Salaries at the postal service are paid through money earned
from operations, and tax dollars do not directly subsidize these
expenses. The salary of the postmaster general has risen in
recent years despite poor financial performance of the USPS
itself. In 2007, Congress set the postmaster general's salary
at $186,000, which rose to $265,000 in 2008.
Compensation is not limited to regular salary, as the
postmaster general also receives valuable benefits, such as
performance bonuses, which amounted to $135,000 in 2008.
The bonus is paid when the postmaster leaves his position
and retires from federal government employment. Congress
has also approved a package of retirement benefits for the
2009 Salary Freeze
In 2009, Postmaster General John E. Potter, who had been
serving in this position since 2001, imposed a salary freeze
on himself and all USPS executives, citing the serious losses
the post office was experiencing from day-to-day operations.
The USPS is facing increased competition from private delivery
services such as UPS and FedEx, as well as the widespread use
of email for personal and business correspondence.
Retirement and Replacement
In 2010, the postmaster general's salary authorized by
Congress rose to $273,296. Potter stepped down as postmaster
general in December 2010, at which time he was awarded $3.1
million in accumulated pension benefits, which he earned over
a 32-year period in government service, as well as
compensation for leave not taken, and outplacement
assistance for a period of two years. In 2011, Potter was
replaced by Deputy Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe,
whose salary in his first year stood at $267,840.