S.F. Supervisors Mull Cuts to Retiree Health Liability
On Tuesday, San Francisco supervisor Sean Elsbernd introduced legislation at a Board of Supervisors meeting that seeks to rein in spending on retiree health care benefits for future city workers, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
San Francisco faces a liability of $4.2 billion over 30 years in retiree health care costs for current and former workers. To reduce the liability, Elsbernd's plan would:
- Increase from five to 20 years the length of time workers must be employed before qualifying for full retiree health benefits (Selna, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/6);
- Raise from 50 years old to 55 years old the minimum age for claiming benefits (California Healthline, 2/5);
- Require new employees to contribute 2% of each paycheck toward a trust fund; and
- Require the city to contribute from city funds the equivalent of 1% of each employee's paycheck into the trust fund.
The provisions would only apply to San Francisco workers hired after Jan. 10, 2009.
Elsbernd's legislation also seeks to lower retiree health costs by freezing raises for all nonpublic-safety city workers until 2010.
The plan, backed by labor unions and Mayor Gavin Newsom (D), would go before voters on the June 3 ballot, pending approval from the supervisors. The board is expected to vote Feb. 26 (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/6). 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.