Please Support HR 22

Please cosponsor and support HR 22 to allow the USPS to pay its share of contributions for annuitants' health benefits out of the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund.

The Postal Service is under serious financial strain due to challenging economic conditions that continue to reduce mail volume and USPS revenue. In addition, a provision of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006 requires the Postal Service to ?pre-fund? its retiree healthcare benefits -- a burden that no other federal agency or major company is required to bear -- is placing a tremendous financial strain on the Postal Service.

The payment schedule mandated by the PAEA requires the Postal Service to make an annual payment ranging from $5.4 billion to $5.8 billion from 2007 to 2016. In addition, under PAEA, the Postal Service makes a separate payment to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for its annual retiree health benefit premiums until 2016. When this payment schedule was being considered in 2006, the Postal Service believed the payment plan was achievable; recent financial circumstances have changed that analysis.

H.R. 22 would be would provide much needed financial relief to the Postal Service by allowing it to fund retiree healthcare premiums from the Retiree Health Benefits Trust Fund, rather than make separate payment to OPM. This bill would simply accelerate a provision in PAEA.

I urge you to give this matter serious consideration, and to co-sponsor, support, and vote for H.R. 22.