(NBC) - The U.S. Postal Service will submit a plan Tuesday cutting some Saturday services.
Facing a $3 billion shortfall last year alone, the U.S. Post Master General says the cutback is a matter of survival.
"We have to make sure we have a viable post office in 2020 and yes some adjustments will have to be made," said Post Master General Jack Potter.
Under the plan, which will be submitted to the Postal Regulatory Commission, post offices would remain open Saturdays but there would be no street delivery or collections. The switch from six to five days of delivery would begin in the first half of 2010.
Supporters say it would save more than three billion dollars in the first year and more than five billion by 2020.
"As American use of the mail changes we believe so too should the service that we provide," Potter said.
Electronic bill paying, email, along with competition from other delivery services, has caused demand for U.S. mail services to drastically decline.
The plan calls for cutting the equivalent of more than 40,000 jobs, and reducing the workforce through attrition.
It would also change a requirement that the agency pre funds its retiree health care costs.
The Postal Regulatory Commission has 90 days to review the proposal and issue an opinion. By law, the commission must consider any nationwide changes to the mail delivery system. Then it would require legislative action because Congress passed a law close to three decades ago that mail be delivered 6 days a week.