Federal Retirement Fairness Act Reintroduced!

Judy Beard

March 19, 2024

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Late last year, The Federal Retirement Fairness Act, or H.R. 5995, was reintroduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06) and Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE-02). This bipartisan bill would allow temporary postal and federal employees who are promoted to career positions the option of “buying back” the time that they had worked as a non-career employee to use towards their retirement.

Temporary postal employees are non-career employees, such as PSEs, transitional employees, and casuals, who are unable to make contributions to their retirement benefits until they become USPS career employees.

Prior to 1989, postal workers were allowed to make retroactive “catch up” contributions to their retirement benefits, after they made career status, for all the time they worked as a temporary employee. Unfortunately, the authority to make retroactive payments expired on Jan. 1, 1989.

Under the proposed “buy back,” eligible postal workers would make a deposit equal to the amount that would have been contributed to their retirement benefits had they been career employees. The calculation is determined by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). This legislation would help postal and federal employees better prepare for their retirement. It would affect more than 100,000 APWU members who have converted from temporary to career positions. As of Feb. 1, 2024, The Federal Retirement Fairness Act has 70 cosponsors in the House of Representatives. I urge every member to call their representative and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 5995. You can call the Legislative Hotline at 1-844-402-1001 to be connected at any time. Remember, an injury to one is an injury to all. We are much stronger together in solidarity, so please help your fellow union members in this collective fight for full, on time retirement benefits!

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