USPS may freeze rates for four years

Because the U.S. Postal Service has been grossly overpaying into the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) fund, it may be able to avoid another rate increase for four years.

The review of retirement payments since 1971 was conducted by the Office of Personnel Management and affirmed by the Office of Management and Budget and the Treasury Department. It revealed that the USPS’s liability to the CSRS account is $5 billion, not the $32 billion originally believed.

Addressing the USPS Board of Governors on Nov. 5, Postmaster General Jack Potter said the findings “are the result of a number of factors, but the change was primarily driven by higher-than-expected yields on pension investments made by the Department of the Treasury.”

Although the finding won’t affect postal employee retirement benefits, it may not only freeze postal rates but also reduce the USPS’s debt by raising the agency’s reserve to $3 billion, rather than $800 million for its fiscal year that began on Oct. 1. The USPS posted a $1 billion loss for its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, $350 million below original projections.

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