Eligible retirees are thirsting for information to make the huge decision that will shape their lives for years to come. Included in this decision is whether to accept the incentive and terminate postal employment. This is a personal decision that will be influenced by a myriad of personal situations. To receive or not receive an incentive is but one factor to be considered and weighed against continuing employment. Clearly the termination of a $60,000 a year job when compared to a $15,000 incentive means that money cannot be the sole motivator. My projection is that the Postal Service will not repeat an incentive offer, if they receive the expected numbers of retirees but retirement is about much more than a $15,000 payment divided into two installments.
The most likely scenario is that if the USPS does not meet its objectives they will consider repeating the $15,000 offer at a future date to capture employees ineligible in 2012 vs. increasing the amount of the incentive. Any comparison to past incentives in a greater amount is misplaced because those agreements capped the number of applicants within a predetermined total cost. Of the 115,000 retiree eligibles, the cost of a $25,000 or $50,000 incentive on short term liquidity would be prohibitive if 60% of the eligibles opted to accept.
The decision to retire is highly personal and should only be marginally influenced by the amount of an incentive. An employee is either ready to retire or he/she is not. That decision will not be made easier by the anticipation of a larger incentive in the near future. In my opinion, it will not happen.
It is not appropriate to advise eligibles on their decision to retire in response to the incentive. My comments are intended only to provide information that can be included in their considerations.