Posted on January 22, 2017
The major changes are summarized below. If you need any clarification, please let us know. The USPS has published a summary document.
The key changes for your office are:
First Class, Retail postage changes:
This is obviously a VERY big change. If you are sending out a first class mailing, you can save $0.03 per piece by using a meter imprint instead of a stamp. The difference had been one half cent until now. This savings carries through in the 2 ounce, 3 ounce and 3.5 ounce rates as well. This is also new. Previously, the half cent savings only impacted the first ounce.
Presorted First Class Mail pieces can now weigh up to 3.5 ounces without any additional charges. That is, if the invitation you are mailing weighs 3.1 ounces, it would have cost $0.751-$0.794. Now, it will cost $0.376-$0.419 for barcoded first class mail. Non-Presorted mail is still charged by the ounce, though. A single invitation that weighs 3.1 ounces will require $1.12 postage. If you are mailing more than 500 invitations (the presort minimum) that are over one ounce, presorting is a terrific way to save on postage.
Presort Standard Mail is now USPS Marketing Mail. This will impact the permit language on mail pieces, but not how the mail is handled by the USPS. The change to permit language will be phased in slowly. If you mail with a Presort Standard indicia, you will need to change the language of your permit at some point in the future. The timing has not yet been confirmed.
The maximum weight for Presort Standard/Marketing Mail and Non Profit mail is now 4 ounces before surcharges kick in. Prices used to go up at 3.3 ounces. (please note that the maximum weight of a letter size mail piece is 3.5 ounces before it is priced as a Flat/Oversized piece).
There are many other changes that impact package rates, permit fees and USPS handling fees. They are detailed in the USPS summary sheet.