Email (excerpted), David Partenheimer, manager of media relations, USPS, Washington, D.C., Aug. 9, 2013

...The main point I want to make is even without the RHB payments, we would still be suffering financial losses. These losses will only grow over time without fundamental changes to our business model.  The only way for us to return to long-term financial health is through a comprehensive approach, which is reflected in our updated Five-Year Business Plan. The plan provides an achievable roadmap to restore financial stability and must be pursued and executed within a short window to avoid unsustainable losses and potentially becoming a long-term burden to the American taxpayer. The Postal Service needs to save $20 billion annually by 2017.  Many of the savings cannot be achieved without the following legislative action:

•             Require a USPS Health Care Plan (resolves the Retiree Health Plan prepayment issue)

•             Refund the FERS overpayment and adjust the FERS payment schedule

•             Adjust delivery frequency (six-day package/five-day mail delivery)

•             Streamline the governance model

•             Allow USPS the authority to expand products and services

•             Require a defined contribution retirement plan for future postal employees

•             Provide instructions to arbitrators to consider USPS’s financial condition in interest arbitration awards

•             Reform workers’ compensation

The Postal Service has already reached its debt limit of $15 billion. It also has defaulted on $11.1 billion due for retiree health benefits in 2012 and also expects to default on an additional $5.6 billion on September 30, 2013.  Without legislative change to reduce the cost of retiree health benefits, the Postal Service's unfunded retiree healthcare obligation stands at $48 billion.   In addition, the Postal Service owes an estimated $17 billion on future workers’ compensation claims and $16 billion on its retirement programs. These obligations of nearly $50 billion and continuing losses highlight the need for immediate legislative reform to give us the latitude to execute on our Five-Year Plan and improve our ability to repay these obligations and return to profitability.