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GAO: USPS Not Sustainable As Is

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The Government Accounting Offices’ Lori Rectanus, Director, Physical Infrastructure Issues, was one of the officials to testify at the House oversight committee hearing on the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017 last week.

Rectanus pointed out that even though the health care prefunding requirement’s for fixed contributions ends in 2017, “USPS will be required to make an estimated total of $10.3 billion in payments for retiree health and pension benefits under CSRS and FERS—about $3.3 billion more than what USPS paid in fiscal year 2016 for these benefit programs.”

The bottomline: with declines in First-Class volumes and no new plans to cut expenses, the USPS needs more money to meet its obligations.

“After about 30 years of relatively steady growth, USPS’s expenses began consistently exceeding revenues in fiscal year 2007—a trend that has continued through fiscal year 2016. As a result, USPS has lost a total of $62.4 billion since fiscal year 2007,” Rectanus testified.

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“Over the past 3 years, the size of USPS’s total workforce has increased by about 22,000, including career and non-career employees; this growth contrasts with the trend from fiscal years 1999 through 2013, when the workforce decreased by more than 288,000. Compensation and benefits comprise close to 80 percent of total USPS expenses. Thus, expenses will continue to grow if increases in salaries and work hours continue,” she said.

Click for her complete testimony