Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today announced she will cosponsor the USPS Fairness Act, a bill authored by Senators Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) to repeal a mandate requiring the U.S. Postal Service to pre-fund its employees’ retirement benefits.
Pre-funding requires the USPS to set aside all retiree health benefits for all employees, an immense financial burden that is not imposed on any other federal agency. Changing to a pay-as-you go system will relieve financial strain that has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Postal System is an essential part of American life, connecting every corner of our country no matter how rural or remote,” said Senator Feinstein. “But despite our reliance on the mail system during this pandemic, the Postal Service is coming under increasing financial strain. Pre-funding retiree benefits is a big reason for that strain. This bill is a commonsense solution that will bring much-needed relief to the Postal Service without endangering employee benefits, and I’m proud to support it.”
- Current law requires the U.S. Postal Service to fully prefund retiree health benefits for all of the USPS employees by making payments into the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund.
- Because prefunding represents a significant financial burden on an already strained federal agency, the USPS has defaulted on new payments into the fund every year since 2012.
- The repeal of the mandate would return the USPS to a pay-as-you-go system for retiree health benefits, mirroring the standard practice in both the private sector and for other federal agencies.