What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close

USPS repeats request for access to billions in retirement overpayments

Witnesses appearing before a Senate subcommittee on May 17 to testify on the financial state of the U.S. Postal Service reiterated requests for Congress to ease costly requirements to prefund retiree health benefits, and to give the Postal Service access to billions of dollars in USPS overpayments into federal retirement systems.

Witnesses appearing before a Senate subcommittee on May 17 to testify on the financial state of the U.S. Postal Service reiterated requests for Congress to ease costly requirements to prefund retiree health benefits, and to give the Postal Service access to billions of dollars in USPS overpayments into federal retirement systems.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told the financial management subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs that without comprehensive legislation to address those issues, USPS likely will default on a $5.5 billion prepayment for future retiree health benefits due Sept. 30 — in spite of aggressive cost-control measures already implemented by the agency.

USPS has been asking Congress for several years to alter the payment schedule contained in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, which requires USPS to make payments each year to prefund retiree health benefits. Since the bill took effect, USPS said it has put $20.9 billion into the Retiree Health Benefit Trust Fund.

Donahoe also repeated a request for Congress to give USPS access to billions in overpayments to federal retirement systems: A number of audits that have indicated that the Postal Service has made $50 billion to $75 billion in overpayments to the Civil Service Retirement System, and $6.9 billion in overpayments to the Federal Employees Retirement System.

Cliff Guffey, president of the American Postal Workers Union, also testified in support of the moves.

“It bears emphasis that this is not a request for a subsidy or bailout of the Postal Service,” Guffey said. “The Postal Service is very capable of dealing with the challenges it is facing because of declining mail volume and a shift to electronic transmissions. What it cannot sustain is the burden of the unique and unreasonable retirement that it prefund its retiree health benefits over a 10-year period without access to the billions of dollars by which it already has overfunded CSRS and FERS retirement benefits.”

USPS noted in a statement that a bill introduced May 17 by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), subcommittee chairman, addresses the financial issues USPS faces, as well as allows USPS to move to a five-day delivery schedule to garner estimated annual savings of $3.1 billion.

Related Articles

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above
Subscribe Now!