Workplace issues

Retirement

Ron Watson

Ron Watson

Director of Retired Members

Ron Watson was elected NALC director of retired members on Oct. 7, 2015, following a Dept. of Labor–supervised election conducted by mail. He has served as director since his appointment in 2013 to fill a vacancy. Full bio

NALC’s Retirement Department serves the members, active and retired, with advice and assistance regarding pre-retirement and post-retirement issues. These issues primarily involve the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and its administration of the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS). But the issues also at times intersect with other agencies and programs, including the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), Medicare, Social Security, Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) and Federal Employees’ Health Benefits (FEHB).

Retired member COLA

2017 retired member COLA: 0.3% 

Based on the Oct. 18 release of the September 2016 Consumer Price Index (CPI), the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) will be 0.3 percent. It will become effective in January 2017.

2018 retired member COLA projection: 0.3%

Based on the Nov. 17 release of the October 2016 Consumer Price Index (CPI), the 2018 CSRS and FERS COLAs are currently projected to be 0.3%. CSRS annuities receive full COLAs; COLAs for FERS annuities are payable for retirees 62 and older and may be reduced by up to one percentage point from the increase in the CPI.

For details and a look at recent COLAs and trends, click here.

General contact information

The NALC Retirement Department can be reached by calling 800-424-5186 (toll free) Monday, Wednesday or Thursday, 10 a.m.-Noon or 2 p.m.-4 p.m. (Eastern time), or by calling the NALC Headquarters switchboard at 202- 393-4695 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (Eastern time) and asking for the Retirement Department.

COLCPE - Annuity formThe USPS HR Shared Service Center (HRSSC) can be reached by current employees who are planning or applying for retirement by calling 877-477-3273, option 5.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) acts as the personnel office for retired letter carriers, and is the agency responsible for administering retirement, health and life insurance benefits. Before you call or write to OPM, be sure to have your Civil Service Annuity (CSA) number ready. OPM can be reached by retirees who have a CSA number by calling 888-767-6738 or 724-794-2005, 7:40 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday (Eastern time), or 202-606-0500 in the Washington, DC, area. Mail your written inquiries to Office of Personnel Management, Retirement Operations Center, Boyers, PA 16017 (unless OPM has specified a different address for a specific action such as health benefits open season).

2015 Rap Session

Click here to download Dir. Watson’s workshop PowerPoint presentation from NALC’s 2015 Rap Session in Houston.
(Don’t have PowerPoint? Try importing the file to Google Drive’s Slides program.)

Retirement seminar

Click here to download Dir. Watson’s workshop PowerPoint presentation, “CSRS and FERS: A Guide for Employees Approaching Retirement.”
(Don’t have PowerPoint? Try importing the file to Google Drive’s Slides program.)

Additional information

Click on the “plus” symbol next to each topic below to see more information:

Are you planning to retire?

While the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) makes all decisions regarding retirement entitlement, current employees are required to apply for retirement through the USPS Human Resources Shared Services (HRSSC). Learn more...

Don’t forget to act to maintain your NALC membership when you retire to continue to receive the many benefits of membership. Learn more...

Retirees are an essential part of NALC’s political and legislative advocacy efforts. Learn more...

Click here for other useful documents and resources.

Are you already retired?

While employees who are planning or applying for retirement are required to process through the Postal Service Human Resources Shared Service Center (HRSSC), once retired, that changes. After the effective date of retirement, issues regarding retirement matters must be directed to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Learn more...

Don’t forget to act to maintain your NALC membership when you retire to continue to receive the many benefits of membership. Learn more...

Retirees are an essential part of NALC’s political and legislative advocacy efforts. Learn more...

Click here for other useful documents and resources.

Are you a branch or state director of retirees?

The OPM maintains a listserv that provides up-to-date information about retirement benefits. Click here to join or access the listserv.

CSRS & FERS annuity estimates

Were you a casual prior to Jan. 1, 1989?

Other useful publications and resources

Click here for documents and links to websites about relevant topics, including questions and answers on the Civil Service Retirement System, questions and answers on the Federal Employees’ Retirement System, a survivor’s guide to CSRS, FERS, and Social Security, preparing for retirement, what to do when a retired or active letter carrier dies, OPM and federal employee benefit resources on the Web, information on NALC’s retirement community (Nalcrest) and more.