Overview of the 10-year plan

On March 2, 2010, the U.S. Postal Service embarked on a new journey, unveiling a robust action plan for a return to profitability and long-term financial strength. The plan presented was based on extensive analysis and mail volume projections by highly respected, independent consultants. They confirmed that absent fundamental, structural change to its current business model, the Postal Service will likely face cumulative losses that could reach more than $238 billion by 2020.

Against this static backdrop, we presented and have been working diligently to implement an ambitious, yet achievable, plan to shape our future. Our plan consists of two complementary but distinct categories of necessary action: actions that are within management control, that is, that can be taken by the U.S. Postal Service without the need for regulatory or legislative intervention; and those structural, systematic changes that require regulatory or legislative action to implement.

The first category of changes, those within management control, could reduce our projected gap by $123 billion. By themselves, these changes are not enough. The remaining $115 billion gap can be closed only through legislative, regulatory, and labor changes that would afford the Postal Service sufficient flexibility to continue to fulfill its mission to the American people without additional cost to taxpayers.

This second critically important category of changes includes: (1) Restructuring the Postal Service’s unique obligation to pre-fund retiree health benefits, particularly given overfunding of CSRS and FERS pensions; (2) Adjusting delivery days to better reflect current mail volumes and customer usage; (3) Modernizing our existing retail network so that customers can access postal products and service where they are; (4) Establishing a more flexible workforce that is better positioned to respond to changing demand patterns; (5) Ensuring adequate pricing to respond to market demand and help cover costs; (6) Permitting the Postal Service to better respond to changing customer needs through the expansion of product and service offerings, and (7) Reinforcing these changes with more clearly defined, appropriate, agile oversight roles and more streamlined processes.

The current situation presents a tremendous challenge for the Postal Service, while also presenting a tremendous opportunity. With the unveiling of this ambitious, multi-faceted plan, we have begun laying a solid foundation for long-term success. We have made measurable progress in 2010 and look forward to working with our stakeholders, including the Congress and the Administration, to ensure a viable, financially sound, and market responsive Postal Service for the future.


Delivering the Future

Business Plan: Proposed Actions


Cumulative Value 2010–2020

Actions Within USPS Control



Retiree Health Benefits



Delivery Frequency



Expanded Access






Revenue (Pricing & Products)



REMAINING GAP (from $238B)