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.”