Workplace issues

Maintaining membership in retirement

To retain NALC membership, retiring members must sign a Form 1189 (Dues Check-off Provision).

Article 2, Section 1(e) of the NALC Constitution establishes this requirement:

“A Form 1189 (Dues Check-off Provision) must be signed by all retiring members within the NALC who wish to retain their membership in said organization, effective October 1, 1982.”

The Form 1189 authorizes the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to deduct union dues from retiree annuities.

How much are retiree dues?

National per capita dues for retirees are $7 annually. This is established in Article 2 Section 7b of the NALC Constitution. Some state associations and some branches charge additional dues. Branch retiree dues, if any, are established in each branch’s by-Laws.

How do I pay the dues?

By direct deduction from your OPM annuity, on a monthly basis. Unless you retired prior to October 1, 1982, this is a requirement for all retirees who receive an annuity. See the NALC Constitution, Section 1 (e). You authorize OPM to make the deductions by signing Form 1189.

How do I get a Form 1189?

Generally, NALC HQ mails all recently retired members a packet that includes Form 1189 when it is notified by the Postal Service of a retirement. The form is also available from many branch offices, from your NBA office or by calling the NALC Headquarters switchboard at 202-393-4695.

What do I do with the Form 1189 after signing it?

After completing and signing the Form 1189, retirees must submit it to a branch officer. A local branch officer must also sign the Form 1189 and then submit it to NALC Headquarters.

What is a CSA number and is it important to include it on the Form 1189?

The CSA number is an identifier assigned by OPM to each specific retirement application. It is imperative that every Form 1189 include the CSA number, because OPM uses that number to distinguish between retirement annuities for retirees with the same names. OPM cannot process a Form 1189 without the CSA number.

What should I do if I don’t know my CSA number?

Retirees should locate a letter or other communication that has been received from OPM. Every OPM communication to a retiree will include the CSA number. If unable to locate any OPM communication, branch officers who receive a signed Form 1189 without a CSA number should contact the retiree and ask him or her to find a communication that has been received from OPM, and thereby obtain the CSA number. Branch officers who are unable to obtain a CSA number should contact the Retirement Department. (Click here for contact information.)

What are the advantages of remaining a member of the NALC in retirement?

  • Free insurance. Every retired member is covered by a free $5,000 accidental death policy through NALC’s Mutual Benefit Association.
  • Assistance in solving problems with OPM provided by the NALC Retirement Department.
  • Information is provided about important retirement-related legislative proposals through The Postal Record, the NALC’s monthly magazine.
  • Continued participation in NALC governance. Retired NALC members retain the right to vote in branch, state and national elections; to vote on motions at branch meetings; and to hold office.  See NALC Constitution, Article 2, Section 1 (a).
  • A voice on Capitol Hill. The NALC actively lobbies congress on issues related to the Postal Service and retiree benefits.
  • The cost is very low. National dues for retired members are only $7 annually. Many state associations and branches charge no dues at all, or very low annual dues.  In cases where the retiree retains the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan (FEHB) and is covered by the NALC Health Plan, in almost every case, the annual retiree membership dues will be less than the $35 annual charge for non-members.

Why does the NALC encourage retirees to maintain membership?

Both active and retired members benefit greatly from the direct participation of retirees in the governance of the NALC. Retirees provide a conduit for the history and the traditions of both the letter carrier craft and the NALC to new generations of letter carriers. They provide a focus on the fight to obtain, preserve and improve retirement benefits— a fight that profits both retirees and current employees. They play a prominent role in legislative outreach, and have done so since 1939, when the Hatch Act was enacted. (Although the Hatch Act Reform Amendments of 1993 repealed some of the more onerous restrictions on active letter carrier political activity, retired members remain completely free from those restrictions.)