H.R. 2382 would eliminate the requirement, imposed on the Postal Service in the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, to prefund our Retiree Health Benefit (RHB) Fund as well as forgiving all of our current defaulted prefunding payments. This elimination of a requirement faced by no other public or private entity would improve our balance sheet and reduce our future reported losses. It would also permit us to continue to make RHB premium payments from the RHB fund.
The Postal Service believes H.R. 2382 would be an important part of the legislative and regulatory changes – along with substantial self-help efforts by the Postal Service – that are necessary to secure our long-term financial stability. However, by itself it would neither reduce the underlying RHB liability nor improve our cash flow or long-term financial position. Most importantly, the bill would not impact the liquidity crisis that we will be facing in the next few years – a crisis that will literally threaten our ability to deliver the mail.
For the Postal Service to continue to meet our universal service obligations and serve as the backbone of the nation’s delivery infrastructure, Congress will need to make a series of legislative and regulatory changes, including the changes envisioned by H.R. 2382, that will allow the USPS to transform our business model to ensure our long-term financial stability.
The Postal Service looks forward to working with Congress to craft such a plan.