WASHINGTON -- Could mail delivery be cut back to three days-a-week?
That's not under consideration right now, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said Wednesday.
But it's something that could happen in 15 to 20 years if mail volume continues to decline.
What the Postal Service needs right now are changes in the law allowing it to reduce delivery to five days a week and to resolve an annual requirement for it to pay $5.5 billion into a fund for future retiree medical costs, Donahoe said in a telephone interview.
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Thanks to the decline in mail volume caused by the recession, and as people shift to the internet for letters and bill paying, the post office had a loss of $8 billion last year and may have a similar loss this year.
In its current financial state, the post office won't be able to make that $5.5 billion payment when its fiscal year ends Sept. 30, Donahoe said. The agency will continue to deliver mail and pay employees and suppliers, he said.
Over the past four years the Postal Service, which does not receive tax funds for its operations, has cut its staff by 110,000 and reduced costs by $12 billion.