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Legislation Passed in Congress To Avoid Nonprofit Postage Increase

WASHINGTON (AFP eWire - April 18, 2003) - Charities across the United States will get a break from increasing postal rates until 2006 if Senate Bill 380, the Postal Civil Service Retirement System Funding Reform Act, is signed into law by President Bush.

In early April, both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed the legislation, which would change how the United States Postal Service (USPS) contributes to a worker retirement fund. Government analysts found that the USPS could scale back payments to the fund while not affecting benefits to any of its workers.

The realized savings will allow the USPS to stabilize its financial footing while averting another postal rate increase for nonprofits that was due in 2004. The Magazine Publishers of America estimated that the bill will save charities more than $7 billion over the next three years.

Under the bill, postal rates will remain steady until 2006. The USPS is expected to save $2.9 billion in fiscal year 2003 and $2.6 billion in fiscal year 2004. The legislation will not have any impact on the cost of a first-class postage stamp.

The president has until April 23 to sign S. 380 into law. AFP extends its appreciation to the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers (of which AFP is a participating member) for helping pass the legislation.

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