Still Fighting for Justice

Nancy Olumekor

January 11, 2021

Share this article

(This article first appeared in the January/February 2021 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

There is unfinished business in 2021. The legislative battles that we face this year can only be won if we work collectively. Working collectively lightens the burden for all of us and we are much more effective. An important part of our fight for justice to protect and secure our hard-earned benefits and to preserve the Postal Service includes the continued growth of the APWU Retiree Department. Retiree members participate in social, political, legislative, and educational activities for the dual purposes of improving retirees’ quality of life and reaching out to help others when needed. We are proven assets.

Join Us Organizing for Action

Retirees continue to be active members of APWU by joining the Retirees Department. Retiree dues are just $3.00 per month. Retirees receive an application to join the Retirees Department by mail when they retire from the USPS.

Retirees can also join online or through email by visiting the Retirees page on the APWU website. Retiree members can get involved in their local retiree chapter. If there is no retiree chapter, they can organize one. Organizing a Local Retiree Chapter begins by contacting the Retirees Department. The local union, at its general membership meeting, will pass a motion to form a retiree chapter to be chartered by the national union. Then the retiree members move forward to formalize the local retiree chapter, with the assistance from the Retirees Department. Ten or more Retiree Department members residing within a local or area local geographical jurisdiction may form a local retiree chapter. The local retiree chapter must function consistently with the National and the Retiree Chapter Constitution and Bylaws.

Retroactive Annuity Adjustments by OPM

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) makes annuity adjustments based on the retroactive pay raises prior to retirement. When the USPS makes adjustments to anything that may affect your annuity calculation, the USPS must send OPM a certified Notice of Correction to Individual Retirement Record.

Contact the Shared Services Help Desk at HRSSC, request the register number and date the corrections were sent to OPM. Then contact OPM at 1-888-767-6738 to find out when they will finalize the adjustment to your annuity.

USPS Debt Collection After Retirement

Retirees, when you receive any type of notice from the USPS or the Department of Treasury claiming that you owe the USPS money, you must act immediately to dispute the debt.

The notice may come in the form of a Notice of Determination of a Debt; a Letter of Indebtedness; a Letter of Demand; or an invoice from the USPS. Read the letter completely, then contact the local union representative where you last worked to file a grievance.

Retirees have a right to file a grievance when you become aware of an alleged outstanding debt owed to the USPS. That right is in the contract and JCIM under Article 15 Section 7 – Outstanding Debts of Retired Employees. The APWU and the USPS agreed, in part, that “the Postal Service may not submit a Request for Recovery of Debt to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) before the grievance/arbitration procedure has been exhausted.”

Retirees must be proactive to prevent or stop debt collections while your grievance is being processed. Contact the USPS and the Treasury Department to advise them that a grievance was filed on the debt. If you have any retirement questions, contact

NEW FOR 2021: Join the Retirees Department Online through the Members Only page on

Sign up for News

Stay in touch with your union

Subscribe to receive important information from your union.