Mike Causey has a story in his column on Federal News Radio in which he discusses buyouts in a number of Federal Agencies, but not the Postal Service. His story indicates that all other Federal agencies can offer incentives up to $25,000, while the Postal Service is limited to a $20,000 maximum incentive. Earlier posts in this blog have used a $25,000 limit in calculating how many employees could get incentives if the Senate Postal Reform passed. (See: “Senate Bill: Indications of the Scale of Early Retirements Expected” and ”Clarifying retirement incentives” The $20,000 limit would allow the Postal Service to pay incentives to 85,000 employees, instead of 68,000 as previously calculated and not exceed the $1.7 billion the Senate bill allows the Postal Service to spend on retirement incentives.
Given that the Postal Service wants to get many more employees to retire than other agencies offering incentives, it makes little sense for the Postal Service to have a lower incentive limit. If getting higher-paid older employees to retire is critical for turning the Postal Service’s fiances around, getting employees to retire as quickly as possible without affecting operations is critical. Congress needs to give the Postal Service at least as much freedom to set early retirement as they do other Federal Agencies and should consider allowing the Postal Service to set even higher incentives, if the marginal benefits of higher incentives is greater than the marginal cost of higher incentives.