Oops, They Did It Again

Goodbye paper statements…again. Two years after reinstating paper statements amid a firestorm of criticism for having ended them, the Social Security Administration is again pulling back on mailed statements. In a recent blog post, the agency announced it would mail fewer statements this year to reduce costs by as much as $11.3 million. Only individuals 60 years of age and older who aren’t receiving benefits and don’t have an online account will get paper statements, which provide information on a person’s earnings, estimated benefits, and contributions. 

 

Flexible Workforce

Non-career employees, or temporary workers who do not receive full employee benefits and privileges, make up a significant part of the U.S. Postal Service’s workforce – about 130,000 in fiscal year (FY) 2016. The USPS uses non-career employees throughout its operations.

 

Adding to the IG Arsenal

King Louis XIV of France did more than usher in a golden age of art and literature and preside over a dazzling royal court at Versailles in the 17th century. He also introduced the world to the inspector general concept, appointing agents to review his military and report back what they found.

 

Top 10 Postal Stories of 2016

Out with the old; in with the new. It's a common saying at the start of the New Year. In the postal world, however, some old things go out at the end of the year, only to return again in the New Year, like postal reform.

And, of course, some things never go away completely, which is a good thing. For example, we continue to get mail delivery to our doors at least 6 days a week no matter what is happening with the U.S. Postal Service's financial condition.

 

Forever and Ever

Do you have a stockpile of Forever Stamps in a drawer? Isn't it great to know you can use those stamps any time, and they'll be good no matter how much the postage rate may have changed? You can put them on this year's holiday cards, even if you bought the stamps 3 years ago.

 
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And Then There Were None

On December 8, the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman James Bilbray served his final day. The board is now without any independent governors for the first time since the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 created the governing body, which operates much like a corporate board providing strategic direction to the Postal Service.

While Postmaster General Megan Brennan and Deputy Postmaster General Ron Stroman serve on the Board of Governors, the board is also made up of nine independent governors appointed by the president and approved by the Senate.

 
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Conducive and Convenient CPUs

Location, location, location – it's the mantra of realtors, of course, but is just as important to retailers and service providers, like the U.S. Postal Service. USPS understands the importance of being where people live and shop. It also knows that keeping hours conducive to people's shopping habits increases customer traffic. Cue contract postal units (CPUs), which the Postal Service uses to supplement its 32,000 post offices around the country.

 
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Platinum Anniversary

Twenty years ago, E.R. was the number one TV show, Macarena topped the pop music charts, and Independence Day (the original) was the highest-grossing movie of the year. A stamp cost 32 cents, and, oh yes, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) was created.

On September 30, 1996, President Clinton signed the amended Inspector General Act of 1978 to establish a separate enforcement and oversight agency for the Postal Service, moving that responsibility to the newly created and fully independent OIG.

 

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