It’s not there because the union doesn’t like the idea of assistants, as it was rammed down its throat by an arbitrator, AND it creates a second tier of employee.
One that isn’t career and thus isn’t eligible for many benefits enjoyed by career employees -- until elevation to career status, usually after at least a year:
http://about.usps.com/news/state-releas ... 3_0313.htm
http://www.npmhu.org/media/update/welco ... assistants
I’m not sure about their union, but the carrier union offers its assistants a retirement savings plan that can be transferred into TSP once the assistants make career status:
http://www.nalc.org/member-benefits/bod ... me_cca.pdf
Note the box in the lower right-hand corner of the page:
“When CCAs [city carrier assistants] become career employees, they can join the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and will have the option to transfer their funds from the MBA [Mutual Benefit Association].”
But, as many people at this site have noted, the TSP is a poor retirement savings vehicle, and one can do much better elsewhere, through Roth or traditional IRAs. The only real advantage of TSP is the employer match, which mail handler assistants won’t enjoy until they achieve career status. If the nephew contributes to an IRA during his assistantship, he should keep that IRA once he achieves career status – and continue contributing to it once he’s maximized the employer match to TSP.
But even that is not the real issue: The “postal service” is bankrupt and on its last legs – not a place to seek one’s future, still less to retire from:
http://www.heritage.org/research/report ... ure#_ftn13
http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/magazine/co ... 885070.htm
http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2015/0 ... ce/111976/?
Sure, the MHA position is OK as a temporary job (which it is) for a young person.
But for one’s future and, especially, one’s retirement, one should keep looking elsewhere.
But Koastiek's suggestion is a good one too and worth pursuing.
Linehan have you heard about the "0" hours employment system in England? You are employed, but have no idea how many hours you will work in a week. Think you could put food on the table working in that system?
I agree that an IRA is the best option but have to be careful not to overstep my bounds with respect to my brother.
I'm very pro union and he's already joined, but I also want him to form a habit of living within his means "after" savings.
He's only 21, so his opportunities are golden if he starts now.
I prefer the TSP at this point because of auto deposit. If he doesn't see it, he won't spend it.
Health insurance: I believe he can remain under his parents til age 26.
Thanks for the feedback, I'll update when I have more answers.
crondanet5 wrote:Approach your brother on the idea of the TSP participation is a deferred pay raise he'll get later when he can really use it.
Cron, I would like to but my brother is totally non-approachable. I love'em but have to accept him for who he is.
I can talk to my nephew about the TSP but I don't think he's eligible as a non career worker.
“MHAs also will have limited access to subsidized health insurance in accordance with the Affordable Care Act.”
http://www.postal-reporter.com/blog/usp ... ion-award/
That is, they not covered under the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program.
Just as they are not eligible for FERS-FRAE.
“If you are an eligible career employee, you may enroll in or change your TSP at any time.
“If you are a newly-hired career employee, you are eligible to make a TSP election at any time. You will automatically receive an enrollment package by mail at your address of record shortly after your career appointment."
https://liteblue.usps.gov/humanresource ... plan.shtml?
MHAs, to repeat, are not career employees:
http://about.usps.com/news/state-releas ... 3_0313.htm
“The U.S. Postal Service is hiring for a new non-career Mail Handler Assistant position
“Starting pay is $13.75 an hour and there are limited employee benefits in the first year of employment.
“Hours of work will vary based on mail volume.”
And Koastiek’s advice is spot on:
“I would recommend that he call his HR Specialist (Benefits Section) and follow that conversation up with an e-mail back to him or her so there is no miscommunication.”
For the PO, the main HR answer center is:
Shared Human Resources Center
HRSSC/Compensation & Benefits
PO Box 970400
Greensboro, NC 27497-0400
Call: HRSSC at 1-877-477-3273
Note, no email address.
The place is reviewed here:
http://gethuman.com/contact/USPS-Human- ... -Services/
Note average wait time: 31 minutes.
And the following comments:
• “Helped me very well. Once they understood my questions. Now all I have to do is wait for the packet in the mail. Hopefully all the forms will be in there!”
• “Wuold be nice if someone would answer the phone”
• “Referred to another number”
• “good.but did not resolve my issue”
So be prepared with whatever questions you have if you call that number: The position is Mail Handler Assistant, it is non-career, and it isn’t eligible for FEHBP or FERS-FRAE.
That way, you and your nephew can avoid the “miscommunication” Koastiek mentioned.
And get an email address for followup, as s/he suggested.
Your nephew should also check with his union to see if it offers retirement savings plans for MHAs, as the NALC does for CCAs.
IRA contributions can be deducted from one’s paycheck, just like TSP and bank deposits. Check on that, too. For the PO, the place one does that is PostalEASE, which can be accessed by phone or internet.
As for “He's only 21, so his opportunities are golden if he starts now,” Absolutely!
Here’s how one can provide one’s own retirement financing program:
http://www.fedsmith.com/2013/02/06/can- ... -security/
You can perform the calculations made in the above article yourself at:
Meanwhile, keep looking for a better job than USPS mail handler assistant.
Sure, CSI, and as his loving uncle, you could start an IRA for your nephew, then turn it over to him to fund himself.
The FedSmith article talks about $76 a month contribution.
Imagine what would happen with $100!
Then momentum would be on your side -- Big Time!
The possibilities are many.
And the miracle of compounding glorious!
crondanet5 wrote:Can the nephew join the union?
Yep, he's already joined.
rlinehan wrote:Sure, CSI, and as his loving uncle, you could start an IRA for your nephew, then turn it over to him to fund himself.
Spot On, that's my plan, and when he see's ETFs like EURL and NUGT outperform it will perk his interest.
Thanks all, very helpful!