Postmaster General exiting with generous compensation package


The U.S. Postal Service may be struggling, but outgoing Postmaster General John Potter can count on a comfortable array of benefits to sustain him after he steps down Dec. 3, according to a rundown included in the U.S. Postal Service’s 10-K report made public Monday.

Chief among them is almost $3.1 million in pension benefits accumulated during his 32 years with the Postal Service. In that respect, Potter would appear to be no different from any other USPS employee with a similar salary history and tenure in the Civil Service Retirement System.

But he will also be able to tap a separate pension created for him by the Postal Service’s Board of Governors in 2001, payable on his achieving specific performance goals. That pension is now worth about $1.35 million; the board froze it in 2007 in favor of direct performance incentives.

In addition, Potter, whose fiscal 2010 base salary was $273,296, also has built up more than $881,000 in deferred compensation–including interest–for awards and incentives earned since the 1990s that he will now be able to draw out in 10 annual installments, Postal Service spokesman Gerry McKiernan said.

“There’s no golden parachute,” McKiernan said of the overall compensation package. “All of this is earned money based on contractual agreements, based on predetermined performance award agreements when he was not postmaster general.” As far as Potter’s base pension goes, McKiernan said, “he should be lucky to live so long to get the total amount.”

Potter is also in line for a lump sum payment worth almost $244,000 for unused annual leave, may receive USPS-paid health insurance for a year and is eligible for up to two years of outplacement assistance, the 10-K report says.

The document includes similar compensation rundowns for Potter’s successor, Deputy Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, and other top USPS executives. Potter’s compensation was first reported by The Washington Post.

Although Potter,  postmaster general since 2001,  is credited with enhancing productivity and cutting costs, he is leaving on the heels of news that the Postal Service docked a $8.5 billion loss in fiscal 2010. In the 10-K report, the Postal Service  defended its pay practices, noting that the agency ranked 92nd on Fortune Magazine 2010 list of the top 500 global corporations.

“Even in these challenging economic times,” the report says, “comparably sized companies typically provide their top executives with annual salaries well in excess of $1 million and total compensation and benefits valued at several million dollars.”


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  1. I thought employees could only keep so much annual leave.
    Boy he’s sure getting a lot of bonuses! We can’t even get one on the craft level! Can’t see the new PM doing anything different than the old one. Hold the people on the bottom accountable but you at the top can retire with millions in bonuses with a failing business. What has the PM done for the craft employees-Nothing!!! After 42 years of Postal Duty I can’t get an incentive to retire & am dogged daily by mgt. to work faster with more territory. By the way I am currently on light duty due to my 2nd knee replacement.
    Oops I forgot there is no light duty for an injured employee anymore. 42 years with no bonuses & bionic knees. I feel sorry for PM Potter forced to retire with millions in bonuses & failing to run a profitable business. Also thanks to our politicians who will make the Postal Service a thing of the past. In the Kevin Costner film “Postman” cast in a distant future, a child asks ” What Is A Postman?” I guess our children will ask “What Is A Post Office?”

  2. bogus. as a civil service person after 33 1/2 years all i will get is 63.25% of my hi 3. how does this guy rate like 6 or 7 times his salary

  3. Postmaster Potter destroyed public opionion of the USPS gave the worst customer service in the history of the post office. Fired all disabled employees that were not able to work the position that they were injured in, or kept them on Post Office Rolls for one to two hours a day so they could be let go in one year, meantime these employees are starving, losing their homes, cars, marriages, without compensation from the Dept of Labor and they are in a state of shock and depression. Mr. Potter has no worries he gets to live in his million dollar home with his cushy retirement and health benefits while advocating that workers are paid to much and we should get a whole new work force paid minimum wage. Carriers or clerks that do get put on the rolls of OWCP get to live in constant fear that they will be the next target of a corrupt system that is out to get them and prove that they are fraudulantly collecting benefits of workers comp. The post office has a unique way of turning all workers against injured employees so people will not claim on the job injury. But if a carrier, inspector, clerk or mailhandler, do break a leg, arm, hand or their back while working they better get completely well within a year or they will be put out the door with the rest of the trash. The Post Office Bankrupt- not on your life. If we were facing the possibility of Bankruptsy Postmasters, managers, legal experts, inspectors, would be the first to lose their big paycheck and retirement, million dollar homes, government cars, government credit cards etc.

    Thanks Mr. Potter as a Postal Customer I can honestly say your transformation plan certainly is going as planned. The Post Office is now on the verge of the change you hoped and planned for. Privatization and you got rich in the process. I hope you enjoy the rest of your life and your cushy retirement and health plan. If you see me on the street corner begging, or you get the slow old waitress that can barely walk dont cross the street give me that winning smile and toss me a dollar or two, maybe I’ll get to eat or stay in a warm shelter that day and Thanks.

  4. As a weekly sometimes daily routine, we are told how we are failing at the smallest of tasks. Meanwhile we take care of hundreds of people everyday. Answer questions. deliver mail distribute mail sell stamps the list goes on…. And to have someone from the “management team” tell me our PM is not happy with our performance???? HE who sits and texts his buddies and does personal errands daily while “working” HE WHO DOES Almost nothing? Is there nothing to go by that shows how much I have contributed compared to them? Have I lost any grievances? Have I failed my employees and let something get out of hand that could cause Court cases and harrassment charges. How much can a PM lose cash amounts on wrongfully firing people or not following proper procedure? OR ALLOWING THIS CRAP TO GO ON IN A BUSINESS that he was running?

  5. another example of corporate america pissing on working people, when will we rise up and demand an end to this type of outrageous raping of the system, not to mention how this selfish scumbag ran the usps into the ground, and treated postal employees. i am under the FERS retirement system, which means i have NO POSTAL RETIREMENT, my retirement consists of social security, and the money in my retirement fund thanks to mr potter and those before him, i will NOT be able to enjoy ANY retirement, that’s if the post office survives until i die.

  6. usps and the union cant evem come up with a contract, but this scumbag potter gets a 4 million dollar pension. whatsthe hell is wrong with this picture. i thought the po is in red?

  7. Those in charge are completely inept, from the bottom to the top. It’s CYA all the way, and blame the serfs for the problem. Kinda like Congress. Well, no, exactly like Congress.

  8. Steve Schwichow on

    Outgoing PMG Potter sure is lucky to retire with all his bonuses! I get to retire with 72% of my salary. After taxes,
    I think I will owe money hahaha!

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