New Debt Collection Notice Policy. However, the post office is still tightly regulated by Congress. Please enable cookies on your web browser in order to continue. Postal Service gets new leader as it deals with big financial concerns, How to vote by mail in the general election. By clicking “I agree” below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms. Will millions spent on ads sway voters in Georgia runoffs? He said the Postal Service is more than $160 billion in debt… Still, those delayed payments still count as an expense -- … The USPS was not in debt to the federal government. Chart 1. Politifact Illinois, No, USPS isn’t operating with a multibillon dollar surplus, Sept. 6 2020 Investopedia, Debt Definition , Sept. 14, 2020 Read About Our Process He’s chief actuary at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. At 4:35 a.m. on December 9, 2006, the 109th Congress adjourned “in a blaze of bickering,” as the Miami Herald headline put it. Effective March 29, 2020, the Postal Service™ will revise the following books to reflect changes in the method for notifying employees who have an employee receivable: n Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM), parts 450 and 460. n Handbook F-101, Field Accounting Procedures, Chapter 15. USPS is $160 billion in debt. “The Postal Service needs America's help, and we must answer this call,” said leaders of the Committee on Oversight and Reform. €5 every 4 weeks or just €50 €20 for the first year, €7 every 4 weeks or just €70 €30 for the first year. But Campbell said federal agencies don’t have to make these prepayments. When most people think of the Postal Service, they think of letters from grandma or junk mail. This is false; the USPS had a net loss of $8.8 billion in 2019, and its total liabilities exceed $97 billion, according to official disclosures. Despite the dire warnings, however, the USPS received no additional funding in the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus and relief package legislation signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020. USPS’s total unfunded liabilities and debt ($143 billion at the end of fiscal year 2018) have grown to double its annual revenue.” As CNN reports, the USPS told Congress it would be out of money by September back in April of 2020. We rely on readers like you to uphold a free press. 2020-05-29T13:10:00Z The letter F. ... USPS has been around for more than 200 years, ... 13% of the $75 billion it had originally asked for and another $10 billion to add to its debt. Is There Mail on Election Day 2020? A key provision of the Act is inclusion of … “Retiree health care benefits and pensions are two different things. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has agreed to testify on Capitol Hill next week. The Postal Service wants you, millennials. At the same time, the GAO reported that “the USPS’s debt and unfunded liabilities have become a large and growing burden – increasing from 83 percent of USPS’s revenues in fiscal 2007 to 148 percent of revenues in fiscal year 2013.” In other words, the USPS spent and owed (unfunded) 48 percent more than the total it took in from revenue in 2013. When most people think of the Postal Service, they think of letters from grandma or junk mail. Since then, losses have run between $2.8 billion and $15.9 billion. By clicking “I agree” below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms. All Rights Reserved. Unfortunately, losses are the rule rather than the exception for the agency. “So the Postal Service is sort of caught in this squeeze,” said Cornell University public policy professor Rick Geddes, who added that Congress still requires the post office to deliver to every mailbox in the country six days a week. The US Postal Service has received a large amount of attention in 2020. The United States Postal Service will play a critical role in the 2020 election. Democrats want to ask him about changes to the Postal Service they say could disenfranchise people planning to vote by mail in the November election. This content is currently not available in your region. But while there are problems with the post office’s business model, Congress could shoulder some blame as well. In 2006, Congress passed a law requiring the Postal Service to prepay health benefits for its retirees. Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Public debt already is $24 trillion, so the public is not terribly harmed by assuming this additional debt — especially if it helps stave off the collapse of the USPS. Mail Volume […] The federal government was in debt to the USPS. USPS projected a billion loss in just the controllable part of its business in fiscal 2020, though it is currently working with the Postal Regulatory Commission in hopes of winning the right to "The updated pay scales will take effect pay period 9-20, and the increases will be in workers' paychecks on May 1, 2020. USPS Unfunded Liabilities and Debt as a Percentage of USPS Revenue, Fiscal Years 2007 through 2018. Further, USPS has missed $48.2 billion in required payments for postal retiree health and pension benefits as of September 30, 2018. No assistance was given, however, and the USPS is surviving off of its remaining cash reserves and a $3 billion loan from the US Treasury, placing it further in debt. The USPS has adapted with the advent of steamboats, railroads and planes. Small radio stations in Georgia benefit from big spending on U.S. Senate races. “So it’s doubled from a little more than one times annual revenue to over double annual revenue,” Todisco said. Marketplace is a division of MPR's 501 (c)(3). “USPS’s total unfunded liabilities and debt ($143 billion at the end of fiscal year 2018) have grown to double its annual revenue.” The USPS told Congress in April that it would run out of money by September of 2020, as Business Insider reports. All this red ink has flowed despite USPS’s aggressive move [1] into the parcel delivery business. How has the pandemic affected USPS? Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay. While there are many factors that led to the USPS’ current state of debt, there are two primary reasons why that debt has now balloomed. What can Congress do about funding for the USPS and vote-by-mail efforts? The sharp reduction in mail delivery caused by the pandemic initially threatened to plunge the agency into even more dire straits, with the Postal Service reporting $2.2 billion in net losses in 2020’s third quarter. Marketplace Investors kept our work strong in 2020. Three small businesses weigh in on the pandemic holiday season, Congress lets paid sick, family and medical leave mandate expire. EIN: 41-0953924. © 2021 Minnesota Public Radio. Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. He said the Postal Service is more than $160 billion in debt. And, serious debt. So far, the USPS has paid $20.9 billion but it's also deferred on some $47.2 billion as of September 2019. You also agree to our Terms of Service. Last year, the U.S. What's going on at the Post Office? From staring down bankruptcy to fighting mail delays that could’ve shaken the 2020 national election, the USPS has been against difficult circumstances this year all while the 644,000 postal workers ensure the country’s mail is securely delivered in a timely manner. Defenders of the changes said they were necessary to help the USPS get out of financial debt. See our Privacy Policy and Third Party Partners to learn more about the use of data and your rights. What's going on at the Post Office? Politicians love promising jobs. Todisco said the Postal Service has been losing money for a decade, which is not a sustainable business model. Postal service can’t deliver long-term, stable jobs, U.S. He’s chief actuary at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The new European data protection law requires us to inform you of the following before you use our website: We use cookies and other technologies to customize your experience, perform analytics and deliver personalized advertising on our sites, apps and newsletters and across the Internet based on your interests. The House of Representatives passed the legislation Feb. 5 with bipartisan support. “Congress ordered the Postal Service to pay, for 10 years, about $5.5 billion per year into this prepayment fund,” said Jim Campbell, lawyer and consultant on the Postal Service. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference. At the end of 2019, the GAO calculated that the Postal Service had $160.9 billion in debt, $119.3 billion of which came from retiree benefits. Its budget shortfall has risen to $160bn (£122bn) amid a decade-long decline in mail volume. In 2006, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) ordered the USPS to pre-fund employee retiree health benefits for the next 75 years. Which begs the question: What's going on at the post office? The Postal Service is supposed to be self-funded — not getting any government money. But where do the numbers come from? However, the post office can’t change that model without congressional approval. Article continues below advertisement Here’s why it’s in … Also, the post office couldn’t do it — Campbell said it missed more than half the payments. Frank Todisco has been tracking that. But its depleted cash reserve and new leadership have some worried. Over the past decade, the debt and unfunded liabilities like pensions and health care have outpaced the revenue the Postal Service takes in. Mail pieces dropped from 213 billion in 2006 to 155 billion last year, and the number is expected to decline to 130 billion by 2020. But the USPS is the only one required to pre-fund retiree health care benefits. The USPS’s last profitable year was 2006. The Postal Service has maxed out its borrowing from Uncle Sam and missed four retiree program payments. The 2006 law was meant to correct that. USPS, UPS, and FedEx Hours . In the waning days of 2020, President Trump signed HR 133, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. And, serious debt. “So this is a recipe for fiscal problems, serious fiscal problems,” he said. The thinking was to pay it forward, making sure the money is there when retirees need it. To make matters worse, Congress capped post office price increases for letters and circulars at the rate of inflation. Frank Todisco has been tracking that. “The USPS is not in debt. In its 2020 fiscal year report, the USPS stated that mail volume had declined by 13.8 billion pieces, accelerated by the pandemic. Feb 7, 2020, 10 AM. See our, Read a limited number of articles each month, You consent to the use of cookies and tracking by us and third parties to provide you with personalized ads, Unlimited access to washingtonpost.com on any device, Unlimited access to all Washington Post apps, No on-site advertising or third-party ad tracking. These five charts depict the immensity of USPS’s financial challenges. The U.S. presidential election will take place on November 3, and it is not a federal holiday. We use cookies and other technologies to customize your experience, perform analytics and deliver personalized advertising on our sites, apps and newsletters and across the Internet based on your interests. House passes legislation to ease USPS debt burden. Postal Service (USPS) ran a deficit of $3.9 billion. The legislation, which was welcomed by the Postal Service, faces an uncertain future in the Senate. 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