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Lynch bill addresses FERS surplus

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) on March 5 introduced H.R. 961, the Postal Service Stabilization Act, a bill crafted to address the billions the Postal Service has overpaid into its account within the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). The measure calls for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to calculate the FERS surplus fairly and accurately and to return the overpaid amount to the USPS so it can apply the funds toward its financial obligations.

“The NALC is grateful to Congressman Lynch for taking the lead on addressing this nagging pension over-funding problem,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said, “and we are pleased to fully support H.R. 961 as a sensible and fair approach to providing the Postal Service with much-needed financial relief.”

Lynch is the ranking member of the House subcommittee with Postal Service oversight. In the last session of Congress, he was the author of H.R. 1351, which addressed the postal pension surpluses in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. Lynch is currently working on a new bill for this session that addresses these surpluses.

Independent audits have shown that, since 1970, the Postal Service has overpaid its FERS and CSRS liabilities by billions of dollars, thanks to a calculation formula used by the Office of Personnel Management that fails to consider the unique position of the USPS within the federal government.

According to a report by the Hay Group, an independent actuarial consulting firm, if OPM were to fairly adjust its calculations to account for postal-specific factors rather than government-wide ones, it could result in a FERS surplus of at least $12 billion, instead of the $3 billion figure OPM derived using government-wide factors. Lynch, a longtime friend of the NALC, is currently working on separate legislation that would specifically address the CSRS surplus.