Post office losses at $3.1 billion
August 18, 2011
Associated Press - The Postal Service said last week that it lost $3.1 billion in the April through June period and could be forced to default on payments due to the federal government when the fiscal year ends in September. Losses for the year come to $5.7 billion. Losses have been mounting over the last few years as more private mail and bill payments were switched to the Internet, and the recession caused a decrease in business mail. The post office has asked Congress to change or drop the requirement that it make a $5.5 billion annual payment into a fund to cover future retirement disability benefits. No other government agency is required to make such a payment. If Congress does not act and current losses continue, the post office will be unable to make that payment at the end of September. The post office also wants permission to reduce mail delivery from six days a week to five as part of a series of cost-cutting measures. And it would like a refund of overpayments it says it made to employee retirement accounts. Several bills designed to change the law governing the post office, an independent government agency, are pending in the House and Senate.