Personal check

Mock 2019 Personal Benefit Statement

The Postal Service is mailing all employees a personal benefits statement that details their overall compensation package.

When you receive your statement, USPS wants you to pay close attention to the following information: 

What you paid in 2018 for health benefits. Many employees pay for more insurance than they need, often giving up thousands of dollars extra a year.

Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans, a tool available on LiteBlue, can help you compare your current plan to other available options.

• How much you contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). If you’re under the Federal Employees Retirement System, you’re encouraged to contribute at least 5 percent of your basic pay toward TSP to receive a full matching contribution from USPS.

For 2019, the maximum amount you can contribute toward your TSP account is $19,000 if you are younger than 50, plus an additional $6,000 in catch-up contributions if you are 50 or older. Additional TSP information is available on LiteBlue. 

• Your Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) coverage. Determining the right amount of coverage depends on your life and family situation. The amount of coverage you need, as well as the amount you pay for life insurance, changes over time.

You can review and make changes to your FEGLI coverage on LiteBlue.

If you have questions about your personal statement or how to make the most of your benefits, email the Benefits and Wellness team.

Right fit

Pacific Area Mailpiece Design Analyst Paula Bigornia sitting at desk

My name is Paula Bigornia, and I’m a mailpiece design analyst for Pacific Area. I help business and residential customers create mailpieces that are the right size and shape to meet their needs.

For example, if a business customer wants to send a square mailpiece, I let the customer know he or she may be charged more. I also advise the customer that the barcode might be placed in a spot that isn’t optimal.

An important part of my job is to help customers create mailpieces that can move seamlessly through the automation process, which helps USPS reduce costs. If a mailpiece doesn’t bend or isn’t uniform in thickness, for example, it might jam the equipment or get damaged.

My job has changed a lot in the 37 years I’ve been with USPS. There used to be one or two mailpiece design analysts in every district, but now there are only five for each area.

I love my job and know I’m going to retire doing this. It’s one of those jobs you don’t want to leave. I enjoy that I get to be proactive, helping customers fix their mailpiece and have it right the first time to avoid issues down the line.

My husband, Jon, is a retired USPS employee. We’ve been married almost 28 years. We have three adult sons and three grandchildren that we spend most of our free time with. Our grandkids are involved in cheerleading and T-ball and we enjoy watching their activities.

I’ve been very lucky. We put one son through college, and the other two are finishing up. If it wasn’t for USPS, we couldn’t have done what we’ve done.

“On the Job,” a series on individual employees and their contributions to the Postal Service, appears regularly in Link.

On patrol

Postal Police officer hiring announcement

There’s another chance to protect and serve.

The Postal Service will accept applications for Postal Police officers from Tuesday, Feb. 19, through Monday, Feb. 25.

Only members of the general public and non-career postal employees — such as city carrier assistants, rural carrier associates and mail handler assistants — are eligible to apply. Career employees who had been previously invited to apply for Postal Police officer positions from Feb. 8-14 are not eligible to apply for these external vacancy announcements.

Postal Police officers patrol USPS premises to prevent loss or damage to mail and postal assets and to protect people on postal property.

Those interested in applying for these external vacancies will find information on careers with the Postal Service and for this opportunity at https://about.usps.com/careers/search-apply/welcome.htm. Applicants will first need to create a profile and then they can search for the Postal Police officer vacancy announcements using the keyword “Postal Police.”

Going mobile

Woman holding mobile device

In the know. The Postal Service wants managers, supervisors and others to tell craft employees about Link mobile, the Link site’s mobile-friendly version.

Link mobile offers the same content available on Link’s desktop version — including benefits information, news reports and feature stories — but in a format that’s easy to read on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

The site is helpful to employees who don’t have regular access to postal computers but want to stay in the know.

Employees can access the site at www.usps.link, where they can also subscribe to weekly emails with the latest Link highlights.

Get sporty. Molly Fletcher, one of the first women sports agents, will speak at this year’s National Postal Forum, to be held from May 5-8 in Indianapolis.

Fletcher will address a May 8 awards luncheon that recognizes USPS business customers.

Her clients have included Tom Izzo, Ernie Johnson Jr., Matt Kuchar, Doc Rivers, John Smoltz, Erin Andrews, Billy Donovan and Joe Theismann.

Checking labels. The Postal Bulletin’s Feb. 14 issue features a reminder about the proper handling of mail transport equipment labels. The latest updates to postal policies, forms and procedures are also included.

Got news? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.