Policy Studies Regulatory Reform

The U.S. Postal Service’s Financial Condition: 2018

Can the Postal Service stay in business? It’s not clear. Last year, the U.S Postal Service (USPS) lost more than $2 billion. This operating deficit was not a rare occurrence, as the agency has run deficits frequently over the past decade. This is because plunging mail volume has cut into its revenues. It is also $15 billion in debt and has more than $100 billion in unfunded pension and retiree health benefits. USPS’ financial travails are a particular problem because the Postal Service was designed to be financially self-sufficient. If it fails to turn its business around, taxpayers may have to bail it out.

Top Points:

  1. The Postal Service’s revenues are down $5 billion per year due to declining mail volume.
  2. The Postal Service has more than $100 billion in unfunded pension and other obligations.
  3. The Postal Service is betting its future on increased revenues—-which it admits is risky.
  4. The Postal Service ran a $2.6 billion deficit last year.

Image credit: Rachel Moon

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