Bill removes longstanding requirement to prefund pension costs, preserves 6-day delivery
On Wednesday, Congressman Brian Higgins announced approval of the Postal Service Reform Act (HR3076), legislation designed to protect local jobs, improve the fiscal standing of the United States Postal Service (USPS), and preserve trusted mail service delivery for Americans.
Higgins, a cosponsor of the bipartisan bill, spoke in support of the legislation on the House floor. He said, in part, “This legislation would finally eliminate the requirement for the Postal Service to prefund pension costs 75 years in advance. The unreasonable and unsustainable mandate risks the affordability of mail delivery for customers, and it threatens the livelihood of hardworking Americans. We have an opportunity today to secure the future for one of the most historic and trusted agencies in the nation.”
David J Grosskopf Jr., president of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch No. 3 Buffalo/WNY, said, “This bill will enhance the public’s ability to receive their mail at a reasonable uniform rate six days a week in the future. Additionally, the bill will provide the stabilization of rates and service that the country expects from the USPS. The NALC applauds all those representatives that have helped getting this bill passed.”
New York State Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO President George T. Mangold said, “We applaud the action by the House of Representatives on passing HR 3076, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022. This bill will bring financial and operational stability to USPS by eliminating the erroneous pre-funding mandate as it maintains its obligations to businesses and the public, delivering six days a week. We thank Rep. Higgins for his steadfast commitment to his constituents and union friends in passing this bill for all of New York, and the entire U.S.”
Higgins’ team stated, “A 2006 law required the USPS to prefund its health benefit pension obligations 75 years in advance. No other federal agency is mandated to do the same. The USPS has defaulted on making this payment since 2012. Eliminating this requirement is projected to save the USPS $27 billion over the next 10 years.
“Higgins has fought for a decade to end this unfair prefunding obligation: leading a letter supported by the late Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and then-Congresswoman Kathy Hochul, and voting to end this requirement when the House approved the USPS Fairness Act.”
The Postal Service Reform Act also preserves six-day delivery for packages and mail. Previously, the six-day mail requirement was renewed by Congress annually, routinely risking the six-day service standard.
The bill also ensures all retirees, who have already paid into the Medicare system throughout their working years, enroll in Medicare. This measure will cut costs for the USPS by an estimated $22.6 billion over the next decade.
Higgins’ team said he has been “a leading voice in protecting local USPS operations and jobs, reversing a 2012 proposal to close the Buffalo mail-processing facility on William Street, and supporting $10 billion in direct aid to the USPS through a bipartisan COVID relief package approved in December 2020.”
The Postal Service Reform Act is supported by the National Association of Letter Carriers, American Postal Workers Union and National Rural Letter Carrier Association.
In 2019, the Postal Service supported 630,000 jobs, including more than 100,000 veterans, and delivered 143 billion pieces of mail to 160 million addresses.