The full House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will meet April 5 to look at U.S. Postal Service pay and benefits.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the committee, says the committee expects to hear from Postal Service officials about the compensation agreement the service recently offered to the American Postal Worker Union.

The Postal Service has been facing financial problems, and Republicans on the House Oversight Committee say one concern is that the Postal Service appears to be paying workers about 34% more than comparable private-sector employers pay for similar work.

The Postal Service also has been involved in a dispute with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) inspector general about whether the Postal Service has contributed $142 billion too much to the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Funds.

Postal Service officials say they believe the Postal Service has contributed too much and ought to take the excess contributions out and put the money to better use.

The OPM inspector general says that the Postal Service is exaggerating the size of any possible excess contributions, and that the Postal Service needs to keep much of the cash in the retirement benefits funds to protect its current and future retirees against the weak state of Postal Services finances.

- Allison Bell

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