Carper Statement on PRC Report Identifying $50 Billion Discrepancy in Retirement Benefits Paid to Former Postal Employees
WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate’s Federal Financial Management Subcommittee with jurisdiction over the U.S. Postal Service, issued the following statement reacting to a report submitted to Congress by the Postal Regulatory Commission earlier today:
"Every once and a while in life we find money in places that we aren’t expecting, sort of like when you find a ten dollar bill you forgot in the pocket of your jeans that you haven’t worn in a while. This is a very good day indeed because rarely in life do you discover an extra $50 billion lying around. This discovery couldn’t have come at a better time, as the Postal Service is facing a serious financial crisis. In fact, the overpayment the Postal Regulatory Commission has identified represents less than 25 percent of the Postal Service’s projected long-term budget deficit. That said, this certainly is a helpful development that will give Congress some assistance as we work to provide the Postal Service with much-needed relief from the overly-aggressive retiree health funding schedule that was placed on in 2006. It is my hope that it can also provide some momentum to efforts to remove the roadblocks that often prevent the Postal Service from streamlining its operations. Both of these things – financial relief and more aggressive cost cutting – must take place in the very near future if we want a Postal Service capable of continuing to deliver the goods and services millions of Americans depend on."
Earlier today, the Postal Regulatory Commission submitted to Congress, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the United States Postal Service, an independent actuarial report on the allocation of the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) benefits paid to former Post Office Department employees. The Commission report found that an adjustment of $50-$55 billion in favor of the Postal Service would be equitable.
By law, OPM, which is responsible for calculating the Postal Service’s CSRS pension liability, must now reconsider its calculation of the Postal Service’s pension assets in light of this report, and submit the results of its reconsideration to the Commission, the Postal Service, and Congress.
The Commission report suggests that Congress may wish to alter the schedule established in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) for potential transfers from the Postal Service Retirement Fund to its Retiree Health Benefit Fund. Currently, such transfers may not take place before September 30, 2015.