NALC refutes Dennis Ross’s USPS “Myths”

From the NALC’s “Activist Alert” blog:

Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL), who chairs the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service and District of Columbia, recently posted on his website a floor statement entitled Postal Service “Overpayment” – Myth v. Fact, where he tried to dispel three alleged myths about the Postal Service’s pensions and retiree health benefits pre-funding burden.

Unfortunately, his “facts” are far from factual and do more to confuse and mislead members of Congress than clarify the issues as the latest debate on postal reform unfolds. As a public service, the Activist Alert blog is happy to clear up the confusion.

Alleged Myth 1: “The Postal Service has overpaid by $50-$75 billion into the Civil Service Retirement System and Congress owes this money back.”

The Real Facts: We are asking the Office of Personnel Management to recognize the true postal surplus in CSRS. And we are asking Congress to let us use these surplus funds to cover the cost of funding future retiree health benefits, a corporate best-practice in the private sector under ERISA guidelines. This is what H.R. 1351, a bill co-sponsored by 159 members of Congress from both parties, sets out to accomplish.

Alleged Myth 2: “The Postal Service is unfairly saddled with an annual $5.5 billion retiree health care prefunding payment that is required of no other federal agency. If only the prefunding requirement were eliminated the Postal Service would be profitable again.”

The Real Facts: Once again, Rep. Ross twists the alleged myth before addressing it. Supporters of H.R. 1351 are not saying that its passage will necessarily restore the Postal Service to profitability forever. What we are saying is that, without this unfair burden, we would have been profitable over the past four years (2007-2010) since pre-funding costs of $21 billion explain 100 percent of the $20 billion losses recorded over this period.

No other agency pre-funds retiree health benefits—over any length of time. Nor do the legislative and judicial branches. Nor do most private companies.

Supporters of H.R. 1351 are not trying to stop pre-funding future retiree health benefits. Instead, we want to transfer the $55 billion surplus in the CSRS postal account (using fair methods endorsed by the Postal Regulatory Commission) into the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund, which already has $42.7 billion in it. That would be enough to totally pre-fund the Postal Service’s future retiree health obligations.

NALC does not deny that the Postal Service faces significant challenges; like many private industries, the USPS must adapt to the Internet economy.

Alleged Myth 3: “The USPS has a FERS surplus of $6.9 billion that should be immediately returned.”

The Real Facts: Rep. Ross makes a good point: The surplus in the postal Federal Employees Retirement System account may be a function of temporarily low interest rates. However, that does not mean that it would be inappropriate to allow the USPS to use the surplus in its FERS account to address its short-term financial challenges.

Rep. Ross compares the USPS to other federal agencies. He says that “other federal agencies with temporary surpluses are not being granted refunds for ‘overpayments’ as a result of these fluctuating balances.” That is true. But other federal agencies are not choking on a grossly unfair obligation to pre-fund 75 years’ worth of retiree health benefits over a 10-year period.

The Postal Service and its employees will continue to do their part—our part—to adapt to serve the changing needs of the American economy. Would it be too much to ask Congress to do the same?

via NALC Activist Alert | Legislative and Political Updates for Letter Carriers.

  • Larry

    mr ross is just another Republican that keeps repeating statements without any fact.
    But thats who they are.How in the world any postal worker can vote for these people is beyong me or any normal reasoning. they are the filth of the planet

  • Compair

    Even thou I agree with Larry, people got what they voted for. If you checked on these people before voting for them, you would not be surprised in what they are doing. I am not and being from Wisconsin, what is happening here was no surprise.

  • Deuce

    I want to laugh or cry when I see Tea Party supporters show up at Union meetings and rail against the Dems. I guess chickens have the right to vote for Colonel Sanders but shouldn’t be suprised when they lose their heads!

  • trout

    every postal employee on FB should friend his sorry butt and post these comments on his page….. this way all of his supporters will see the truth…….. the worst that could happen is he has to unfriend us all like he did me….once that happens we should all write letters to him and keep reminding him that he is a bad liar

  • mike

    i believe there are quite a few republicans supporting 1351, so don’t be painting all republicans as being the problem, a few nutcases are the problem. And, hate to tell you, but there are some nutcase democrats as well. Keep it real.

  • carl

    trout that would be hard to do…anyone who posts on his page has to agree with him…i have been banned and my posts removed…same with his buddy Issa, plus i have learned that Issa doesn’t like being called an A**

  • steve

    He and his buddies are an A@@. They should be fired for not being honest. Shame on them for lying to the public and at the same time stealing money from the American Public.