Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Today is 2018 FSA Claims Deadline

Be sure to submit your 2018 FSAFEDS claims before the deadline. All claims for the 2018 Benefit Period must be received before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. Any 2018 claims received after this time will not be reimbursed. Don't miss a savings opportunity!

The Health Care FSA (HCFSA) and Limited Expense FSA (LEXFSA) allow you to carry over up to $500 into the 2019 Benefit Period. If you have more than $500 left in your account, the unused funds that aren't carried over will be forfeited after April 30, 2019.

To be eligible for carryover, you must meet the following requirements:
  • Active participant on the last day of the 2018 Health Care FSA and Limited Expense Health Care FSA plan year, with a remaining balance.
  • Re-enrolling in either a Health Care FSA or the Limited Expense Health Care FSA during Open Season for the 2019 Benefit Period.

The carryover amount is available at the beginning of the 2019 Benefit Period. Claims with dates of service incurred during 2019 first are reimbursed from the 2019 Benefit Period. Once the 2019 account is depleted, claims with 2019 dates of service will pay from the carryover balance, until the prior year deadline.

To allow for reimbursement of proper year expenses claimed by the April 30 deadline, the carryover balance will be moved to the current year account in late May.

The Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) allows you to continue spending your 2018 funds until March 15, 2019. Make sure you submit all eligible expenses incurred through March 15, 2019. Any funds remaining in your account after April 30, 2019 will be forfeited. 

'This ZIP Code Means Business!'

Several South Florida Post Offices will participate in National Small Business Week, May 5-11, by hosting a “Grow Your Business Day” event to demonstrate how the U.S. Postal Service continues to create easy and affordable services designed to help small businesses grow.

The Postal Service embraces this year’s theme “This ZIP Code Means Business, recognizing the importance of supporting small businesses, the jobs they help create, and the quality of life that they provide in every ZIP Code across the nation.

South Florida Post Offices are hosting “Grow Your Business Day” events where business owners and entrepreneurs can learn about USPS small business offerings designed to help grow and innovate small business in a one-on-one setting. South Florida events are scheduled as follows:

Monday, May 6
12 p.m.–2 p.m.

Atlantic Branch, 8801 W. Atlantic Blvd, Pompano, FL 33071
West Hollywood Hills Station, 5771 Johnson St, West Hollywood, FL 33023

Tuesday, May 7
10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Coral Springs Branch, 3255 NW 94 Ave, Coral Springs, FL 33065

Miramar Branch, 14900 SW 30 St, Miramar, FL 33025
11 a.m.–  1 p.m.

Doral Station, 1700 NW 97 Ave, Doral, FL 33172
Key Biscayne Branch, 951 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149
Weston Branch, 1870 N Corporate Lakes Blvd, Weston, FL 33326

Wednesday, May 8
11 a.m.–1 p.m.

Hollywood Main Office, 1801 Polk St, Hollywood, FL 33022
Milam Dairy Branch, 5600 NW 72 Ave, Miami, FL 33166

Tropical Reef Branch, 1950 NE 6 St, Pompano, FL 33060
2 p.m.–4 p.m.

Miami Business Mail Entry Unit, 2200 NW 72 Ave, Miami, FL 33152

Thursday, May 9
11 a.m.–1 p.m.

Coconut Creek Postal Store, 4233 W. Hillsboro Blvd, Coconut Creek, FL 33067
Country Lakes Postal Store, 13520 SW 152 St, Miami, FL 33177

Pembroke Pines Branch, 2350 N. University Dr, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024 

Pompano Main Office, 2351 W. Atlantic Blvd, Pompano, FL 33066
South Florida Retail Unit, 16000 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines, FL 33082

Friday, May 10

10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Flamingo Branch, 12590 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines, FL 33026
Margate Branch, 4706 Coconut Creek Pkwy, Coconut Creek, FL 33063

11 a.m.– 1 p.m.

Miami GMF Finance Unit, 2200 NW 72 Ave RM 535, Miami, FL 33152

'What Safety Means to Us!'

Friday, April 26, 2019

West Palm Beach P&DC Employees: 'We Are #PostalProud!'

Miami Tax Night Tradition Continues

Miami Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) Distribution Clerk Dedra Goudas (above) enjoyed working at the parking lot drive through.

The annual Tax Day tradition continued at the Miami Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) on April 15. Postal employees with proper identification accepted last-minute tax return envelopes from customers who were grateful for the parking lot drive through. Special thanks to the below employees who worked as a team and delivered the brand with exceptional customer service.
CUSTOMER SERVICES: Supervisors, Customer Services Patrick Brea and Alexander Fonseca; Acting Supervisor, Customer Services Dazareth Robinson; Sales and Services Associates Latosha Armenteros, Donna Jones, Irma Knighton, VJ Reddy, Dulce Suarez and Sharity Suita; Postal Support Employee (PSE) Deondra Sears; and Customer Relations Coordinator Mirtha Uriarte.
OPERATIONS: Manager, Distribution Operations Michael Cowan; Acting Manager, Distribution Operations Gina Julien; Supervisor, Distribution Operations Brittani Scott; Acting Supervisor, Distribution Operations Jarvis Summons; Lead Distribution Clerk Rosalyn Montalvo; and Distribution Clerk Dedra Goudas.

MAINTENANCE: Supervisor, Maintenance Operations Pedro Garcia; Building Equipment Mechanics Emilio Franco and Mike Mastrosimone; and Laborer/Custodians Jenard Fletcher and Rodrigo Velasco.
U.S. POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE MIAMI DIVISION: Postal Police Captain Nancy Petrofsky; Sergeants Alonzo Simons and Daniel Turnof; Postal Police Officers (PPOs) Gary Bohl, Gustavo Cabanas, Jose Chirinos, Chung Choi, Craig Clarit, Ricardo Cordon, Brian Juman, Diego Rendon, Edna Sepulveda, and Edgar Solano.
Miami Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) Lead Distribution Clerk Rosalyn Montalvo (above) collected a last-minute tax return from a customer who took advantage of the parking lot drive through on Tax Day.
Miami Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) Supervisor, Maintenance Operations Carlos Garcia (above) assisted with the long line of vehicles.  
The Miami General Mail Facility (GMF) Postal Store had a line of last-minute tax filers beyond the main lobby area on Tax Night.

Photos: Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Mirtha Uriarte

TV Spot Showcases Our Technology

The U.S. Postal Service’s technological capabilities are showcased in “The Future Delivered,” the latest USPS TV commercial.

Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan narrates the ad, which shows how the organization and its employees use Informed Delivery and other tools to serve customers.

“Every day, visionaries are creating the future. So every day, we put our latest technology and unrivaled network to work,” she states.

The fast-paced images include Priority Mail packages zipping through a processing plant, employees delivering mail and packages, and a customer holding a smartphone that displays Informed Delivery information.

“The future only happens when people really know how to deliver it,” Brennan says.

The commercial is part of a multimedia campaign that also includes social media posts, YouTube videos and more.

Source: Link

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Planning for CSRS Retirement

Are you a Postal Service employee who falls under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)?

If so, you should know that your retirement income is partly based on the annuity you’ve established.

You also have the option to contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), which can increase your income in retirement.

Although there is no matching Postal Service contribution, CSRS employees can benefit from the TSP’s pretax savings, low fees and compound interest rates that allow savings to grow faster over time.

If you contribute to the TSP, you can use the Thrift Savings Plan site to choose from six different funds that are available to meet your needs.

USPS is encouraging employees to explore their retirement options in April, which is Financial Literacy Month. The Financial Wellness LiteBlue page has more information.

Source: Link

Grand Slam Stamp Features 'Little Mo'

Maureen Connolly Brinker (1934-1969) began competing in the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association as a teenager and notched her first major singles tournament victory in 1951, winning the United States Championships (now called the U.S. Open).

In 1952, she won the Wimbledon crown for the first time. The following year, she became the first woman to capture the single-season Grand Slam of tennis, winning the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Championships.

Since then, no American singles player has won all four majors in a calendar year. Only two men and three women have achieved that feat.

Connolly’s brilliant career ended abruptly in 1954 when she severely injured
her leg in a horseback riding accident.

She died of cancer at age 34 in 1969.

The stamp features an oil painting by Gregory Manchess of the tennis star hitting a low volley. The portrait is based on a 1952 black-and-white photo. Derry Noyes, a USPS art director, designed the stamp.

Source: Link

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Dog Attack Safety Tips for Carriers

National Dog Bite Prevention Week is a public service campaign that offers safety tips and emphasizes the need for increased owner responsibility in the prevention of dog attacks.

From nips and bites to vicious attacks, aggressive dog behavior poses a serious threat to our employees.

Make an effort every day to do the following:  

  • Carry dog repellent.
  • Update Dog Warning cards, if necessary. The safety of your coworkers starts with you.
  • Take messages on your Mobile Delivery Device (MDD) seriously when you receive an alert about hazards, such as dogs, on your route.
  • Report any dog incidents, i.e. close calls, to your supervisor. An "almost bite" today could be a "bite" tomorrow.
Remember these simple rules: 
  • If approached by a dog, resist the impulse to scream and run away. Running will trigger a chase response.
  • Remain still, place your satchel between you and the dog, and avoid eye contact with the dog.
  • Once the dog has calmed down, back away. Do not turn your back on a dog because a fearful dog may unexpectedly bite.
  • Be aware of your surroundings to protect yourself: Stay alert at all times, carefully observe the area, don't wear earbuds or Bluetooth devices that could affect your ability to hear what is going on around you.
  • Be aware of common places dogs may hide, i.e. under parked cars, under hedges, or on porches.
  • Rattle the gate before entering a fenced-in yard.
If you encounter a dog: 
  • Never assume that a dog won't bite, even if it has been friendly in the past. Any dog can bite.
  • Always keep your eye on the dog. Dogs are more likely to bite when you aren't  looking.
  • Never startle a dog. If it is asleep, make some kind of non-startling noise, such as a soft whistling, or call its name if you know the dog. Do this before getting close to the dog to ensure time and space for an "out." Never reach out and pet the dog.
  • Stand your ground. Turn and face the dog. Hold something like your satchel in front of you and slowly back away to ensure you don't stumble and fall. Never turn and run!
  • Keep at least one full can of dog repellent spray within reach at all times. If a dog attacks, use the repellent to protect yourself. Before going on your route, make sure  your can has not expired.
Use these preventative measures:

No one likes a surprise, Fill out a Dog Warning card for your route so the information can be entered into the system and sent via MDD.

Notify your supervisor that there is an unresolved dog hazard that makes you fearful on the route.

Remember: Safety depends on you!
National Dog Bite Prevention Week is a registered trademark of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Dog Bite Prevention Tips

National Dog Bite Prevention Week is April 14-20.

The Victims
Last year, many attacks reported by letter carriers came from dog owners who regularly used the phrase, "My dog won't bite."
How to Avoid Being Bitten
  • Don't run past a dog whose natural instinct is to charge people who run.
  • If a dog threatens you, don't scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain still until the dog leaves, and then slowly back away until the dog is out of sight.
  • Don't approach a strange dog, especially one that's tethered or confined.
  • While letter carriers are discouraged from petting animals, people who choose to pet a dog always should let a dog see and sniff them before petting the animal.
  • If a dog is about to attack, try to place something like a satchel, backpack, or bicycle between yourself and the dog.
How to be a Responsible Dog Owner
Obedience training can teach dogs proper behavior and help owners control their dog in any situation. When a letter carrier comes to the home, keep dogs:
  • Inside the house or behind a fence
  • Away from the door 
  • In another room, or
  • On a leash.
Dogs can be protective of their territory and may interpret the actions of letter carriers as a threat.

Take precautions when accepting mail in the presence of your pet.

Dogs that haven't been properly socialized, receive little attention or handling, or are left tied up for long periods may become biters.

National Dog Bite Prevention Week is a registered trademark of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Retirement and TSP for FERS

If you're a Postal Service employee who is enrolled in the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), are you on track to meet your goals?  

You should know that replacing your income in retirement requires a combination of your annuity, Social Security benefits and Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) contributions.

A 30-year employee who earns $50,000 a year will need $600,000 in his or her TSP account to replace 100 percent of their income.

If a FERS employee contributes five percent to his or her TSP, the Postal Service will match it, doubling the contribution.

FERS employees who aren’t contributing a minimum of five percent to their TSP aren’t taking full advantage of the program.

You can use the Federal Ballpark Estimate page to calculate approximately how much you’ll need to save for a comfortable retirement.

USPS is encouraging employees to explore their retirement options in April, which is Financial Literacy Month. The Financial Wellness LiteBlue page has more information.

Source: Link 

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Monday, April 15, 2019

Retirement Readiness and Your TSP

It’s never too soon to start planning for retirement — and that means thinking about your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account.

The TSP is a retirement savings program for federal workers. On average, seven out of eight Postal Service employees contribute to the TSP.

You can’t control your Social Security benefits and you can’t control how your annuity is calculated, but you have full control over your TSP account.

If you’re under the Federal Employees Retirement System and you contribute at least five percent of your basic pay toward TSP, you 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.

If you aren’t sure how much money you’ll need in retirement, you can use the online Federal Ballpark Estimate page to calculate approximately how much you need to save to fund a comfortable retirement.

When you’re ready, you can go to LiteBlue and use PostalEASE to make changes to your TSP account. You can also call the Human Resources Shared Service Center at 877-477-3273 and use the interactive voice response system to make changes.

The Financial Wellness LiteBlue page has videos and other resources to help you prepare for retirement. The TSP site also has information.

Source: Link

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Promoting the Brand in Doral

Recently, Miami-Dade County Postal Customer Council (MDCPCC) joined the Doral Chamber of Commerce to share with their membership the benefits of Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM). Business Development Specialist (BDS) Theresa Fondon delivered the presentation on this affordable, targeted advertising technique that lets customers map their marketing mail audience by age, income, or household size. Attendees gathered at the Doral Government Center for her presentation. 
District Business Development Specialist Theresa Fondon (above, standing) delivered an informative Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) presentation to Doral Chamber of Commerce members.
Doral Chamber of Commerce President Manny Sarmiento (above, standing) updated attendees on the development of Doral 
Doral Chamber of Commerce President Manny Sarmiento (above, left) and Manager, Marketing Juan Nadal (above, right) compared their bold, colorful designer socks, which has become a “happy socks” tradition at each meeting. 

Photos: Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Mirtha Uriarte