U.S. Postal Service Exec Testifies Before Congress
The U.S. Postal Service's chief human resources officer testified in front of a House of Representatives' subcommittee to urge the federal government to eliminate its unfunded liabilities.
At the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census hearing called "At a Crossroads: The Postal Service's $100 Billion in Unfunded Liabilities," Jeffrey Williamson, Postal Service chief human resources officer and executive vice president, spoke of the organization's urgency to rid itself of these liabilities.
"We cannot get there by our actions alone," Williamson said in his testimony last week. "There exists no scenario where the Postal Service returns to financial stability without enactment of postal reform legislation. Now is the time for bold and sweeping action, which will allow us to move forward with solutions that will last for years to come, instead of piecemeal efforts that will only bring the Postal Service back here."
The Postal Service is asking to fix:
Retiree health benefits by creating full Medicare integration in order to reduce the unfunded liability by almost $44 billion.
Federal Employees Retirement System overfunding by utilizing Postal Service specific demographic and salary growth assumptions in order to return approximately $6 billion in overfunding to the Postal Service.
Long-term pension liabilities by designing a defined retirement contribution plan for future employees in order to better match benefits with long-term employees’ needs while ensuring the system’s financial viability.
Worker’s compensation by requiring recipients who reach retirement age to transition from workers’ compensation to a retirement program in order to make a cost-effective and more equitable system that would also reduce the Postal Service’s unfunded liability.
The Postal Service's latest fiscal year, which concluded Sept. 30, netted a $5 billion loss, and liabilities of $61 billion—far exceeding its $40 billion in assets. Following the first quarter of 2014, its liabilities increased by about $2 billion when it netted another $354 million in losses. That $63 billion include $18.1 billion earmarked for retiree health benefits, $15.9 billion dedicated to workers' compensation and another $15 billion in debt.