NALC President Rolando issues statement on the GAO report on the CSRS dispute

October 13, 2011 — The GAO is simply wrong in denying the overpayment, and in doing so it differs with the USPS, the Office of Inspector General (of the Postal Service), the Postal Regulatory Commission, two independent actuaries, and legislators from both parties and both chambers of Congress who’ve addressed the issue in current legislation.

It’s absurd to claim that the money owed the Postal Service would not solve its financial problems by asserting that they result from changes in consumer mail use and a business model weakness — given that over the past four fiscal years, despite the recession, mail delivery netted a $611 million operational profit. The crushing burden of pre-funding retiree health benefits that caused 100 percent of the USPS’s reported losses between 2007 and 2010 could be relieved by a fair allocation of CSRS benefits.

And saying that transferring the money would result in an increased liability is like a restaurant telling a consumer who was overcharged that refunding the overcharge would require taking the money from someone else’s account. An overpayment needs to be refunded, period.

Moreover, it’s ironic that the GAO and OPM are focused on soaking the USPS when the non-postal federal government, which includes the Congress and the GAO has funded less than 50 percent of its CSRS pensions compared to more than 95 percent for the USPS despite the OPM’s use of grossly unfair allocation methods.

As we wrote in a letter to Congressional leaders last week, the GAO’s views are nothing new. The key issue for Congress should be fairness for the Postal Service, its employees and the $1.3 trillion mailing industry. NALC will not give up fighting for pension fairness.

Fredric V. Rolando
NALC President


NALC website

7 thoughts on “NALC President Rolando issues statement on the GAO report on the CSRS dispute

  1. The US government has transferred $5 Billion of its debt onto the USPS.

    The USPS has a break-even pricing scheme, and doesn’t charge enough to cover the $5 Billion cost of paying the US government this fee.
    This is because the USPS is required to price its products at a price that reflects the cost of that product. As such, we price first class mail at the cost of first class mail, and we aren’t allowed to use funds from that fee to subsidize other classes of mail.

    The result has been that the $5 Billion has been borrowed by the USPS, and the USPS needs to charge more to pay it off.
    What will happen is this: the USPS will either charge more for its products, and thus transfer the cost like a tax upon the American people;

    Or, they will cut costs and services while still charging just as much for what people receive.

    The result here is that the people won’t be charged less for the reduced service and cost savings they would’ve gotten if USPS had cut these costs in the first place.

    Either way, it amounts to a transfer ot US government debt onto the public, and makes USPS tax the American public to pay for US government debt.
    Thanks a lot.

  2. Mr. Rolando your right:

    PL 109-435 Postal Accountability & Enhancement Act of 2006 said, that surpluses in postal CSRDF be transfered to the Postal service retiree health benefits fund in designated years begining 2007 & annual determination made by OPM of postal liability or surplus be SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY THE PRC (postal regulatory commission), at the request of USPS.

    This act was put in place by congress, and congress should back up the PRC not take on the management of the post office. In 2006 PRC was named to review OPM. Now PRC has determined there was an OPM surplus, not only that, but USPS OIG also, determined the same basic thing “overpayment”. Did they not do the job they were given to do by Congress?

    To say that determining the “appropriate allocation of responsibility for CSRS benefits is ultimately a policy choice rather than a question of accounting or actuarial standings.”, is like saying 5+5= 800 because it is an “ultimate policy choice,” …even though we all know 5+5=10 and 800 is just plain WRONG!

    Why all the doubletalk, why undermine the PRC’s decision that USPS is due a refund, who wants control of that money…CONGRESS and Why!!

    The amendment Mr. Connolly of Virginia presented and supported by Mr. Lynch, at the Congressional oversight committee should have passed. Congress needed to back the PRC not take over postal management.

  3. Too little, too late Fred. The National Asscioation of Letter Carriers should have followed the example of Bill Burress, former President of the American Postal Workers Union years ago and been telling the media the truth then. Now it is too late. Congressional Republicans have been trying to sell the Post Office off to their big business political donors since Reagan was in office.
    I would appear that, along with the Democrats and Obama selling the unions down the river, they are about to succeed. Prior to Susan Collins, R-Maine pushing the legislation forward that condemmed the Post Office to give away all it’s profits to “pre-fund” retiree healthe benefits for people that don’t even work there yet; the Post Office was in excellent financial shape.Studies by the outside auditing agencies have repeatedly confirmed this as fact. Then why are Republicans Ross and Issa trying to destroy the Post Office?
    Pure greed! The whole alleged “postal financial crisis” has been manufactured by Congress.
    The underlying question is are we going to alloow it to happen????????

  4. Spot on Mr. Miller. I do like Rolondo’s assertion that something is being taken that should never have been taken (at least not that much!!). Boiling it down, like our president has done, is what these knuckleheads may need. They try to overcomplicate things or blame the business model – they do have the ‘broken business model’ correct, though……but only if they are focussing on management.

  5. I am glad to have President Rolando on our side. To have a strong voice of reason speak for us when crooked politicians (yes, that’s you Issa, and it goes for Ross too!) are trying to screw anyone who actually works for a living. Thank you Mr Rolando; please keep up the excellent work.

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