Carper bill allows USPS to recoup billions

Friday - 9/24/2010, 12:10pm EDT

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

A bill by Sen. Thomas Carper (D-Del.) aims to save the U.S. Postal Service from mounting debt.

A bad economy and the movement to electronic communications is putting USPS "in jeopardy," Carper said in a release.

The bill -- the Postal Operations Sustainment and Transformation (POST) Act of 2010 -- allows USPS to recoup billions of dollars overpaid to a retirement fund.

Under the legislation, USPS would be able to get $5 billion a year from the $50 billion of overpaid funds. The overpayments are projected to reach $230 billion in the next decade, according to the Washington Post.

The bill calls for the Office of Personnel Management to recalculate the amount USPS must pay each year into the retirement fund.

The POST Act addresses labor relations, requiring arbitrators to take USPS's financial health into consideration. Under current law, the Postal Service must pay its employees wages and benefits comparable to the private sector.

The proposed legislation also includes provisions to eliminate Saturday deliveries, shut down underused offices, open automated kiosks in grocery stores, and add non-postal services such as voter registration and driver's license renewal.