The House passed legislation yesterday that would end the requirement of the Postal Service to pre-fund the future health benefits of its retirees.
The USPS Fairness Act (H.R. 2382), as the bill is known, was introduced by Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR). He has called the pre-funding requirement an “unfair mandate” that he says is responsible for basically all of the Postal Service’s financial problems.
“USPS is the only federal agency that is required to pre-fund decades’ worth of health benefits for its future retirees. Since 2007, this unfair mandate is responsible for more than 90 percent of USPS’s financial losses and 100 percent of losses over the past six years,” reads a press release his office published last year on the bill.
The bill has 301 co-sponsors as of the time of this writing. It now goes to the Senate for consideration. There is also companion legislation in the Senate (S. 2965) that was introduced by Senator Steve Daines (R-MT).
The Postal Service is now going on 13 years in a row of net losses, and it has been defaulting on its required payments to the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund for the last 10 years.
The Congressional Budget Office recently said in a report that it expects the agency to continue defaulting on the payments for the next decade, and the Government Accountability Office said in a 2018 report that the retirement fund will be depleted by 2030 if the Postal Service continues to default on the payments.