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1/7/2003

Postal rates steady until '06
By Bill McAllister
Thanks to an unexpected revision in retirement costs, stamp prices are likely to remain at 37 cents until 2006, two years longer than expected, U.S. Postal Service officials announced Tuesday.

Postmaster General John E. "Jack" Potter said government officials discovered that the Postal Service has been overpaying the retirement costs of postal workers, and that the difference should give the agency about $3 billion more than it expected.

That should allow the agency to reduce its deficit and to defer the next scheduled rate increase to 2006, Potter told the agency's board of governors.

Potter also said Congress must enact legislation to revise how the agency pays retirement costs for its workers. --Bill McAllister