Union membership and dues


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.”


About Author

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


  1. Hello, I am a Dual Status Technician for the National Guard. I enrolled in the APWU health plan when I started my career this may. I recently received a notice for 2 years of due fees totaling $70. Is my organization exempt from paying the associate dues? Thank you in advance for your response

    • I am a member of Local 2 in SF CA. I retired on 30 /08/2016. I had a big problem , the Administration of local 2 or local 2 , send a letter to cut the services for my wife and I to Kaiser hospital started June. 1 2020 because I don’t have enough hour or I was fired … they didn’t provide the form SF 1188. I when on Dec2016 if I had due to local 2 , she toll me yes $14 started charge me for year and half or more cashier put leave my job. for a while, I think! This month I received a letter during whole 2020 Unite Discounted from my pension $70.80 each moths paying my wife Kaiser and for me I have APWU. I’m going crazy! Thank

      • The problem you have is between you and your union. As a result, it falls outside the boundaries of this forum.

  2. I recently retired from DOD. I got a bill for dues for last year (I was actively employed) and this year (I am retired). Do I need to pay these Associate Member dues to keep my APWU health insurance? Thanks.

  3. I retired July 31 2018 I still pay union dues but I was told to make sure I’m paying retirement dues instead of on clock employee dues, thanking you in advance for your help.

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