CCA Whisperer by Ramon Lawson

Converting to career status: what all new full-time employees should know

Over the past few months several City Carrier Assistants (CCA’s) have been converted to full-time regular carriers. First let me congratulate you on this great accomplishment. Becoming a full-time carrier means that you are now entitled to all the wages, rights and benefits that go with it. The wages are set and can be found on our website The rights are contained in our National Agreement and local contracts. The benefits aren’t so readily available so I am writing this article to enlighten you on a few things that you should know when you become a full-time regular carrier.

Carriers have 60 days after conversion to enroll in a Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHBP) health insurance plan (it’s best to enroll through the USPS LiteBlue website and PostalEASE)

If you miss the 60 day mark your next opportunity to enroll will be during open season in November, unless you have a qualifying life event such as marriage, child birth, etc..

Coverage begins the first day of the first pay period after the carrier signs up online or submits an electronic form.

Upon conversion, employees are automatically enrolled in basic life insurance unless they waive coverage.

Basic life insurance, including accidental death and dismemberment, begins the first day in a pay and duty status after conversion.

The value of the policy is the letter carrier’s annual salary, rounded up to the next $1000, plus $2000.

USPS pays the entire cost of basic insurance.

Once converted, letter carriers are enrolled in the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).

FERS is made up of 3 components: Basic Benefit Plan, Social Security and Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). This is your retirement.

Basic Benefit and Social Security are automatic, so the USPS just withholds what you pay each pay day.

TSP is what you can make contributions to and the USPS will match up to 5%. If you don’t contribute anything USPS will still contribute 1% each pay day.


The information above is for educational purposes for the newly converted full-time regulars. If you have any questions about this or anything else related to being converted, please contact your local union steward, the union hall or me directly. I would be glad to assist you in anyway that I can. Until next time Peace, Love and safe City Streets!!!


Ramon Lawson

NALC Branch 78 Trustee and Formal A Representative