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Senate Panel Passes Postal Service Deal

The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has passed a plan [3] to help rescue the United States Postal Service, a plan that was introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. With mail service down 20% over four years and losses over $20 billion, not to mention a $5.5 billion payment to its retiree health care fund due on the 18th (a payment it likely will not be able to make), something has to be done.

The biggest part of the plan involves buying out up to 100,000 employees by offering $25,000 cash buyouts or up to two years of service credits towards retirement. Beyond that, it talks about studying the end of Saturday delivery but makes it so that won’t come for at least two years. Finally, it would allow the postal service to tap into an overpayment of $6.9 billion into the Federal Employment Retirement System. It remains to be seen what will get passed by Congress but this is the first step in that process.

Also remember, the price of a first class stamp will increase [4] starting January 22nd, 2012, making the current stamp price [5] 45 cents.