Praises Provisions to Allow Postal Service to Use Pension Surplus to Prefund Retirement Health Liabilities.
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 2, 2010 – Today Mark Strong, President of the National League of Postmasters submitted a Statement to a Senate Subcommittee concerning S.3831 that opposed provisions in the measure lowering Standards for Rural Postal Services and making it easier to close small rural post offices. “This bill lowers the standard for rural postal services. Anytime such a standard is lowered, and an institution is told that it no longer has to provide the maximum degree of service but only ‘effective’ service, the result is going to be reduced service,” said Strong.
The League also strongly supported a provision in the bill that would allow the Postal Service to use a surplus in its pension fund to prefund its retiree health obligations. This transfer measure has mistakenly been called a “bailout” by a number of commentators. “This is our money, not tax money,” said Strong, “and if Microsoft or Apple found that it had overpaid into its pension account and wanted to use that surplus to prefund its retiree health benefit obligation, no one would think twice about it. Why is the Postal Service different?” said Strong.
The Bill, sponsored by Senator Tom Carper (D. Del.) was a subject of hearing earlier today before the Senate Federal Financial Management, Government information, Federal Services, and International Security Subcommittee.
Senator Susan Collins (R. Me.) also introduced a bill earlier today that would allow the Postal Service to use its pension surplus to prefund its retiree health benefit. The Collins Bill does not lower rural delivery standards. “The Collins approach is a much better approach and we are very supportive of almost all the provisions in the bill,” said Strong, “although a few glitches with some of the language encouraging increased co-location of postal and retail facilities and language concerning arbitration do need to be worked out.”
The LEAGUE is the nation’s oldest Postmaster organization, which was formed in the late 1800s.