Addressing Postal questions

A Reader Writes:

How did it happen that U.S. Postal Service computer programmer/analyst salaries have fallen well below those in the federal sector?

Milt Replies:

The salaries paid by the Postal Service reflect the budgetary pressures that the Postal Service must contend with. There's no formal attempt to achieve "comparability" with civil service pay. At one time, the Postal Service was quite competitive, but no more. In addition, job security isn't as good. On the other hand, Postal Service employees pay less for their health benefits.

A Reader Writes:

I will retire on Jan. 3, 2003, with approximately 39 years of federal service. I worked at the Post Office during the Christmas rush from 1958 through 1962, about two weeks each year. Is this creditable service toward my retirement?

Milt Replies:

If contributions to the civil service retirement system were withheld from your pay, then your service is probably covered. However, because there are only eight weeks of service involved, there's really not much at stake.

A Reader Writes:

This is not really a question, but I thought you and your readers might like to know about the comment period on the new FedBens retirement benefits calculator program. Use of the software during the comment period is free and unrestricted. FedBens can be accessed at

Zall is a retired federal employee who since 1987 has written the Bureaucratus column for Federal Computer Week. He can be reached at


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