The 118th Congress began on Jan. 3, 2023. We must keep up the pressure on our congressional representatives to achieve our legislative priorities and to protect our federal pensions, benefits, and the Postal Service. We expect Congress to protect our hard-earned benefits, which include our federal pensions (CSRS or FERS), Social Security, Medicare, health insurance and life insurance. We expect them to protect and preserve the Postal Service by supporting and passing legislation that accomplish these goals. Millions of federal, state, and local retirees are still waiting for Congress to pass legislation, such as The Social Security Fairness Act, that would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO).
In addition, postal workers want Congress to pass legislation similar to The Federal Retirement Fairness Act, which would allow postal workers who began their postal career as temporary employees or Postal Support Employees (PSEs) to “buy back” time towards their retirement. Under the “buy back,” interested employees could make a deposit equal to what the government would have contributed had they been career, as calculated by the Office of Personnel Management, along with the corresponding interest rate. This would, once again, create parity between temporary and career employees, ensuring that they have equal access to retirement benefits.
Postal workers were formerly able to make additional contributions to their retirement benefits to make up for time lost when they were not career employees. However, on Jan. 1, 1989, this authority expired and was never reinstituted.
Continue to call your representatives in Congress at: (202) 224-3121, and write letters, postcards, and emails in support of our legislative priorities.
Older Americans Month
Celebrate APWU retirees during May, which is Older Americans Month. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy issued the first proclamation asking the entire nation to pay tribute to seniors for a month each year. Every president since then has carried out this tradition.
The APWU was built on the contributions of leaders who worked tirelessly to improve the working conditions for Renew Our Commitment to APWU postal employees. Retirees are the foundation of the union. Historically, the APWU’s National Executive Board has adopted a resolution in support of Older Americans Month, which encourages all state and local organizations to recognize the contributions that countless APWU retirees have given to our union, the labor movement, and their communities.
This special month provides an excellent opportunity for all local and state organizations to host activities that celebrate and honor those who fought for the rights APWU now enjoys.
Be sure to invite your entire membership to participate in this celebration of APWU retirees. This is also the perfect opportunity to organize a Retiree Chapter for retired members where one doesn’t currently exist. Local and state organizations, as well as retirees, can obtain the guidelines for forming a Retirees’ Chapter by visiting our webpage and contacting the APWU Retirees Department.
2023 APWU National Retiree Conference
The 2023 APWU National Retiree Conference has been scheduled in conjunction with the All-Craft Conference at Bally’s Las Vegas, Oct. 2-4, 2023. Retirees’ General Session meetings are tentatively scheduled, with the following workshops:
Alzheimer’s Disease from A to Z; Chapter Newsletters, Conference Calls & Communications; CPR Training; Computers and You; Heart Health & Fitness; Legislative & Community Activism; Safety, Identity Theft, Fighting Fraud and Elder Abuse; and Senior Resources.
The Retirees Department will also conduct Retirement Planning, Disability Retirement, and TSP workshops. Additional information will be posted on the APWU website and you may contact the Retirees Department.