The Postal Service has reported a record $15.9B loss for the year, more than three times last year’s loss.
Much of the red ink was due to mounting costs for future retiree health benefits, which made up $11.1 billion of the losses. Without that and other related labor expenses, the mail agency sustained an operating loss of $2.4 billion, lower than the previous year. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said the agency has been able to reduce costs significantly by boosting worker productivity. But he said the mail agency has been hampered by congressional inaction on a postal overhaul bill that would allow it to eliminate Saturday mail delivery and reduce its $5 billion annual payment for future health benefits. Earlier this year, the post office defaulted on two of those payments. It is forecasting additional losses next year of roughly $7.6 billion.
The Postal Service is the only government agency required to make prepayments into its healthcare plan.