Bipartisan Postal Reform Members Ask GAO to Settle Postal “Overpayment Issue” Once and for All

Unions Claim USPS is “Owed” $75 Billion. OPM Disagrees. Bipartisan Lawmakers Ask for GAO to Settle the Dispute
Washington, Sep 30, 2011-

Lakeland, FL – Congressman Dennis A. Ross (R-FL), Chairman of the Federal Workforce, Postal Service & Labor Policy Subcommittee, today released a copy of a letter sent to GAO, signed by the bipartisan leadership on the issue of postal reform.

Postal unions have consistently claimed the service is “owed” $75 billion because of “overpayments” into CSRS retirement funds.  This week’s nationwide protests at Congressional offices by postal employees was intended to underscore this claim.  OPM and editorial boards have consistently recognized no overpayment.  Republicans in the House remain committed to opposing any taxpayer bailout of the Postal Service and want to determine, once and for all, the extent of any financial issue, if any.

On top of the issue of a bailout, Chairman Ross, along with Full Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, has introduced HR 2309,  The Postal Reform Act ( that would address the challenges facing the Postal Service, require market reform and give postal leadership greater flexibility to operate the service as it was intended – like a business.

The letter to GAO was signed by and is as follows –

Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa
Rep. Dennis Ross
Rep. Elijah Cummings
Rep. Stephen Lynch
Chairman Sen. Joe Lieberman
Sen. Tom Carper
Sen. Susan Collins
Sen. Scott Brown


September 15, 2011
The Honorable Gene L. Dodaro
Comptroller General of the United States
U.S. Government Accountability Office
441 G St. NW
Washington, DC 20548

Dear Mr. Dodaro:

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is facing deteriorating financial conditions as mail volumes– the primary source of revenue–continue to decrease at faster rates than projected. USPS has experienced a cumulative net loss of nearly $20 billion over the last 5 fiscal years, including an $8.5 billion loss in 2010; and a reported net loss of $5.7 billion in the first 9 months of fiscal year 2011. By the end of this fiscal year, USPS projects that it will incur a $10 billion loss, experience a substantial cash shortfall, reach its $15 billion borrowing limit, and not be able to make its statutorily mandated $5.5 billion retiree health benefits payment to the federal government.

USPS, several members of the House and Senate, and a variety of stakeholders have proposed a number of operational and restructuring options to address USPS’s dire financial situation, and have also made certain claims and recommendations regarding the financing of its retirement obligations. Among these is the assertion by the USPS Office of Inspector General, the Postal Regulatory Commission, and two outside accounting firms these agencies contracted with that USPS has overfunded its obligations to the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) by as much as $75 billion. Legislation has been introduced in both the House and the Senate to give the Postal Service access to the funds it is alleged to have overpaid into CSRS. Meanwhile, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), its Office of Inspector General, and other stakeholders have called the existence of a USPS overpayment into CSRS into question.

Given the substantial amount of funds at issue, the potential impact on the OPM-administered CSRS fund of giving USPS access to the funds some believe it has overpaid, and the need to resolve conflicting information and positions about this issue, we request that GAO: (1) determine if the current methodology employed by OPM for allocating obligations between USPS and the federal government for CSRS is consistent with the law; (2) comment on the actuarial analysis the USPS IG and Postal Regulatory Commission are using in their assertion that OPM should refund the CSRS contributions in question; and (3) comment on (a) the potential impacts that such a refund would have on the CSRS fund and CSRS stakeholders, (b) USPS’s financial outlook, and (c) other impacts you may identify.

We would appreciate a briefing on these issues by the end of September with a report to follow by the end of October. If you have any questions, please contact …

39 thoughts on “Bipartisan Postal Reform Members Ask GAO to Settle Postal “Overpayment Issue” Once and for All

  1. Well several of you seem to think you know and alot dont.. I dont know about the BURRUS in the quote but it does not sound like the one we knew.. Lets talk about it like this all of the politicians and presidents and retired politicians collect more off the Gov YOU and Me paying higher taxes and they whine about a small increase on their share HA! we dont get enough at the Postal service to say boo we are so top heavy w manangement it sux layer on layer all trying to make number games and breaking the rules and the contract provisions. All of you who are jellous about the fact we have a UNION to help protect what we have bargained to get and loose, whine because you have not take the stand to get something good for yourself like a buch opf little kids wanting the ice cream and not finishing your regular meal first GO TO BED BAD BOYS AND GIRLS!!

  2. Randal, shut your stupid mouth. You’re a friggin draft dodger and a dope. You have no idea how hard anyone works in the PS. Try working nights and weekends, year in and year out. Listen to stupid bosses who are only intereswted in numbers, even if they have to falsify them. Walk a route daly in all types of weather. Drop f-ing dead!

  3. I can see they want clarification but notice this letter does NOT use the term bailout AND that the USPS is funded by taxpayers – it IS NOT – and I’m wondering if Mr. Issa was misinformed of that fact when he authored HR 2309. Why not VERIFY that in the letter as well because it is a VERY DAMAGING statement about an entity that feed thousands of families, employs our military veterans, is a Top Recycler AND is the Most Trusted Branch of Government!

    Please watch youtube dot com slash postTruth and also visit SaveAmericasPostalService dot org

  4. The USPS has a 100% Pre-Funding mandate for their Retirment & Health Plans.

    HELLO,………. Why doesn’t the media or our Representatives tell us about the extreme difference in Pre-Funding Health and Retirement funding that the rest of the OPM (Federal Agencies) has to pay.

    The OPM has a 41% Pre-Funding Mandate for their Retirment, the Military has a 25% mandate for the same and the Pre-Funding Mandate for Health care for them is 0%.

    Why does the USPS have to pay 100% or more than DOUBLE what the rest of The Federal Gov’t has to pay???????

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but it seems that the USPS and especially their employee’s could operate a lot better financially, if they had the SAME Pre-Funding Mandate.

  5. Postal Service managers are to blame? Disabled veterans are to blame?

    The economy is changing. Congress is having difficulty with anything that doesn’t fund their party. Which party initiated this $5.5 billion dollar revenue source from the Postal Service?

    The Postal Service needs to relax the service standard, cut delivery to 5 days and be given the ability to get rid of slacker employees, craft and management.

    Nevermind, forget reality, go back to daydreaming.

  6. Annie – Do you think it’s possible that the Post Master General was bought out? Look at how low PMG Potter’s pockets were hanging when he resigned. This predicament didn’t happen over night, but odd it’s just recently come to light. I wonder if maybe Donohue was “kindly paid” to step out of the way and let the postal system “roll with the punches”. It reeks of corruption!

  7. District of Columbia Randall – Sounds like you’re an envious n’er do well who’s looking for a free ride. The meager price of postage guarantees the postal integrity and sanctity of your mail, compromised only by idiots risking felony charges for breaching that oath, and thieves. I would say the postal workers, mgmt excluded, reflect the national ratio of American workers/non-workers at approximately 75%/25%. The 75% carrying the load of 100%. So by and large, the majority of postal employees work their asses off every day to serve this country. The entry exam exists at a 5th grade level. Did you oversleep?

  8. This is just my opinion, but I think the PO has had these plans in the works for a few years now. I worked at a small MP plant that was consolidated – just like the rest of them across the country they want to close or consolidate – I feel the PO has known what they were going to, and are closing in to do so – management seems to care less about contracts with the union and just pay grievences as long as their plan goes through!

  9. Distrist Of Columbia Randell, you are not happy? No? You want $10 job at capoofs? Wait at Z table, i’ll be back.

  10. Randall,just because you are a DAV doesn’t mean you are getting 100% if you were then they wouldn’t let you work.If you think having a disability that you get compensated for is worth it you got another thing coming.Not to get into specifics but try having to ask someone to do things for you that you are not capable of and then trying to deal with that handicap every minute of every day.And if you have pain you deal with that too.You should be thankful everyday for what you have and stop calling people out that you don’t know.Yeah some postal employees are lazy,so are some people in every occupation.By the way what do you do?I came out of the service not in the condition I went in,didn’t feel sorry for myself and went to work for the P.O. I started as a carrier drove a truck and am a mechanic who hoisted conveyor belts,bearings,chains and pulleys sometimes 40 feet in the air,again my friend this is with a disability and there are quite a few vets like me who have done and do the same thing,so stop with the generalities.Like I said what do you do my friend?Making out like a bandit?I don’t know think so!

  11. Can’t any of you see the real problem? Big money is and has been behind this since Dubya made it a law in ’06 that the USPS is required to pay into a retirement fund for people that have not even been born yet! It’s a $5.5 billion dollar yearly pymt that was pushed through to put USPS out of business. If that was not the intent, and such a rediculous fund was actually warranted, would it not be more reasonable to pass a law for a percentage of the USPS profit? This was just enough to slowly strangle the postal service. Why? Could it be that the money hungry Wall Street vultures are licking their chops for a cut of the $1.3 trillion industry? Sure it is. Banks were de-regulated and here come the vultures to wipe the treasury out of trillions of our tax dollars. The banks cried because they “don’t have any money now and this country will bottom up if there’s not a bailout.” This was a scheme from the onset – and it worked out perfectly for those who invested in it’s success. So money was shoved into the 3 major banks of this country, only it didn’t go to pay off these mortgages, did it? Did anyone receive their mortgage title in the mail, compliments of the middle-class taxpayer? No, it went into the pockets of the very few that started the insane scheme of approving loans to those who couldn’t pay it back. Who makes loans like that? And who would then buy those loans? Big money! I say again, the vultures are gathering now for the $1.3 trillion communication network that will surely be the demise of this country. If we lose the only “uncontrollable” communication network that built this country, we then become slaves to the “Big Money”. Wake up America! The destruction of the USPS is manufactured. Our gov’t has been bought out and it’s destroying our open line of communication. Our children and grand-children will truly enjoy the freedom of working their asses off, with no health benefits or retirement. Won’t it be great for future Americans to be reliant solely on information provided by an already corrupt government? I hope I don’t live long enough to witness it!

  12. Yappi Yap Yap Yap, Randell do really think you can have a $50,000 plus annually job with benefits working for the post office these days? “F” are you in for a Big Surprize..LOL.

    You miss the train again fool.

  13. Hey Sam, since ur a disable veteran u probably get 100% from the government each month, huh! Then u probably get ur bi-monthly check for being in the USPS too! U dont need to rob a bank u r already makin out like a bandit!


  15. District of columbia randall,in life the worth of a man is determined by words and deeds,You have said it all in one sentence! Dude!? Sounds like something my daughters friends call one another,she is 18,’nuff said.

  16. at least I struck a nerve with Sam Drucker! First one out of the bunch of you who said nothing in regards to my previous comment bout “Veterans”!
    I do believe all of you Postal Workers are lazy individuals who do very little work! Majority of you are making $50,000 + annually without having a college education!
    We have 9.1% unemployment in the US today! Any one of these people would surely love to have your job with all the great benefits too! And most of all they are willing to work for $10-$15 per hour!
    PS….Sam I was a draft dodger in the Vietnam war…..dude

  17. District of Columbia Randall I don’t make it a habit of calling people names because it just starts a round of insults but as a Disabled American Veteran who is also a CSRS employee I think you have no respect for the people who put their life on the line for this country and that says it all about you!I am surprised more people did not comment about that stupid immature statement you made.

  18. Burrus. You had your chance. All you do now is just send out scare tactic letters (i unfortunately ran across your last one) and accuse anyone who isn’t a union fanatic of being a traitor or being a sell-out even if they’ve paid their dues. Basically a ‘march and protest or burn in hell’ routine. Some say you ditched us in a moment of actual crisis (rather than the usual doom-n-gloom drama that’s typically churned out by union newsletters). The union never did much for me and it’s virtually non-existent now at my plant. All they care about is the overtime list on their shift these days. And i read zip about our current union leader. But i’d rather hear nothing from a leader than hysterics. You’re done. You did fine during the good years. Go put your feet up on a beach somewhere.

  19. we overpaid $75 billion, we didn’t overpay $75 billion! i don’t know. now
    it looks like some are saying the answer lies in the semantics of
    how the question is asked? oh boy, this fiasco reminds me of the
    clinton/ lewinski investigation. all i know is postal officials, or the
    OIG never said a freaking word about paying in billions and billions more than they should be into csrs retirement. then the fiscal crisis hits and we have all this talk of $75 billion overpayment. postal management paid in $75 BILLION DOLLARS TOO MUCH AND THEY HAD NO *UCKING CLUE THEY WERE MAKING OVERPAYMENTS?? well, if this is the case, i don’t want the money returned to the same *ssholes that obviously were incompetent stewards
    of money the first time around. nothing will change for the better until
    postal management is held accountable. the sad truth is this pathetic group of losers don’t have the proper skills to successfully operate a lemonade stand let alone a $70 billion dollar company. these knucklheads survived because they had a monopoly and no real managemnt skills were needed. revenues usually increased and if not then the price of stamps was raised. now, we have the competitive factor of the internet. suddenly, real managerial skills are needed to guide the company through tough times. some leaders with business and leadrership skills are suddenly needed desperately for the united state postal service to meet the challenges. and what do we see and have? the same incompetent knuckheads in management have done nothing but make things worse! we see them cutting service and driving our customers to alternative business quicker! and the OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL IS ALSO PART OF THE PROBLEM. along with congress, these clowns are to provide the accountability of postal management. congress and the OIG have failed miserably in their postal oversight.

  20. 25000 civil service clerks left with minimum of 29 years service, you idiots need all of us out by 2015 don’t cheep out with 3 years and get 8000 morons ou do it max us out thats what we deserve lausy 3200 month not to mention paying twicew for healt and you idsipts don’t hav tyo match us abny more not to mention the idiots with 40 41 42 yeaRS you will pay them nothoing letsb see how serious u idiopts are

  21. sdp

    Please, the name is B U R R U S

    I am saying that the request to GAO is bogus. The question has been framed “is the funding consistent with the law”. The law required funding applying the formula that has been imposed over the past 40 years and it has been consistently unfair to the Postal Service and mail users. The division of years of service did not proportionally credit years of setrvice under the Post Office Department when considering that the annuity is determined by the high 3 years of .service.

    A more appropriate question would be “does the formula for pension funding between the federal goverment (Post Office Department) and the U.S. Postal Service meet fair accounting standards.

  22. The unions fought hard for benefits and a 40 hour work week, now the American Postal Workers Union has given management, under the Minimizing Excessing Memo ( in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement ), the right to dismantle existing 40 hour positions to allegedly save clerks from excessing, then when a 40 hour Full Time Regular is forced into a less than 40 hour assignment, he can make up the difference within the 50 Mile commuting distance, a ploy by the APWU and management to get Senior clerks to Quit and/or retire, if anyone had any common sense, especially Congress, they would quickily offer the going OPM incentive, given currently to GAO and other agencies of $25,000 dollars, and maybe other incentives, especially to those at the minimum retirement age, as an incentive to go, once that is done, there will be less excessing, less turmoil and the USPS can hire all the PSE’s ( half baked temp’s) they want at the lower rates with little or no benefits, but to destroy all the years of fighting for a decent wage and benefits under the premise of saving clerks, is the destruction of the Principles that were and are the foundation of all Unions, in this case, the APWU, has set itself up for it’s own demise, the overpaid underworked upper management is left to be, 100k salaries and up, and get paid for 40 and work less than half that, do not touch the mail, do little if anything to run the USPS like a business, and yes, if the useless driftwood were cut away in management, maybe some “Workers jobs ” could be salvaged, this is the demise of Unions nationwide, and the APWU is leading the Charge against it’s own.

  23. An astute politician or a good lawyer never asks a question unless they know the answer in advance. In that Congressman Issa has repeatedly challenged the legitimacy of the claim for an overpayment, it is obvious that the GAO request is made to confirm a previously held position.

    Assuming that GAO confirms the findings of overpayment is it expected that Congressman Issa will retract the assertions in Myths vs Facts and amend his legislation to authorize repayment? I think not.

    I have accused Congressman Issa of many things and most of them were true but I have never accused him of being dumn.

    Two independent world renown firms, the OIG and the PRC have concluded that overpayments have been made so a contrary opinion by GAO will be no more conclusive than the previous findings. The question that was asked is whether the funding is “consistent with the law”. A more accurate question would be “is the law consistent with fair distribution of earned service”.

    It is troubling that Congressman Lynch and Senators Collins and Carper have joined in this request because they have introduced legislation that accepts the reports of overpayment.

    Asssuming that GAO repeats the assertion in “Myths vs Facts”, the findings by the independent accounting firms, the OIG and the PRC stand on their own and are not subject to secondary review.

  24. You can’t force out anyone. Now you can fire all management at so called Area offices and Distrct offices; saving at least 500 million a year and not miss a beat, gauranteed!!!!!!! These people do nothing except spend money and push numbers. The policy that these upper level managers come up with are worthless. Workers are need not pencil pushers.

  25. I hope Congress approves the Postal Reform HR 2309! Hopefully this will allow the USPS to get a major grip on the service, and run it like a business as stated above!
    Force out all eligble retirees, who are in CSRS or FERS! Everyone including the VETS as long as there are no wide scale layoffs of junior employees, say under 15 years! We do not want to have unemployment statistics to rise above n beyond 9.1 % as it is now!

  26. we need to get something because all of these retiring managers are getting ready to head start up new non union postal businesses as we speak!!!!

  27. Give the CSRS employees their annuities of 80%, plus a years pay, if they already have their full annuities then they just get a yrs pay.

    I think most would understand… and say ok.

    This aint rocket science, lets take a poll?

    How many of you would go? SNAP! look at all those raising their hands! some holding both hands up!

    No one in their right mind would go for anything less in this economy is from what im seeing.

    Can we come back as PSEs or custodians as a side dish to make ends meet?

  28. there has been a hidden tax on postal users since 1976. The postal service defers obligations that the us treasury and dod have by crediting military service time towards years worked in the postal service.that obligation alone costs the postal service billions of dollars, considering that 35 to 40 percent of postal workers are vets.Add on non profit and blind mailers discounts, and its more.Then add all the disabled workers that work att the usps.Fed Ex and UPS would never allow any of it. Also include postal inspectors that add a huge cost that is really an FBI and local law enforcement issue.Furthermore, the postal service is not allowed by law to have an air fleet, which helps the airlines maximize cargo overages.

  29. as i said in an earlier post. 47 meetings, weeks of arguing over who has the power.. gridlock,,, just like you have the country… make a freakin decision.. we either over paid or we didnt…. its not like your looking for 75 cents or 75 bucks its alot of money….and of course now… it will take another month with another party involved in the bullshit.. then more meetings.. in the meantime.. many are waiting for the incentive to retire… upside… we are all still building our annuities..thanks to the gridlock..

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