& WHY WE NEED THEM
The U.S. Postal Service is critical to our way of life, but it needs help to keep delivering.
The only service going the last mile for everyone.
The U.S. Postal Service is a critical, constitutionally authorized institution that is the only courier capable of—and mandated to—deliver mail and packages to every address in America. Postal carriers go the last mile, no matter how rural or remote the address.
An intricate and growing mail network.
The U.S. Postal Service processes over 130 million pieces of First Class Mail each day, going to and from a staggering 161 million delivery points. The cost and scope of its network continue to grow as the country adds approximately 1 million delivery addresses each year.
First-class postage and “forever stamps” increased in August 2021 from 55 cents to 58 cents. While rates for most mail went up, charities and other nonprofits, magazines, newspapers, and catalogs faced an even bigger postage increase of 8.8 percent. The Postal Service also implemented delays for most First Class Mail.
As service declines, so will the Postal Service itself.
While everyone feels the pinch of higher postage and delayed mail, these trends will also hurt the Postal Service because it will lose not only more consumer mail, but also business, newspaper and non-profit-related mail, which generates 90 percent of Postal Service revenue.
The Postal Service Reform Act (H.R. 3076) is the first meaningful update of postal policy in nearly two decades.
With support from the Postal Service itself, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, consumer groups, and labor unions, the legislation is a bipartisan—even nonpartisan—opportunity for Congress to do right by America.
Why? The Postal Service Reform Act not only puts the U.S. Postal Service on better financial footing, but it helps guarantee that the Postal Service will remain funded by postage, not taxpayers.
The legislation also codifies enhancements that will improve delivery transparency and accountability, while ensuring that the Postal Service can stay competitive and keep delivering for our nation well into the future.
The Postal Service Reform Act:
Frequently Asked Questions
How will the Postal Service Reform Act help USPS financially?In 2006, Congress mandated that USPS pre-fund retiree health benefits 75 years in advance. This requirement drains the Postal Service by putting massive liabilities (billions of dollars each year!) on its balance sheet. The liabilities are treated as an obligation that must be met by raising postage rates. The Postal Service Reform Act frees the Postal Service from having to pre-fund billions of dollars in retiree health benefits each year. Instead, it allows future USPS retirees to access their guaranteed benefits from Medicare. In this way, the legislation helps ensure affordable postage and fiscal stability—without compromising retiree benefits.
Why does it make sense to integrate Postal Service retiree benefits into Medicare?The U.S. Postal Service generated $73 billion in revenue in 2021 (an increase over 2020), which would easily put it in the Fortune 50 if it were a private company. It is only commonsense for USPS to follow private sector best practices by allowing retirees to access their Medicare benefits. While the move allowing future USPS retirees to access Medicare benefits does increase Medicare costs by less than 1/10th of 1%, it does not bring anyone into the system who has not already paid into Medicare and is not already entitled to those benefits.
Does the legislation improve USPS technology and infrastructure?The Postal Service Reform Act requires an integrated mail-and-package delivery network, which means that the Postal Service will be able to take advantage of the critical economies of scale and technologies it needs to keep reaching every address in America with packages and mail, no matter how remote the location.
Does The Postal Service Reform Act ensure better transparency & accountability?The legislation requires the Postal Service to develop a public-facing, online dashboard updated weekly with national and local level service performance data to provide additional transparency and promote compliance with on-time delivery of mail.
What about six-day delivery?The Postal Service Reform Act would permanently require the Postal Service to maintain its standard of delivering at least six days a week to most addresses in the U.S. Since the legislation also creates a new standard for an integrated network to deliver mail and packages with maximum efficiency, it only makes sense to maintain the long-standing six-day delivery standard.
Does the legislation help newspapers impacted by higher rates?The legislation expands special rates for local newspaper distribution to help community news media organizations.