Update on the Postal Service’s Share of CSRS Pension Responsibility

May 7, 2018 (RARC-WP-18-009)

  • When Postal Service employees retire under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), somebody has to pay for their pensions.
  • For people who used to work for the former Post Office Department and then later worked for the Postal Service, the federal government and the Postal Service split pension costs.
  • Under the alternate methods of dividing CSRS pension costs discussed in this paper, the postal portion of assets within the CSRS fund would be between $80 billion and $111 billion larger than its current level (as of September 30, 2016).

The Postal Service and the federal government share the CSRS pension costs for USPS employees who once worked for the former Post Office Department. However, the Postal Service is currently responsible for all increased pension costs resulting from pay raises given to those employees since its founding on July 1, 1971. Reports issued by the OIG and the Postal Regulatory Commission in 2010 explored alternative ways of splitting CSRS pension costs. The OIG now provides an update to those 2010 reports.

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