Veteran's preference for RIF


Q: With the possibility that the U.S. Postal Service may eventually be faced with a reduction in force, I would like information concerning Veteran Preference Status. I have been a postal employee for 32 years. Although I served in the Air Force for seven years, I received no veteran’s preference points upon hiring, as my service was not within the years prescribed for this preference. However, since that time, my military spouse has been rated as 100 percent disabled and was retired from active duty on a disability pension. I understand that I can receive the 10-point veteran preference status through “derived” preference due to his disability. What do I need to submit to the postal service to have this information in my records, since I understand that it may make a difference during a RIF?

A: According to OPM, “Ten points are added to the numerical score of spouses, widows, widowers, or mothers of veterans.  This type of preference is usually referred to a “Derived preference” because it is based on service of a veteran who is not able to use the preference.  To receive 10-point preference (XP) the applicant must submit a SF-15 form and provide the required supporting documentation stipulated on the SF-15.” You can get a copy of the form from your personnel office or download a copy at, click on Find Form(s).


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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