WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., introduced legislation Wednesday that would let the U.S. Postal Service move money from its pension fund to its retirement health benefit fund.
The Save Our Postal Workers Act would let the postal service essentially use its own money to cover its retirement obligations and keep its facilities open.
"This common-sense legislation is about jobs," Mikulski said. "By allowing the postal service to use its own funds to pay the retirement benefits owed to its employees, we will keep thousands of postal workers on the job delivering mail across our country. Postal workers are on the front lines every day, working hard for America. This bill lets the USPS use its own money to help save their jobs."
The postal service, under federal law, must prefund decades worth of retirement benefits to the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefit Fund.
The Postal Service Office of Inspector General found that the Postal Service has overpaid $75 billion into that fund.
While the USPS is facing a possible default, there are billions of dollars sitting in a fund that can't get used unless Congress gives them access to it.
"I want postal workers to know I am on their side, and I will not let them be scapegoated for financial problems at the Postal Service," Mikulski said. "Congress should act with the urgency of now to save the jobs of thousands of our nation's postal workers."
Mikulski's bill is companion legislation to H.R. 1351, introduced earlier this year in the U.S. House of Representatives.