By Whitney Teal
Losses persist for the United States Postal Service, despite cost-cutting measures that included closing retail locations in Montgomery County. Money is so tight for the federal agency that it might not be able to pay the $5.6 billion it owes to cover health benefits for retired workers in advance, Washington Business Journal reported.
The post office lost $740 million last fiscal quarter, resulting in $3.9 billion in losses this year, according to WBJ.
A bill is moving through Congress that would reverse a 2006 mandate that required the postal service to come up with billions each year for the next decade to pre-fund the next 75 years of health benefits for workers, an act that postal workers unions saidhas financially devastated the agency.
USPS began warning of dire financial straits in 2011, due to shrinking retail profits and the pre-fund mandate, Patch previously reported. At that time, the postal service announced it was studying hundreds of postal locations for potential closure. Retail locations in Silver Spring and Bethesda eventually closed. A new location opened in Bethesda that consolidated two closed locations, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Patch reported.