Mail Carriers Receive Some Love on Feb. 4 in the U.S.

On Saturday, Feb. 4, a specific group of U.S. Postal Service workers will get some much-needed love. 

They are mail carriers, those often blue-uniformed workers who deliver and collect mail six days a week in rainstorms, snowstorms, and blistering temperatures in cities and rural areas. In addition to ensuring mail delivery during the week, they often provide this critical service on weekends and holidays. 

These U.S. Postal Service couriers are honored for their hard work each year on National Mail Carrier Day, observed this year on Feb. 4. 

Postal Workers in the U.S.

Even though the Postal Service workers aren't technically federal employees because it's an independent government agency, they get all the same benefits. The federal government provides a defined benefit pension to the Postal Service, which guarantees employees a retirement benefit based on their age and number of years of service. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2021, there were 709,282 civilian employees in the U.S. Postal Service (405,762 male and 303,520 female), down from 716,936 in 2010. As of 2022, USPS entry-level employees could earn an average of $20 per hour without benefits. 

There is currently a nationwide postal carrier shortage. On the USPS website, jobs for city carrier assistant, rural carrier associate, and assistant rural carrier are among the career opportunities listed. 

A postal worker who retired in 2020 with 25 years of service would make a basic monthly annuity between $1,308 and $1,335, according to a Monthly FERS Annuity Payments for Letter Carriers Who Retire on Jan. 1, 2020 document.

Employees who are newly hired may be eligible for Social Security benefits. Other postal workers may also qualify for benefits depending on when the service hired the employees and what programs they paid into. 

Before 1983, postal workers did not pay Social Security taxes. Instead, they paid into the Civil Service Retirement System, or CSRS, a different benefit program. Workers who stayed in CSRS after 1983 cannot collect Social Security benefits

Postal workers who started paying Social Security taxes after 1983 and left CSRS might not qualify for Social Security payments if they had less than 30 years of substantial earnings. 

Postal workers hired after 1983 pay into the Federal Employees Retirement System and qualify for Social Security benefits. 

Honoring Mail Carriers

Feb. 4 is an excellent time to thank a mail carrier for their service, according to the folks at Their website provides some history of the U.S. Postal Service and offers a few ideas to get in on the observance. Can't thank a mail carrier in person, leave a note in a mailbox, the site suggests.  

Put a stamp on it - switching from email and text to mailing a letter or postcard - is another way to support the U.S. Postal Service, suggests the national observance site. 

Pre-Fame Postal Workers

There have been quite a few famous people who started out as postal workers, including two U.S. presidents. According to the U.S. Postal Service, Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman were postmasters before becoming presidents. 

Lincoln was appointed postmaster of New Salem, Illinois, on May 7, 1833, and served until May 30, 1836, when the office closed. Although technically Truman held the title, Lincoln was the only future present who truly served in the position. 

According to the USPS, Truman briefly held the title. As soon as he was named postmaster, he signed paperwork to turn the position over to an assistant. 

The national observance site lists other famous names who worked at post offices: actor Bing Crosby, who was a mail clerk; Walt Disney, who was a substitute mail carrier; and actor Rock Hudson, who was a letter carrier in Winnetka, Illinois.

About the Author:
Allen Jones is director of communications and event marketing at TEXPERS. He can be reached at [email protected]. LinkedIn: @allenjones1974


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