, which takes a couple of days.

Don't get me wrong- it's a step in the right direction, I just don't think it's any great new initiative that's going to get people to retire sooner!

Anonymous said...

If they want more people to retire,offer a 25K incentive to do so,then plenty will retire,including me.

Anonymous said...

If the Postal Service was serious about encouraging retirement,they would educate employees by providing workshops in the workplace, rather than telling people to go online and figure it out for themselves. We have standup sessions and training on all sorts of stuff from how to guard against heat stroke to scanning parcels, but for the one thing that we really need, they want us to do it ourselves, on our own time.

Anonymous said...

It's in the NALC contract that USPS has to provide retirement consultations in person opposed to an online app. It used to be handled at the local district offices, but since they moved HR to NC, that's another ball of wax.

Anonymous said...

Postal workforce labor costs 80%.
You are obviously counting the cost of management at the national level. There are way too many vice presidents at national. They need to cut there first before they reduce the number of craft employees. Common on Potter, show some leadership and cut YOUR staff to the bone. Anonymous says to change delivery days to 2,3,4 days.
That's a death blow to the postal service. Let give the postal destroyers another reason to privatize the po. It's more like 6% night differential. Congress will never admit that they have stolen, let alone payback $75 billion from the po. This money should ALL go towards the prefunding retirement costs of $5.5 billion for the next 10 yrs.