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The governors also cited “the results he achieved in implementing a number of process improvements that maintained service while lowering costs, his significant staff reductions, [and] his development of a comprehensive plan to guide the Postal Service for the next decade.”

The Postal Service said in filings that the postmaster’s compensation still lags behind the pay of chief executives in the private sector. In addition, a recent audit by the Postal Service’s office of inspector general said the agency was permitted to offer additional benefits beyond money paid out in their regular salaries. For 2009, up to 12 officers or critical employees could receive compensation up to 120 percent of the total annual compensation of the vice president, or $272,760 for 2009, the report said.

In addition, the inspector general’s office said postal executives are allowed to receive additional benefits not subject to the compensation cap. For 2009, six of 44 postal officers were given a total of $502,395 in deferred compensation, the inspector general found.

Mr. Potter retires effective Dec. 3 after 32 years with the Postal Service and nearly a decade as postmaster general. His salary and incentive bonus payment, coupled with $219,000 in pension and other earnings, brought his overall compensation package to $798,000, records show.

But almost $220,000 was an increase in the value of his civil service retirement account based on an Office of Personnel Management formula.