First-class postage stamps could rise to 49 cents starting in 2014 under Wednesday proposal by the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service. The increase would raise about $2 billion in additional revenue a year.
Under the plan, first-class mail postage would rise three cents, or 6.5%. Pricing for other mail, including postcards and packages, would also rise.
The Postal Service's governing board said the increases are needed due to the "precarious financial condition" of the Postal Service, which is under Congressional mandate to fund billions in future retirement benefits of postal workers.
"Of the options currently available to the Postal Service to align costs and revenues, increasing postage prices is a last resort that reflects extreme financial challenges," said Board of Governors Chairman Mickey Barnett.
The Postal Service posted a $15.9 billion net loss last fiscal year and expects to record a loss of $6 billion in the current fiscal year, due largely to prefunding payments for retiree health benefits.