Postal service prepares for second default in two monthsSubmitted by emalvini on Thu, 09/27/2012 - 05:27
Postal service prepares for second default in two months
By Amanda Palleschi, Government Executive
Updated: September 26, 2012 | 6:37 p.m.
September 26, 2012 | 6:36 p.m.
The U.S. Postal Service will default this week on a $5.6 billion congressionally mandated obligation to pre-fund retiree health benefits, marking the second time in two months the cash-strapped agency has done this.
The Postal Service last month failed to pay $5.5 billion for its fiscal 2011 prepayment obligation, which originally was due in September 2011 but was deferred by Congress until Aug. 1. That was the first time it ever defaulted on a payment to the Treasury Department. The $5.6 billion due this week, on Sept. 30, represents this fiscal year’s obligation.
Before this year, Congress helped USPS defer pre-funding payments required by a 2006 congressional mandate. Postal reform has challenged this Congress. Lawmakers warn that when they revisit the issue after the November election they likely won’t reach agreement on as major an overhaul as some deem necessary. USPS lost $5.2 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2012, $2.1 billion more than during the same time period in 2011.