This week, both the House of Representatives and the Senate, re-introduced the bi-partisan USPS Fairness Act (S. 145 and H.R. 695). This legislation would repeal, in full, the onerous prefunding of retiree health care benefits which Congress required when it passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) in 2006. This law, forced the Postal Service to prefund its retiree health care benefits 75 years in advance, paying for retirement health care for individuals who had not been born yet, let alone enter the workforce. The pre-funding mandate is accountable for 92 percent of the Postal Service’s net losses since 2007 and is a constant threat to the financial sustainability of the Postal Service.
APWU applauds members of Congress for their efforts to repeal this unfair mandate and place the Postal Service on solid financial footing with the USPS Fairness Act. Specifically, the bill's original cosponsors, Representatives Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Tom Reed (NY-23), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), and Colin Allred (TX-32) in the House and Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) in the Senate.
APWU fully supports the USPS Fairness Act. The pre-funding mandate has created a manufactured crisis that drains the Postal Service’s funds, and limits its ability to make vital innovations and expand services.
“The bi-partisan USPS Fairness Act is one of the first steps toward returning the Postal Service to solid financial footing, and I urge Congress to quickly pass this critical legislation," said President Mark Dimondstein.
The USPS Fairness Act would return the Postal Service to the procedures in place prior to the PAEA, utilizing a pay-as-you-go method for retiree benefits, the standard practice across federal agencies and private businesses. “Ending the pre-funding mandate gained immense support from both sides of the aisle in the last Congress,” said Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard. “Now is the time to right the errors of the failed pre-funding policy, and allow USPS to remove this manufactured debt from its books.”