Joe was elected Director of Retires in 2006. A position he has held for 16 years and was recently re-elected in 2022. Joe began his postal and Union career in 1965. Joe saw many changes within the Postal Service and Union at the beginning of his career. With just 5 years on the job, the carriers went on strike and Joe was right there with them. After the strike joe continued his postal career as a changed man. He volunteered for many things that would benefit the carriers of Branch 36 and was elected Shop Steward by his fellow carriers. In 2000, Joe was selected by then President Orapello to work at the Letter Carrier’s Credit Union. Joe held that position full time until 2012 when he switched to a part time position. In 2006, President Charlie Heege selected Joe to become the Director of Retirees. Thanks to all the members who voted in the 2022 election, Joe was re-elected to the position of the Director of Retirees where he continues to assist Branch 36 carriers in life after the Post Office.
Retirement is a numbers game in the United States and those numbers can make
a big difference in terms of the Social Security benefits you ultimately receive. For
Social Security purposes, the most important numbers to remember are: 62, 66, 67
and 70, all of which are ages that can have an impact on your retirement benefits.
Another age that was once important, 65 has little significance nowadays.
Let’s begin with 62. That is the age when you can first start claiming Social Security Retirement Benefits, through a reduced monthly payment. The next two ages: 66 and 67 are when you reach full retirement age (FRA), depending on your birth year. The FRA is when you become eligible for unreduced Social Security Retirement Benefits. Age 70 is when you are eligible for the maximum benefit.
Fidelity found that if you claim Social Security at age 62, rather than waiting until your full retirement age, you can expect a 30% average reduction in monthly benefits. For every year you delay claiming benefits past your full retirement age, up to age 70, you will receive an 8% increase in your benefit. There is no advantage to waiting past age 70 to collect.
Letter carriers under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) have a good chance to enjoy the Social Security benefits, when they retire with the minimum retirement age, with the Special Annuity Supplement until reaching 62 If you start collecting Social Security at age 62, a typical retiree with 30 years of service can easily receive more than $30,000 a year in benefits between FERS and Social Security alone.
My wife Alice worked at Roosevelt Hospital and retired after 35 years of service. She was 62 at the time and after a little calculation she realized it was worth it for her to retire and collect Social Security along with her 1199 benefits. Although, it turned out to be a good idea for us, retiring is a major life event and all factors should be weighed before taking that step.
I continue to receive calls from retired members complaining that their re- peated attempts to contact the Office of Personnel Management regarding their issues have failed. This has been true for me as well. My best recommendation is for you to read a very important article by our Director of Retired Members Dan Toth in the April issue of the Postal Record on page 36. He explains in great detail on how to log in to OPM. They would like each member to do so.
The projected COLA for the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employment Retirement System (FERS), which are based on the CPI increase between the third quarter of 2024 is 1.1%. The 2024 COLA will be finalized with the publication of the September 2023 CPI in October 2023.