FSA changes

The Postal Service wants employees to know about recent changes to the Federal Flexible Spending Account program that have created new options for participants.

The program, also known as FSAFEDS, allows employees to make pretax payroll contributions to cover their family’s health, dental, vision and day care expenses, saving approximately 30 percent on out-of-pocket costs.

Recently enacted legislation and updated IRS guidance have resulted in the following changes to FSAFEDS’ health care and limited-expense health care accounts:

• Employees may enroll, increase or decrease current elections during a special enrollment period from June 1-30.

This will also allow employees who didn’t reenroll for 2021 during last fall’s open season to enroll for this year and gain access to available 2020 carryover funds.

• During the special enrollment period, current participants can increase or decrease their elections by logging into FSAFEDS.com.

Choose “Special Enrollment Period” from the “Enroll in a Plan” menu located at the top of the homepage. Select the “Increase my election” or “Decrease my election” option.

• Employees who want to enroll for the first time should go to the FSAFEDS website and select “Special Enrollment Period” from the “Enroll in a Plan” menu.

New elections will be effective the first day of the following pay period.

Additional FSAFEDS changes were announced in May.

For more information, go to the FSAFEDS website or call 877-372-3337 (TTY: 866-353-8058).

Mail delivery

Delivery of First-Class Mail, Marketing Mail and Periodicals showed improvement in May as Postal Service operations continue to recover from challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Compared with fiscal year 2021’s second quarter (Jan. 1-March 31), May’s numbers showed:

• A 9.5 percentage point improvement in First-Class Mail deliveries, with 87.6 percent being delivered on-time. On average, a first-class mailpiece took 2.4 days to be delivered so far this quarter.

•  A 5.5 percentage point improvement in delivery of Marketing Mail to 90.6 percent against the USPS service standard. On average, a marketing mailpiece took 2.9 days to be delivered so far this quarter.

• A 7.4 percentage point improvement in Periodicals delivery since the second quarter.

“While we are encouraged by the progress we have made on service performance so far this year, there is more work to be done to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers for service reliability,” said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. “The entire United States Postal Service is fully committed to addressing long-standing challenges head-on as we emerge from the pandemic.”

The Postal Service reported the figures June 3.

The organization also said it is continuing to address staffing challenges as it emerges from the pandemic. In May, 78 percent of employees were available to work.

Service improvement remains a core priority under Delivering for America, the Postal Service’s 10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability.

Once fully implemented, the plan includes the goal of meeting or exceeding 95 percent network-wide, on-time delivery for all mail and package classes.

Investments and network enhancements are underway for this year’s holiday delivery season.

Leading Edge

USPS is installing a new version of the Microsoft Edge web browser on Windows-based ACE workstations, eliminating the need for employees to switch from one browser to another in order to use different programs.

The new version of Microsoft Edge — which will become the Postal Service’s default browser — is more than a browser.

It will also provide new ways of interacting with the Zoom teleconferencing platform and Office 365 applications, which are part of the organization’s Office Workplace Modernization program.

Microsoft Edge also works with the Performance Evaluation System, eAccess and other postal websites.

The browser will be installed on all ACE computers by June 23 as part of a Windows update. The update will replace an older version of Microsoft Edge currently installed on the computers.

Employees will notice that the Microsoft Edge icon on the desktop taskbar will change from blue to green and blue after installation.

The organization’s Office 365 champions will invite users to participate in Microsoft Edge training sessions. Training will be available on HERO, too.

Microsoft Edge is based on Chromium, an open-source application developed by Google that is the underlying architecture of several web browsers, including Google’s Chrome.

ACE workstation users who currently use Chrome can continue to do so, but it isn’t supported by the IT Service Desk.

Internet Explorer will continue to be available on ACE computers, but users are encouraged to use Microsoft Edge.

Big country

“News Quiz” is a weekly feature that lets you test your knowledge of recent Link stories. The correct answers appear at the end.

1. Fill in the blank: The National Rural Letter Carriers Association represents approximately (blank) rural carriers nationwide.

a) 113,000
b) 133,000
c) 311,000
d) 331,000

2. What’s the name of the new USPS campaign to ensure Post Offices are clean and appealing, inside and out?

a) Retail Refresh
b) Retail Rejuvenation
c) Retail Restoration
d) Retail Revitalization

3. True or false: During fiscal year 2021’s second quarter (Jan. 1-March 31), USPS recorded a net loss of $82 million.

a) True
b) False

4. What’s the single commitment time for all Priority Mail Express deliveries nationwide?

a) 10:30 a.m.
b) Noon
c) 3:30 p.m.
d) 6 p.m.

5. Match the stamp in Column A with its planned release date in Column B.

Column A
a) Backyard Games
b) Happy Birthday
c) Otters in Snow
d) Tap Dance

Column B
I) July 10
II) Aug. 12
III) Sept. 9
IV) Oct. 12

Answers: 1) b. 2) a. 3) a. 4) d. 5) a. II., b. III., c. IV., d. I.

Share your feedback at uspslink@usps.gov. Your comments could be included in the “Mailbag” column.