You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Postal Service closes fiscal year with record $15.9b loss

WASHINGTON — The Postal Service reported a record $15.9 billion net loss Thursday for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, bringing the financially troubled agency another step closer to insolvency.

The expected loss, more than triple the service’s loss last year, included accounting expenses of $11.1 billion related to two payments that the agency was supposed to make into a future retiree health benefits fund. But because of revenue losses, the agencywas for the first time forced to default on these payments, which were due in August and October.

Continue reading below

Nearly $5 billion in other losses were because of a dip in revenue from mailing operations. The agency also reached its $15 billion borrowing limit from the Treasury.

Despite its financial woes, officials said the agency would continue to operate as usual and that employees and suppliers would be paid on time.

The agency had warned that it could face a $100 million cash crunch in October because of a drop in revenue. But it reported more than $500 million in revenue from candidates, political parties, and other interest groups sending out campaign mail before the election. The agency said revenue from political mail and the holiday season should help its cash situation until Congress acts to overhaul the Postal Service.

The agency’s financial reports show that mail volume continues to decline as Americans have increasingly turned to electronic forms of communication. Total mail volume was 159.9 billion pieces, down 5 percent from 168.3 billion pieces a last year. Operating revenue was $65.2 billion, down from $65.7 billion during the same period.

For nearly a year, the agency has been urging Congress to pass legislation that would allow it to save costs including cutting back the number of days it delivers mail to five days a week, reducing annual payments required for its future retiree health fund and entering into new lines of business such as delivering beer and wine by mail.

Patrick R. Donahoe, the postmaster general, says Congress needs to act fast.

“It’s critical that Congress do its part and pass comprehensive legislation before they adjourn this year to move the Postal Service further down the path toward financial health,’’ Donahoe said.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.