Postal career employees enjoy excellent benefits, including annual and sick leave that can be accumulated, the opportunity to donate leave, basic life insurance paid for by the Postal Service with additional options at the employee’s cost, pretax health benefits with most of the cost paid by the Postal Service, pretax Flexible Spending Accounts for out-of-pocket dependent and health care expenses, the option to enroll in pretax dental and vision insurance, the opportunity to apply for long term-care insurance, and coverage under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) or Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) plans, which provide pension benefits and include Postal Service contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan for FERS employees. Participation rates and employer costs may be found in the 2009 Annual Report.

During 2007, agreements were achieved through the collective bargaining process and through consultation with the management associations to reduce the Postal Service’s share of the contributions to the cost of health benefits premiums for its employees. Annual 1 percent reductions began in January 2008 for employees represented by the American Postal Workers Union and National Postal Mail Handlers Union and for EAS employees. Reductions began in January 2009 for employees represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, and the Fraternal Order of Police.