Benefit Changes Considered for San Francisco Retirees
Health care coverage for retired city workers could cost San Francisco nearly $5 billion over the next 30 years, according to a recent report by the San Francisco Controller, the San Francisco Examiner reports.
San Francisco supervisors have begun considering several methods of reducing future health costs.
Supervisor Sean Elsbernd suggested increasing the number of years required for city workers to qualify for retirement benefits from five years to as many as 20 years. He also suggested that city workers be required to have annual checkups.
A separate idea is to make the retiree health benefits system similar to the pension system, in which the city and employees pay into a health benefit fund that can be invested. According to the controller's report, the city could save $2 billion over 30 years if that strategy were adopted.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) also noted that recently approved labor contracts include a provision that requires unions to negotiate changes to retiree health benefits.
Retiree health costs for the city have increased by $82.6 million since 2000, when the city paid $17.4 million for retiree health benefits.
Elsbernd planned to call for hearings on the matter at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting (Sabatini, San Francisco Examiner, 7/11).