Mailing Industry Council Lett Tells Bush to Change USPS Pension

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Members of the Mailing Industry CEO Council sent a letter to President Bush yesterday supporting legislation that would let the U.S. Postal Service significantly lower its contributions to the Civil Service Retirement System.

A review in October found that the postal service has almost fully funded future obligations for CSRS postal employees and retirees. As a result, the postal service has said retirement contributions could be lowered by $2.9 billion in fiscal year 2003 and $2.6 billion in FY '04, with the savings used to keep postal rates steady until 2006.

Pension contributions are fixed by law, however, and changing them would require congressional approval. The administration supports such a change.

Without a change in the law, postmaster general John E. Potter has said that the postal service will be forced to begin filing a new rate case early next year that would raise rates in 2004.

"It is important that the administration work with the congressional leadership to see that this necessary legislation is passed in the near term," the letter said. "The currently scheduled rate filing in early 2003 and its resulting negative signal to an already sluggish economy can be avoided by prompt enactment of the proposed refinancing mechanism.

"Delay will have significant consequences for the $900 billion mailing industry that we represent, many segments of which are already enduring a difficult industry downturn. Those of us in the mailing industry will be in a better position to increase capital investment and business operations in a climate where postal rates remain stable for several years."

The council is a nonprofit group whose mission is to focus on the establishment and maintenance of public policies and mailing industry standards that enable the growth of the industry. Members include Advo CEO Gary Mulloy, Lockheed Martin Distribution Technologies president Judy Marks and Pitney Bowes chairman/CEO Mike Critelli.

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