Q. I am a postal worker and an APWU member under FERS. I belong to the APWU health plan. I plan to keep this plan when I retire as a supplement of Medicare Part B. Since this plan is offered under FEHB, do I now and will I then have to be and continue to be a member of the APWU? Their union dues continue to increase, and I don’t want to continue if I don’t have to, but I also don’t want to be dropped from the plan if I discontinue my membership.
A. No, you won’t have to pay union dues when you retire to continue your enrollment in the APWU health benefits plan. If you open your 2012 APWU plan brochure, you’ll see the following: “All active Postal Service APWU bargaining unit employees must be, or must become, dues-paying members of the APWU, to be eligible to enroll in the Health Plan. All federal employees, other Postal Service employees in non-APWU bargaining units, and ANNUITANTS [emphasis added]will automatically become associate members of APWU upon enrollment in the APWU Health Plan. … Associate members will be billed by the APWU for the $35 annual membership fee, except where exempt by law.”