New Year’s Resolution: Pass Postal Reform!

January 6, 2022

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(This article first appeared in the January/February 2022 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

As we enter the second session of the 117th Congress, it is absolutely critical that Congress pass The Postal Service Reform Act of 2021 (H.R. 3076/S. 1720). Your Legislative Department has been engaged with lawmakers and stakeholders in every step of this long process. This legislation, which has broad labor, public and bipartisan support, will provide the Postal Service with much-needed financial relief by eliminating the 2006 pre-funding mandate for retiree health benefits and integrating postal workers into Medicare. In addition, this bill maintains 6-day delivery and mandates more frequent reporting on service performance.

Now is the time for Congress to make this bill a priority and send it to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law! A few highlights of the legislation include:


If passed, this postal reform legislation would repeal the onerous pre-funding mandate from the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which requires the USPS to fully pre-fund the health benefits for postal workers 75 years in advance. This requirement, which no other public or private entity is burdened with, is responsible for 84 percent of the Postal Service’s net losses since 2007.


Active postal employees and retirees will be placed in a postal-only program in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB). This new plan will be regulated and operated the same way the current FEHB plans are regulated and operated today. There will be an annual open season that will allow users to choose among health plans. Current annuitants who did not enroll in Medicare B at age 65, but now wish to do so, will be given a one-time opportunity to enroll in Medicare B without penalty. Maximizing participants use of Medicare will eventually reduce health care costs for both postal participants and the Postal Service.

This legislation increases participation in Medicare by requiring Medicare A and B enrollment for future postal retirees once eligible. Members who receive healthcare through the VA, Indian Health Services, live abroad, or live in an area that does not offer Medicare will not be required to enroll in Medicare Part B and can keep their FEHB.

Approximately 80 percent of Medicare-eligible retirees already voluntarily enroll into Medicare A and B. APWU retirees have found that having a FEHB plan and Medicare A and B improves their access to health care and saves them money. Postal employees and the Postal Service have long subsidized Medicare, paying over $34 billion in Medicare taxes since 1983. Postal employees, retirees, and the Postal Service will realize the benefit of those contributions through Medicare integration.


The bill would require USPS to set up a public “dashboard” on their website, which will publish weekly performance data. This data will allow the public to monitor any service failures, identify mail slowdowns and pinpoint zip codes experiencing consistent diminished service performance. These tools will also allow us to determine specific areas across the country in need of additional postal investment.


In order to provide the kind of service people across this country deserve, this bill includes language that would protect six-day delivery. This provision is crucial. Privatizers know that by degrading service, they can drive business away, undermine our public Postal Service and justify privatization. For those who want to privatize the Postal Service, any effort to degrade service often starts with paring back the number of delivery days.

Reduced delivery days can lead to fewer people turning to the USPS when they need to send packages, job losses, and harm communities that depend on mail delivery. That’s why the APWU has fought to secure the six-day delivery provision in this bill.

As this bill moves through the legislative process, we will post updates on We encourage the House of Representatives to put this urgent bill on the floor in January!

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