January 28, 2019 12:30 PM, EST

Forever Stamp Price Increase to 55 Cents Takes Effect

MailAndrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

The cost of a Forever stamp jumped 10% this weekend — from 50 cents to 55 cents — as the U.S. Postal Service continues to struggle financially.

The price increase — the largest since 1991 — took effect Jan. 27.

Although the cost to mail a 1-ounce letter is now 55 cents, the price of each additional ounce has dropped from 21 cents to 15 cents. That means it now will cost a little less — 70 cents, instead of 71 cents — to mail a 2-ounce stamped letter, such as a typical wedding invitation.

Priority Mail flat rate prices also have risen more than 5% on average, but the cost to mail a postcard remains at 35 cents.

USPS is not taxpayer funded. Instead, it generates revenue from the sale of products and services.

The Postal Service lost about $3.9 billion in the 2018 fiscal year — about $1.2 billion more than the previous year.


Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

“Similar to the last several years, the Postal Service was unable to make the $6.9 billion in payments that were due to the federal government at the end of fiscal year 2018 to pre-fund pension and health benefits for postal retirees, without putting its ability to fulfill its primary mission at undue risk,” USPS said in a news release.

In 2018, USPS reported a 3.6% decline, or a drop of about 2.1 billion pieces of First-Class mail volume. At the same time, its package volume grew by 394 million pieces or 6.8%.

“Although mail volume declines were partially offset by growth in package volume, overall volume for the year declined by 3.2 billion pieces,” the release said.

The Postal Regulatory Commission approved the latest price hike in November.


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