California Counties Face Funding Challenges for Retiree Health Benefits
Sacramento County is facing a long-term unfunded liability ofÂ about $245.6 million to cover health benefits for about 3,900 local government retirees, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board recently began requiring local governments to calculate their long-term liabilities for retiree benefits. The new data show that similar unfunded liabilities are posing challenges forÂ other cities and counties in California, including:
- El Dorado County;
- Roseville; and
- The city of Sacramento.
Unlike pension systems, which are funded throughout an employee's working years, most governments pay retiree medical benefits on an as-needed basis. However, such pay-as-you-go costs likely will continue rising over time, experts say.
If local officials delay addressing the unfunded liabilities, the costs eventually could be passed on to taxpayers, according to the Bee (Kalb, Sacramento Bee, 7/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.