As you may have heard, Congress recently passed the Postal Service Reform Act with overwhelming bipartisan support, shoring up the agency’s finances for years to come. In addition to its financial implications, we found several additional areas of the legislation interesting:
- Elimination of $57 billion in past-due liabilities of the USPS’s retiree health benefits fund
- The USPS is no longer required to pre-fund health benefits for its employees, which led to past-due liabilities (estimated $27 billion in savings over the next 10 years)
- Future USPS retirees will be required to enroll in Medicare (estimated $23 billion in savings over the next 10 years)
- The USPS must maintain a 6-day-a-week delivery service
- The USPS must create a public online dashboard to track national delivery times
- The USPS can contract with state, local, and tribal leaders and governments to offer non-mail services, such as hunting and fishing licenses
This bill increases flexibility for the agency and offers enormous financial benefits, as well as ensures the continued importance of and investment in the delivery network for the foreseeable future.
Further, this week President Biden signed the $1.5 trillion omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2022. The bill included a provision specifically prohibiting any funds provided in the bill from being used to consolidate or close small rural or other small post offices. These pieces of legislation demonstrate bipartisan recognition of the USPS’s importance to America’s infrastructure network and improve our tenant’s financial position for years to come.
In addition to being our CEO, Andrew Spodek serves on the board of the Association of United States Postal Lessors (AUSPL). The AUSPL provides education and training to its members and offers technical expertise, advice, valuable information, and exclusive customized insurance for postal buildings. It also lobbies government officials on behalf of the interests of all postal owners, making sure that leased postal facilities are fully considered as a means to ensure the USPS meets its universal service mandate. The AUSPL PAC was instrumental in meeting with stakeholders to get this legislation passed.
Please reach out to our team if you would like more information on the Postal Service Reform Act and how it might affect your postal property.