Alexandria, Va. (December 6, 2018) – In response to a sustainability report released by the Task Force on the U.S. Postal System, NARFE National President Ken Thomas issued the following statement:
“NARFE appreciates the opportunity to have worked with the Postal Service Task Force to discuss the issues facing this vital national agency. Notably, the Task Force was fully aware of congressional proposals that would balance the books of the U.S. Postal Service on the backs of postal retirees and taxpayers, yet it declined to endorse them. That should put another nail in the coffin of the misguided idea to require postal retirees to pay additional health insurance premiums, through Medicare Part B, as a condition of retaining their earned federal retiree health benefits.
“The Task Force recommendation to restructure the overly burdensome health care prefunding liability holds some promise, as it would apply to future liabilities for postal employees at or near retirement — instead of the potential liabilities of all postal employees, even those that will never qualify for benefits. It’s a common-sense proposal that ought to be adopted as a first step towards righting the Postal Service’s financial ship.
“Unfortunately, the Task Force turned to the dustbin of federal workforce benefit cuts as alternatives, taking aim at the retirement benefits of all federal employees, and specifically targeting the compensation paid to federal workers disabled through their work. These proposals have been rejected by Congress before, and should be dead on arrival again. Just as the financial problems of the USPS cannot be solved by burdening its retirees, they also cannot, and should not, be solved by cutting benefits of its current workforce.
“The Task Force also proposed allowing the Postal Service to do away with six-day delivery, which would weaken the promise of universal service to the entire American public at today’s standards. Rather than seek to grow the Postal Service’s business, this policy would constrict its growth, and undermine the services Americans have come to expect in the process.”
The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), one of America’s oldest and largest associations, was founded in 1921 with the mission of protecting the earned rights and benefits of America’s active and retired federal workers. The largest federal employee/retiree organization, NARFE represents the interests of 5 million current and future federal annuitants, spouses and survivors.