News & information

National level case on Voluntary Early Retirement counseling settled

The NALC and the USPS have agreed to a national-level settlement (M-01829) on whether the Postal Service is required to provide individual retirement counseling prior to a Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) decision irrevocability date when counseling is requested by a VER-eligible city letter carrier.

Provisions in the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM) concerning retirement counseling include the general obligation of the Postal Service to provide individual pre-retirement counseling (when requested) on-the-clock (when the retirement counselor is available during the same tour as the employee). When the Postal Service offers a VER, it requires employees who wish to take the VER to irrevocably commit to retirement by a certain date. The question arose as to whether the Postal Service was required to provide requested retirement counseling prior to a VER irrevocability date.

The settlement (M-01829) requires the Postal Service to comply with the ELM provisions regarding retirement counseling when it offers a VER, and that requested counseling will be provided prior to an irrevocability date. The settlement further provides for a national level expedited process for dealing with any unanticipated failures to provide requested VER counseling in advance of a VER irrevocability date, including expedited national level arbitration scheduling, if necessary.