USPS shows a $330 million year to date profit before (noncash) “trust fund” charge

The US Postal Service issued its required quarterly financial report today, claiming a loss of $740 million for the three months ended June 30, bringing the year to date loss to $3.9 billion.

But you need to check the footnotes to get at the truth. Buried in Note #2 on page 7 is this:

The Postal Service has suffered 7 consecutive quarters of net losses and has had net losses in 16 of the last 18 quarters. The net loss of $3,870 million for the first nine months of the year included $4,200 million of expense accrued for the legally-mandated prefunding payment for retiree health benefits.

Yes, that’s right- the entire loss (and then some!) was due to the infamous PAEA trust fund requirement. Without that $4.2 billion charge, which exists only as an accounting entry, the USPS would be showing a profit of $330 million so far this year.

  • Vince

    Quick somebody close another plant. Before they notice that profit.

  • Herman

    Can we just cut Saturday now.
    For God sakes.

  • Mr. Postman

    Well, throw me a bonus!

  • Postmaster

    Looks like management harassment and intimidation of its employees is really paying off! Its amazing what you can get out of your employees when you threaten them with letters of discipline! Keep up the good work!

    • jmurch634

      So true threats seem to be the only motivational tool y’all know too bad you don’t try something like treatment with dignity and respect oh wait that’s foreign words to management

  • Guest

    I have seen the Postal Service waste money on so much useless crap, I don’t want to hear about any losses. When I see a real effort being put forward, then I will entertain their so called “losses”.

  • JB

    I wonder who would profit by the loss of the post offices? The media loves to push the idea that privatization somehow benefits the nation. Trash all the benefits and wages of this group of workers and we are somehow better? We need to focus on the citizens of the country, not special interests but the common good.
    Great to see some light shed.

  • Joe Ralstin

    The Postal Service, by law, can not make a profit. They are under a break-even mandate.

    • postalnews

      That used to be true, to a certain extent, but the break-even “mandate” was removed by PAEA, which instead placed a cap on price increases for USPS’s “monopoly” services, and basically required other services (Express Mail, Priority, etc.) to pay their own way, without being cross-subsidized.

      Even before PAEA, the USPS could, and did, make a profit in some years. The rule was to break even over time– it didn’t have to break even every single year.

      • Joe Ralstin

        This is true, they have to develop a 5 year plan to basically make a profit the first two years, break even the third year, and lose money the last two years. The end of the 5 year plan would be a break even point.

        • postalnews

          Joe- there’s nothing in the law that requires anything like that.

          • Joe Ralstin

            This may have been a simplified explanation that was given to me years ago by someone in the USPS. But break even is the goal.