493 Service Awards

493.1 Overview

The characteristics of Service Awards are shown in Exhibit 493.1:

Exhibit 493.1 

Service Awards

 

Type

Who Is Eligible

Description

Approval Authority

Basis

Service Award Pin (milestone years)

All career employees

Emblem pin and letter of appreciation

Installation head, district manager, senior plant manager, or designee

Recognizes employees with 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, and 50 years of federal service, including military service.

Service Award Certificate
(retirement)

All career employees

Certificate (retirement) and letter of appreciation

Installation head, district manager, senior plant manager, or designee

Recognizes employees at time of retirement.

Service Award Certificate (posthumous)

All career employees

Certificate (posthumous) and letter of appreciation

Installation head, district manager, senior plant manager, or designee

Recognizes employees with 5 or more years of creditable federal service who die while still employed.

Presented to nearest relative.

493.2 Service Award Pin

493.21 Description

The Service Award Pin, a noncash recognition award given at milestone years, consists of an emblem pin and a letter of appreciation issued in recognition of government service.

The letter of appreciation is:

  1. Signed by the installation head or functional organization head for an employee with 25, 30, 35, 40, or 45 years of service.
  2. Signed by the Postmaster General for an employee with 50 years of service.
  3. Presented in an official service award folder.
493.22 Basis

The Service Award Pin is presented to career employees who have completed 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, or 50 years of creditable service to the government. All federal civilian and military service is considered creditable. Eligibility for the Service Award Pin is without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or presence of physical or mental disability.

493.23 Responsibility
493.231 Headquarters

The manager of Corporate Personnel Management is responsible for:

  1. Administration of the Service Award Pin program for Headquarters and Headquarters-related field units.
  2. Oversight of the 50-year Service Award Pin program service-wide.
493.232 Areas

The area vice president is responsible for administration of:

  1. The Service Award Pin program for personnel on area rolls and employees reporting directly to the area office.
  2. The 50-year Service Award Pin program for eligible employees within the area (see 493.26 for instructions).
493.233 Districts and Plants

District managers are responsible for the administration of the Service Award Pin program for district and plant employees (see 493.26 for instructions).

493.234 Inspection Service

The chief postal inspector is responsible for the administration of:

  1. The Service Award Pin program for Inspection Service employees.
  2. The 50-year Service Award Pin program for all eligible Inspection Service employees (see 493.26 for instructions).
493.24 Providing Lists of Eligible Employees

Before the end of each quarter, a list of all employees who, based on their retirement computation date, will achieve sufficient government service to qualify for a Service Award Pin during the next quarter, will be made available to the officials responsible for the administration of the program at each district, area, Headquarters, and Headquarters-related field unit office.

Note: To determine an individual’s eligibility for the Service Award Pin, federal civilian and military service that is not creditable for retirement purposes must be added to service indicated by the retirement computation date.

493.25 Ordering Pins and Service Award Folders

Pins and folders may be requisitioned from the Material Distribution Center under the following item numbers:

 

Item No.

Description

0–917–C

25–Year Pin

0–917–G

30–Year Pin

0–917–D

35–Year Pin

0–917–E

40–Year Pin

0–917–H

45–Year Pin

0–917–J

50–Year Pin

0–1100–H

Service Award Folder (Single Window)

0–1100–K

Service Award Folder (Double Window)

Normally the single window service award folder is sufficient for Service Pin Awards, unless the office decides to include a locally produced certificate with the letter of appreciation. The Material Distribution Center does not stock certificates for Service Pin Awards.

493.26 Preparing Letters of Appreciation

For an employee with 25, 30, 35, 40, or 45 years of combined postal, federal civilian, and/or military service, the responsible installation or functional organization head prepares a letter of appreciation to accompany the Service Award Pin. (See Exhibit 493.27a for a sample letter.) Letters of appreciation to accompany Service Award Pins for up to 45 years of service may be created using eAwards.

For an employee with 50 or more years of combined Postal Service and federal civilian or military service, the responsible vice president or district Human Resources manager drafts a letter of appreciation to accompany the Service Award Pin and forwards it electronically to Corporate Personnel Management for signature by the Postmaster General. (See Exhibit 493.27b for a sample letter.) The eAwards system is not used for letters of appreciation that accompany the 50-year pin.

493.27 Presenting Awards

The Service Award Pin (except for the 50-year pin) is presented by the installation or functional organization head, with appropriate ceremony and publicity, in the presence of top officials and coworkers. Responsibility for presenting 50-year pins remains with the vice president, who may delegate the responsibility.

Exhibit 493.27a

Sample Letter of Appreciation — Employee With 25, 30, 35, 40, or 45 Years of Service

To be signed by the installation or functional organization head.

USPS logo

Exhibit 493.27b

Sample Letter of Appreciation — Employee With 50 Years of Service

To be signed by the Postmaster General.

USPS logo

493.3 Service Award Certificates

493.31 Description

There are two types of Service Award Certificates: the Retirement Service Award, and the Posthumous Service Award. Both are noncash recognition items, printed on certificates that have the Postal Service corporate signature and the type of service award printed at the top. In addition:

  1. The Retirement Service Award Certificate states: “Given…on this occasion of your retirement.”
  2. The Posthumous Service Award Certificate states: “Given posthumously…”

Retirees receive a certificate and a letter of appreciation signed by the installation or functional organization head. Retirees with 50 or more years of service receive a certificate and a letter of appreciation signed by the Postmaster General. Retirement Service Award Certificates for less than 50 years of service can be created in eAwards.

Employees who die while still active with any amount of creditable service equal to 5 or more years receive a Posthumous Service Award Certificate. This certificate can be created in eAwards.

The certificate and the letter of appreciation that accompanies it are presented in an official double window service award folder (see 493.34 for ordering information).

493.32 Basis
493.321 Retirement

The Retirement Service Award Certificate recognizes employees who retire (a) under the optional provisions of the applicable retirement law, (b) due to disability, or (c) under mandatory retirement for postal inspectors. Eligibility for the Retirement Service Award Certificate is without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or presence of physical or mental disability.

493.322 Death

To honor employees with 5 or more years of creditable service who die while still employed, the Posthumous Service Award Certificate is presented to the nearest relative. Creditable service is defined as service that qualifies for retirement under the procedures for the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Eligibility for the Posthumous Service Award Certificate is without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or presence of physical or mental disability.

493.33 Responsibility
493.331 Headquarters

The manager of Corporate Personnel Management is responsible for:

  1. Preparing Service Award Certificates and letters of appreciation for Headquarters and Headquarters-related field unit employees.
  2. Administering the Retirement Service Award program for all Postal Service retirees with 50 or more years of creditable service, including the submission of requests to the Postmaster General to sign certificates and letters of appreciation from Headquarters, Headquarters-related field units, and district and area offices.
493.332 Areas

The area vice president is responsible for:

  1. Preparing Service Award Certificates and letters of appreciation for area office employees.
  2. Ensuring that the certificates and letters of appreciation for area office retirees with 50 or more years of creditable service, to be signed by the Postmaster General, are prepared and presented in accordance with established procedures (see 493.351 for more information).
493.333 Districts and Plants

District managers are responsible for:

  1. Administering the Service Award Program for district and plant employees.
  2. Ensuring that the certificates and letters of appreciation for district and plant retirees with 50 or more years of creditable service, to be signed by the Postmaster General, are prepared and presented in accordance with established procedures (see 493.351 for more information).
493.34 Ordering Certificates

Certificates and folders may be requisitioned from the Material Distribution Center under the following item numbers:

 

Item No.

Description

0–1100–N

Service Award Certificate (Retirement)

0–1100–P

Service Award Certificate (Posthumous)

0–1100–H

Service Award Folder (Single Window)

0–1100–K

Service Award Folder (Double Window)

The double window service award folder should be used to present the certificate and letter of appreciation together.

493.35 Preparing Letters of Appreciation
493.351 Retiring Employees

For an employee retiring with up to 49 years and 11 months of creditable service, the responsible installation or functional organization head prepares a letter of appreciation to accompany the Retirement Service Award Certificate. (See Exhibit 493.351a for a sample letter.) Service Award Certificates for up to 49 years and 11 months of service can be created in eAwards.

For an employee retiring with 50 or more years of creditable service, the area or district manager of Human Resources drafts a letter to accompany the Retirement Service Award Certificate and forwards it electronically to Corporate Personnel Management for signature by the Postmaster General. (See Exhibit 493.351b for a sample letter.) Letters of appreciation or certificates for employees retiring with 50 or more years of creditable service should not be created using eAwards.

493.352 Deceased Employees

At the request of the responsible installation or functional organization head, those close to the deceased are most suitable for drafting a letter to accompany a Posthumous Service Award Certificate. Letters of appreciation to accompany Posthumous Service Awards for employees with 5 or more years of creditable service can be created in eAwards.

493.36 Presenting Awards
493.361 Retirement Award Certificates

Whenever possible, installation heads should coordinate publicity with communications staff and provide an appropriate ceremony for each award in the presence of the employee’s managers, coworkers, and family. Except in unusual circumstances, the award should not be mailed.

493.362 Posthumous Award Certificates

The presentation of posthumous awards must be tailored to the wishes of the family, as follows:

  1. The deceased employee’s supervisor, manager, or postmaster should contact the nearest relative to determine whether the recipient prefers to have the certificate presented formally in public or taken to the recipient’s home.
  2. At a formal ceremony, attendance should be limited to a few close friends and coworkers of the deceased.
  3. When the recipient prefers delivery to the home, the management representative should consider having coworkers who were close friends of the deceased accompany him or her.
  4. District, area, or Headquarters Human Resources personnel should mail the Posthumous Service Award Certificate only as a last resort, making certain that the award is carefully and securely wrapped before mailing.

Exhibit 493.351a

Sample Letter of Appreciation — Retiring Employee With Less Than 50 Years of Service

To be signed by the installation or functional organization head.

USPS logo

Exhibit 493.351b

Sample Letter of Appreciation — Retiring Employee With 50 or More Years of Service

To be signed by the Postmaster General.

USPS logo