26,500 employees accept Postal Service buyout

Postal employees sort mail in San Francisco in 2007. Postal employees sort mail in San Francisco in 2007. Ben Margot/AP file photo

About 26,500 U.S. Postal Service employees have accepted the agency’s latest buyout offers, according to updated figures.

This amounts to about 23 percent of the more than 115,000 employees who were eligible for the separation incentive. They will each receive $15,000 in compensation.

About 20,000 of those who chose to leave the Postal Service were eligible for retirement, while about 6,000 opted for voluntary early retirement. An additional 352 employees chose to resign.

The new figures represent about 3,000 additional employees who accepted the buyout since the last update on Nov. 28. Full-time employees had until Dec. 3 to accept the offer, while part-time workers had until Jan. 4. The number is subject to change, as employees can still back out until their Feb. 28 departure date.

USPS, which lost $16 billion in fiscal 2012, intends to reduce its workforce by 150,000 by 2015.

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