USPS now has $13.1bn pension surplus, but no access to it
The struggling US Postal Service has now funded 105% of its pension benefit obligations and built up a $13.1bn surplus – but can’t touch any of it without Congressional action.
A fresh calculation of the USPS pension surplus has been issued by the Office of the Inspector General with hopes that the US House of Representatives might consider a postal reform bill to rectify the situation next month.
The OIG report also notes that the Postal Service has now funded pumped $44.1bn into the federal coffers to fund 50% of its Congressionally mandated obligation to cover its retiree healthcare benefit obligations 40 years ahead.
It suggests that the Postal Service could use its $85bn property portfolio to cover the remaining $46bn of outstanding payments, to avoid further debt.
“In the past three fiscal years, the US Postal Service has sustained losses of more than $17bn. It is more critical than ever to reverse this trend,” said the OIG report.
“One of the greatest opportunities for cost savings has been the overfunded pension plan, including the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System, and the prefunding of retiree health benefits.”
According to the latest monthly figures for USPS, the Postal Service made a $2.05bn loss in May 2012, but only $353m in losses stemmed from postal operations.
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