In 2006, a law was enacted that required the U.S. Postal Service to pre-fund 75 years of future retiree health benefits in the following 10 years.
This means the Postal Service is paying for employees that have not even been born yet. No other federal agency or private enterprise is forced to pre-fund similar benefits like this, especially on such an aggressive schedule.
The Postal Service has deposited more than $21 billion into this future retiree health fund over the past four years. It accounts for all of its $20 billion in losses over the same period. Without it, the Postal Service would have been profitable during the worst recession in 80 years.
The Postal Service does not want or need any taxpayer money. We have not received any taxpayer funds in nearly 30 years. Passage of H.R. 1351 (the United States Postal Service's Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011 ) would not include any taxpayer money. It would transfer a $50 billion Postal Service surplus in the Civil Service Retirement System pension fund to the future retiree health benefits fund. It would also pay back $6.9 billion the Postal Service has overpaid in the Federal Employees Retirement System.
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There are more than 200 co-sponsors of H.R.1351, Democrats and Republicans. President Barack Obama has recently proposed paying back the $6.9 billion, which is a good start, but what about the other $50 billion we are owed?
Ron Stavac Jr., president
Local 3262, National Association of Letter Carriers