The United States Postal Service (USPS) on Friday reported a $5.1 billion loss for the just-completed 2015 fiscal cycle. That’s actually an improvement over 2014 losses.
The company’s losses have continued to mount as its first class mail service loses business and it continues to fund a government required health care plan for current and future retirees.
In one sign of good news, the USPS reported an increase in overall revenues for an operating profit of $1.2 billion. That growth was largely in part to the USPS’ growth in the package delivery side of its business.
A special rate surcharge is set to expire next year, which promises to cut revenues by $2 billion annually.
The service will seek relief from the mandate to “pre-fund” retiree health benefits. Legislation in 2006 required the Postal Service to fund 75 years’ worth of retiree health benefits. It is the only agency either public or governmental that is required to make such payments.
“The road is difficult for a number of reasons,” said Chief Financial Officer Joseph Corbett. “Without the surcharge, for example, in 2015, we would have recorded a controllable loss of $800 million, not income of $1.2 billion. Also, our costs continue to escalate.”
The Postal Service registered revenues of $68.9 billion in 2015, a $1.1 billion increase over 2014.
The USPS has now lost money 9 years in a row. The service is now pressing to end Saturday mail delivery and to close even more of its already suffering US postal service offices.