Postal review update

USPS is reviewing the recommendations of the Trump administration’s task force on the nation’s postal system.

The task force, which was announced in April, issued its report Dec. 4.

“The recommendations contained in the report should be evaluated together with legislative and regulatory reforms to address our urgent financial challenges. Reforms are necessary to enable the Postal Service to further reduce costs, grow revenue, compete more effectively, function with greater flexibility to adapt to a dynamic marketplace, and to prudently invest in our future,” Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan said.

“The Postal Service will remain focused on aggressively managing our business. We will take all appropriate actions within our control to ensure that we can continue to fulfill our primary mission to provide prompt, reliable and efficient service to American businesses and consumers in all communities in our country,” Brennan said.

The Postmaster General also encouraged employees to remain focused on serving customers during the busy holiday season.

“While we continue to work with our stakeholders to address these important public policy matters, it’s important for our employees to focus on their day-to-day work, especially during peak season. Across the United States, our customers are depending on us to deliver their holiday cards, letters and packages, and I know the men and women of the Postal Service remain dedicated to serving those needs.”

All the best

President George H.W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush in 1990

Former President George H.W. Bush is being remembered for the value he placed on writing letters to people he knew and admired.

He regularly set aside time each evening during his presidency to pen letters and cards, The Washington Post noted after his death last week.

In a letter of encouragement to a marine who accidentally dropped his rifle during a parade, the president wrote, “I want to thank you and the others in the platoon for a super performance.”

He also wrote to staff members to congratulate them on their achievements.

“I frequently received a thank-you note from the president for a job well done, and this kindness and courtesy made it a joy to work with him,” Condoleezza Rice, a Bush adviser, recalled in one of her memoirs.

The president began writing letters long before he entered politics.

He regularly penned notes to his wife, Barbara, while they were engaged and he was serving as a Navy pilot during World War II.

“I love you precious with all my heart and to know you love me means my life. How often I have thought about the immeasurable joy that will be ours someday,” he wrote in one note.

His letter-writing habit continued after he left office.

After publishing a tribute to the Bush presidency in 1998, William P. Warford, a newspaper columnist for the Antelope Valley Press in California, was surprised to receive an envelope a few days later with a Kennebunkport, ME, return address.

“I was deeply touched by your kind words and generous assessment of what I tried to do as president,” Bush’s letter stated.

In 2001, the former president wrote to two children who had been adopted by his onetime speechwriter, according to an account this week in the Democrat & Chronicle, a Rochester, NY, newspaper.

“I want to be your friend,” the letter read. “I used to be President of the United States. Now, though, I am a happy, private citizen.”

The 41st president compiled his many letters into a 717-page memoir, “All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings,” that was published in 2013.

Not all of his notes were mailed: He is credited with starting the tradition of an outgoing president leaving a letter for his successor on Inauguration Day.

The 1993 letter that he penned to Bill Clinton has received praise for its show of bipartisanship and unity.

“Your success now is our country’s success,” he wrote. “I am rooting hard for you.”

Relocation information

Man and woman loading a moving van

The Postal Service will change its relocation services provider from Brookfield Global Relocation Services (BGRS) to Lexicon Relocation LLC. This change will take effect Feb. 1.

Here’s what you should know:

• All relocation authorizations initiated before Dec. 31 will continue to be serviced by BGRS through completion of the relocation.

• New relocation authorizations will not be accepted or processed from Jan. 1-31.

• Beginning Feb. 1, Lexicon Relocation will accept and process all relocation requests.

If you have questions or need additional information, send an email to the USPS relocation team at F47R00@usps.gov.

Know your options

Smiling pharmacist serves customer

Reminder: USPS employees who want to save money for future medical expenses have several options during this year’s open season, which is underway through Monday, Dec. 10.

If you enroll in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), you may be eligible to contribute to a health savings account (HSA).

An HSA allows you to pay for current health expenses and save for future medical expenses on a tax deductible or pretax basis. An HSA is yours to keep — even if you change health plans or leave the Postal Service.

Additionally, some plans offer health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), which are funds you can use to help cover out-of-pocket medical expenses. HRAs are generally available to employees who enroll in a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP).

If an HDHP or CDHP doesn’t meet your needs, you can sign up for a flexible spending account (FSA), which allows you to set aside money on a pretax basis to pay for health and dependent care expenses.

The Open Season LiteBlue page has more information to help you evaluate your options and choose a plan that best fits your needs.

Save Vanishing Species

Amur tiger cub on a stamp

Here are three facts about Save Vanishing Species, a semipostal stamp that USPS employees are promoting in December.

1. USPS released Save Vanishing Species in 2011. Since then, sales of the stamp have raised more than $5.2 million to help protect threatened and vanishing species.

2. Stamp purchases benefit conservation funds. Under a 2010 law, USPS transfers net proceeds from the sale of these stamps to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support multinational species conservation funds. These funds include the African Elephant Conservation Fund, the Asian Elephant Conservation Fund, the Great Ape Conservation Fund, the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund and the Marine Turtle Conservation Fund.

3. The stamp depicts an Amur tiger cub. The illustration symbolizes the plight of one of the magnificent animals the stamp is designed to help. When full grown, the Amur tiger can weigh as much as 650 pounds and measure 13 feet from its nose to the tip of its tail.

The usps.com Postal Store has more information about the Save Vanishing Species semipostal stamp. Got ideas for future editions of “The list”? Email them to uspslink@usps.gov.