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FAQ: What you need to know about the new postal service cuts

USPS truck

USPS truck Credit: Getty Images

That's one more nail in the mailbox.

The cash-strapped agency Monday officially announced details of its $3 billion round of service cuts, which will include ending next-day delivery and increasing delivery estimates for First Class mail.

The USPS also will seek approval to shutter nearly half of its 461 processing facilities, eliminating some 28,000 jobs.

Here's what you need to know about the cuts, and how they affect you.

Why is this happening?
The USPS has operated at a loss for the past five years, including a projected loss of $14 billion this year. It has said it will run out of money by September 2012 without a congressional overhaul of operations. The service is seeking a total of $20 billion in savings by 2015.

How will this affect me?
In essence, next-day delivery will be a thing of the past, and delivery estimates for First Class mail would increase to two to three days, up from the current promise of one to three days. Delivery times for most other more expensive classes of mail, such as Priority Mail and Express Mail, would not change.

When will the cuts happen?
Still unknown, but it will likely begin somewhere between March and April next year. A 1-cent increase on stamps is already slated to start Jan. 22, bringing the price for a first class letter to 45 cents.

What other plans is the Postal Service considering?
In July the USPS said it's studying where to close 3,653 of its total 32,000 post offices, and could end up looking at as many as 16,000 offices over the next decade, according to The Wall Street Journal. The agency also has asked permission to end Saturday mail delivery and pull out of federal health and retirement programs.

(with Reuters)

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