The union representing post office workers has warned that hundreds of Post Offices across the country will close if An Post loses the contract for making Social Welfare payments.
It is understood the Department of Social Protection is planning to put the welfare payments contract out to tender.
The future of the contract is being considered by the Department of Social Protection and a decision is expected shortly.
But speaking to iRadio, the General Secretary of the Irish Postmasters' Union, Brian McGann says if this were to happen it would mean further job losses in An Post:
"The Social Welfare contract forms a very substantial part of the business of the post office network," he said, adding that if the contract were lost, it could lead to the closure of up to 700 post offices.