CRS: The USPS’s Financial Condition: Overview and Issues for Congress

February 1, 2012 by
Filed under: Congress, politics, postal, postal news, usps 

Below is a summary from The Congressional Research Service’s report on “The U.S. Postal Service’s Financial Condition:Overview and Issues for Congress”

This report provides an overview of the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS’s) financial condition,legislation enacted to alleviate the USPS’s financial challenges, and possible issues for the 112th  Congress. It also includes a side-by-side comparison of two of the postal reform bills, H.R. 2309 and S. 1789.

Since 1971, the USPS has been a self-supporting government agency that covers its operating costs with revenues generated through the sales of postage and related products and services.

In recent years, the USPS has experienced significant financial challenges. After running modest profits from FY2004 through FY2006, the USPS lost $25.4 billion between FY2007 and FY2011.Were it not for congressional action, the USPS would have lost an additional $9.5 billion.

A number of ideas have been advanced that would attempt to improve the USPS’s financial condition in the short term so that it might continue as a self-funding government agency. All of these reforms would require Congress to amend current postal law. The ideas include (1)increasing the USPS’s revenues by altering postage rates and increasing its offering of nonpostal rates and services; and (2) reducing the USPS’s expenses by a number of means, such as recalculating the USPS’s retiree health care and pension obligations and payments, closing postal facilities, and reducing mail delivery to less than six days per week.

This report will be updated after the USPS releases its quarterly financial results in early February 2012, and in the interim should there be any significant developments.

CRS Report on USPS Finances – January 2012

Comments

23 Comments on CRS: The USPS’s Financial Condition: Overview and Issues for Congress

  1. don on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 7:55 am
  2. Let’s see profits up to 2006, then from 2007 till now loses of 25 billion. That’s 5 billion a year on average, and how much a year is the pre- funded retiree’s health plan? 5.6 billion? It took the CRS all this time to figure this out? I wonder when they’re going to connect the dots? I bet these people have to read the instructions on the side of pop tarts!

  3. bubba on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 8:09 am
  4. offer an early out with incentives, and man they will leave.

  5. Olegreybeard on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 9:01 am
  6. AMEM to bubba……..Show me the money and I am gone! BUT don’t insult us ole dudes with a stupid offer…Make us a good offer and we will leave by the THOUSANDS!!!!!!

  7. many more reports on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 9:34 am
  8. yesterdays CBO report and todays research report are “biased” at misinterpreting usps loss, in acutal usps is loosing same amount it is “prefunding” retierment as of date, but these reports are trying to distort that! simple. …..usps is supposed to have minimal profits or loss! …that was how it was meant to be! ….for the past 200 years…

  9. Tony on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 9:38 am
  10. Early out with just my pension and Iam out of here…dont be grredy and wait for incentive…be happy with your pension before they take that to.

  11. Dave on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 9:40 am
  12. It is understandable that reform is needed but not at the expense of hard working postal employee’s who have been serving the public for years without waiver. These reform bills presented to congress continue to fall on the back bone of the postal service, it’s workers! Why should your retirement be weakened or your health benefits which go up every year as it is be used as a prop for the postal service to return to solvency. What congress is ducking is the fact that the postal service is the only federal agency that must prefund it’s “future” retire’s health care to the extent of 5.5 billion dollars. That is completely ludicrous to strap the postal service with such a requirement and not to any other. The overfunding of the FERS and CSRS should have all it’s revenue on the reform bill to provide relief to the service. This would provide billions of dollars along with unlocking the 5.5 billion from future retire health care costs they are ball and chained with each year would put the postal service on solid footing. The way congress looks at it is the country is already dealing with a massive debt crisis and they don’t want to lose those billions and make the debt even worse even though that money belongs to the postal service. It’s almost a form of corruption to manipulate an agencies revenue to benefit another that they created the deficit, by allowing banks to give fraudulent loans, and wall street to have the segway to steal people’s retirement money and then give themselves millions in bonuses! That’s where reform should have been years ago. So it is with disgust that congress has the audacity to put forth reform bills for the postal service that reach into it’s workers pockets! The overpayments and the prefunding is what’s needed to happen but the bullies in Washington look like a stable of horses with blinders on when it’s mentioned. Other steps must be taken also if they want a six figure number of employee’s out. Start offering early outs in two or even three different phases over the next five years. This would provide a controlled reduction in employee’s in order for the postal service to continue to provide excellent service to it’s customers. The OPM should also not have it’s hands tied by these reform bills congress presents because when talking early out incentives adding one year of service to entice an employee to leave in this economy is at best a joke. This is in the reform bill which certain senators have put together and will be voted on. It is naive at best to think that no less then three – five years would have to be offered to entice employee’s to leave. The first phase could be a money offer that would most likely be enough for those employee’s looking to leave. The second phase when it occurs could be the (3-5) years offer which would again reduce the employee’s substantially. The postal service can then step back and calculate whether or not a third phase would be neccesary. Postal employee’s have endured everything thrown at them from working holiday’s for years, dealing with inclement weather to provide mail delivery, coping with inept supervision, helping victims of hurricane hit area’s, helping the elderly, services to recognize our war veterans, cultural events, historical philatelic involvement , reporting crimes, environmental going green recognition, etc; etc;. The postal worker has a deep history in our country and needs to be recognized and the service preserved not attacked by one of their own.

  13. valerie whinfield on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 9:52 am
  14. make me an offer and i will leave tommorrow. your last incentive was $25,000 ; i would take the same

  15. Carrier097 on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 9:52 am
  16. Amen to Dave!

  17. Bob on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 11:11 am
  18. Don’t exclude Maintenance this time!!

  19. HK on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 11:40 am
  20. It is a wise thing to mandate usps to put 5 billions dollars in the retirement fund. Otherwise the money will be wasted in another type of usage, you know… lol……..

  21. FORREST GUMP on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 12:13 pm
  22. STAY WORKING AS LONG AS YOU CAN

  23. I've had enough on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 12:36 pm
  24. I’m with everyone on the list, give us a offer, years and money, would be nice, years would be better…and I’m history…the money would be made throught the years more or less…get out now before they take anymore from us….I’ve had enough of this place to last me a life time….get the VER into play now and watch thousands run for the door….

  25. joe on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 1:15 pm
  26. Talk about closings, consolidations, where do you put the excessed?, where?, there is no place, offer the VER!, knuckleheads, we are headed for another economic bust!, stupid Congress!

  27. Jack on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 2:08 pm
  28. Reduce street delivery to 5 days a week, Reduce number of post offices that have outlived what the intent was when built 75 years ago. The 20th century had a need for communication via purchasing a postage stamp and awaiting 2-3 days for delivery to a phyysical address. That is history; this process is primitive as communication in the 21st century is driven by advanced technology communications are now instant via the internet, smart phones, facebook, google and new communication processes, APPS, being made availble continous.
    Reducing delivery would be cost effective and not adversely affect the American public.
    Reduce cost by decreasing services which are not in demand; postal services exceed demand which creat a loss to provide something not needed asis evidenced by massive monatary losses
    Working middle class families need benefits to sustain life style as was such in work time. Earned benefits- annunities and health coverage should not be considered. Congress should insure working middle class federal wage earners should not be stolen when a worker retires.

  29. DON on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 3:46 pm
  30. i agree with jack WE MUST GO TO 5 DAY DELIVERY

  31. Sucka on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 6:15 pm
  32. 1 year or less to immediate retirement $5,000; 2-3 years $10,000; 3-4 years $15,000; 4-5 years $20,000 and more than 5 years to immediate retirement $25,000/2 FERS/1 CSRS years added and no penalty. That’s all suckas and that’s fair.

  33. don on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 6:49 pm
  34. By the time they figure what they want to do down in the capitol I’ll be eighty. Congress is dragging it’s feet on this post office issue, and those of us who want to retire but are waiting for a ver that’s worth retiring for are going nuts waiting for it! I’d like to see some years added to years of service so my percentage is higher, to me this is worth more than the 25 grand that is allowed by federal law. Getting closer to the 80% mark would make my retirement a lot more enjoyable. But I know it probably will never happen, so I guess I’ll have to keep working till I get close to 40 years. Hope I make it.

  35. jimd on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 7:03 pm
  36. There are many ways to save money for the po. The PAEA which requires money set aside funds for future retiree’s health benefits. One simple fact has not been brought up. The future postal employees will have no benefits. So why should they need money for benefits that will not exist.

  37. Mat on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 8:00 pm
  38. I totally agree with Jack the need for 6 day mail delivery is in the past as very few people use the post office to pay bills or even send birth day card as they use to before the computr internet facebook smart phone era. 5 day delivery would result in fuel and workhour cost and not negatively affect anyone.

  39. #@@%&&^$###!!!!! the Tea Party!! on Thu, 2nd Feb 2012 12:58 am
  40. The FERS SS Annuity Supplement has been eliminated: see H.R. 3813 and H.R. 3630(Sections 5401-5404) in Congress right now.The $%##^^&**%%##%%&&!!!! Tea Party and Republicans in Congress have done this to all FERS Federal employees.Time to take action and do something about this SHAMEFUL,COWARDLY, AND UNFAIR attack on all FERS Federal employees.

  41. T Party on Thu, 2nd Feb 2012 1:13 am
  42. we is dowing what is need in cuntry. yu is selfish and shood make whut reat of us make…nothing.

  43. joe watusi on Thu, 2nd Feb 2012 6:20 am
  44. NALC and APWU

    What is this?, The Postal Unions telling Congress not to help the US Post Office,
    it is the Unions dictating to Congress, yet Congress listens not to those they serve.
    The Bill S- 1789 in the United States Senate, was to help to salvage what is left of the US Post Office, and offer Early Retirements to workers, so as to avoid a Reduction in Force and layoffs, the NALC, APWU, and the Mail handlers Unions have basically doomed any legislation to keep the Post Office solvent, the bottom line is Union dues for the Bigwigs in these Unions.
    The Craft Workers not management should be offered the Voluntary Early Retirements, and soon, and not the Reduction In Force nor the layoffs, better an Incentive than R.I.F. Or Layoffs.

    APWU & NALC  
    Call Your Senators:    
    202-224-3121    
    (Capitol Switchboard)    
    [Click here for direct #s]    
    Tell them you Support    
    S. 1789 as it is currently written  
    Cut what is there and paste this or something else to your Senators.
    Today, 8:45:07 AM
    Like – Reply – Delete

    You can also Email Your Senator Directly as shown below, the Unions cannot overcome the will of the people , do not give to COPA, give to a legitimate Charity instead, COPA is not tax deductible, Charities usually are.

    GOOGLE……….U.S. SENATE………Choose your “SENATOR HOME” State. Look for the area in which to write and send your comment.  
    I wrote ” I work for the U.S.P.S. and I do not oppose S1789 in it’s current form”. This bill offers three types of incentives not to be combined.  
    1. 25,000 cash.  
    2. 2 years added on to your FERS retiremrnet.  
    3. 1 year added on to your CSRS retirement.  
     
    * NOTE: Remember you can only choose one of the three.

  45. enufisenuf on Thu, 2nd Feb 2012 3:41 pm
  46. Lets talk about the financial condition of APWU after all those folks early out and/or switch to NALC ! The party’s over ! APWU secretarys at 1300 L Street…prepare for the end ! Maybe SEIU should Occupy APWU…after all, didn’t they file unfair labor charges a few years ago against their employer-the APWU ?

    Unionism at its best !