Senator Sanders and Congressman Cummings Call for Reform of USPS Pre-Funding Schedule

Washington, DC (Feb. 13, 2012)—In light of first quarter financial reports that the U.S. Postal Service would have generated $200 million in profits had it not been required to pre-fund its future retiree health benefits, Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, called for the passage of legislation to reform this burdensome requirement, which no other federal agency or private sector company faces.

“At a time when the Postal Service faces enormous financial challenges, we have got to end the absurd requirement that it pay over $5.5 billion every year to pre-fund future retiree health benefits,” Sanders said. “No other entity in the United States of America is burdened with this mandate, and with $44 billion in this future retiree account earning 3.5 to 4 percent interest every year, it can be fully funded in the next 21 years without the need for additional funds. By correcting this inequity, and through other commonsense reforms, the Postal Service will have the money it needs over the short term without resorting to the draconian cuts in service it has proposed. Over the long term, the Postal Service will need to develop a new and aggressive entrepreneurial business model to bring in the revenue it needs in the 21st Century.”

“The latest numbers show that the Postal Service would be in the black but for this extraordinary prefunding requirement,” said Cummings. “Congress should pass comprehensive legislation to eliminate this unfair burden, immediately improve the Postal Service’s cash position, and enable it to develop innovative products that meet changing market needs.”

Financial data released by the Postal Service reveal that it would have made profits of $200 million in the first quarter of this fiscal year had it not been required to account for approximately $3 billion of its pending fiscal years 2011 and 2012 retiree health benefits prefunding payment and non-cash adjustments to its Workers’ Compensation Liabilities.

Under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, Congress required the Postal Service to pre-fund its future retiree health care benefits at an average cost of $5.5 billion per year for a period of ten years. The Postal Service has paid more than $45 billion to pre-fund future retiree health care benefits. No other federal agency or private sector company faces this burdensome requirement.

Sanders and Cummings have both introduced postal reform legislation in the Senate and House to improve the Postal Service’s long-term financial viability. Both bills would require refunding surplus balances in the Postal Services retirement accounts, encouraging innovation in the development to new products and services, and reforming the current retiree health benefits schedule.

13 thoughts on “Senator Sanders and Congressman Cummings Call for Reform of USPS Pre-Funding Schedule

  1. HAS ANYBODY WONDERED WHY WE ARE PREFUNDING FOR BENEFITS FOR future retirees? The new retirees will be PSEs and TEs with no benefits to prefund for. PONZI SCHEME if you ask me.

  2. It will be the best thing to hear that Issa and Ross are dead.Lets pray that some form of bone cancer will ravage them in unrelenting screaming pain and suffering.Am I a bad person for wishing this? HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Issa and Ross, the two things wrong with America. Sanders and Cummings, the two things right with America.


  5. @Sean, what part of “It can be fully funded in 21 years without additional monies” didnt you read . Tell Issa he’s going to lose his next election while you’re there.

  6. Lost 3.3 billion $$ in quarter 1. Eliminating 200 million $$ prefunding is not going to create revenue to offset revenue decline as First class volume will continue to decline as more business provide customers incentives to conduct account online. Government agencies such as Social Security and other agenices are requiring direct deposit. Need to pursue parcel and expedited services such as Priority and Express. Loosing business situation unless services are reduced to meet demand. Supply of services and location exceed needs.
    Unions and management from headquarters to local offices must operate within workload defined budgets otherwise reduce operations to meet budgeted cost. Earned hours can be used when workload exceeds predetermined expectation .
    Eliminate 0WCP hours; retire on disability as some who are 75 yrs. old are on OWCP receiving 75% excluding taxes.Cannot return to work as medically determine should be put on disability.

  7. Finally just maybe Congress will listen to one of the bills that have been introduced.

  8. Amen!!! to Sanders&Cummmings, finally someone in DC gets it! Now its time for the rest of the SENATE and HOUSE to use common sense or get voted out.

  9. Within the last year or so.. I think every Congressman has a bill, amendment and their two cents.. Christ sakes!!! No wonder this country is behind in education, job development, research, etc… I takes soooo god damn long for anything to pass!!!!

    There’s soooo much red tape and battling between Congress.. Wake up!!!!! 500,000 jobs are at risk ASSHOLES!!!!!!! Do you really care about America and jobs or is really about each one’s personal agenda???

  10. Finally we have some common sense resolve heading in the right direction. Senator Sanders and Cummings bill is needed and should be passed quickly to keep the Postal Service from deeper debt. Republican and Democrats need to realize that this payment is without merit and needs to have bipartisan support
    allowing the Postal Service to be free of the ball and chain of making this unconscionable payment that lacks any founded reason. The House and Senate need to approve this bill so that the Postal Service can move forward to regain footing and keep it’s promise to the American people of delivering mail through most any condition and destination. Stop playing politics with this and get it done it is for the better of all Americans. It is Washington that enacted this prefunding to health care which has been proven at this point it can sustain itself which is why this bill needs passage. Give back all revenue that is rightfully the Postal Services and as the Senators suggest allow the service the opportunity to innovate new idea’s and products to be competitive for years to come. Incredulous beliefs on this matter are without credence simply because the facts are so concrete. Being able to live with yourself and sleep at night knowing you did the right thing is admirable.

  11. Call Your Senators:
    (Capitol Switchboard)
    [Click here for direct #s]
    Tell them you Support
    S. 1789 as it is currently written, and all Postal Bills that offer the Early Retirement Incentives.
    The U.S. Senate soon will likely debate the 21st Century Postal Reform Act (S. 1789), bill offering Early Retirement Incentives.
    As president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, I understand the budgetary and market challenges facing the USPS. However, these issues don’t result from an outdated organization.
    S. 1789 should not be dramatically restructured, Congress should approve this bill ,S.1789.
    Fredric V. Rolando is the president of the National Association of Letter Carriers
    incentives to be combined.
    1. 25,000 cash.
    2. 3 years added on to your FERS retirement.
    3. 1 year added on to your FERS retirement.

    GOOGLE……….U.S. SENATE………Choose your “SENATOR HOME” State. Look for the area in which to write and send your comments.
    S.1789 is the last hope for anyone wanting the Early Retirement Incentives.

    The NALC, APWU , and Obama Support the buyouts.

  12. Good for Cummings and Sanders. Maybe this suggestion will take hold and keep us in business for a while, and FERS employees like myself won’t have to worry about those sons of bitches like Dennis Ross trying to steal my retirement, which is rightfully mine. I’m the one paying it, and no fucking Republican will take my money without a fight. I hope like hell Ross and Issa get their asses kicked this fall, but I suspect they’re from extremely rich districts where the voters are just as fucking mean as the representatives are.

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