UC Regents OK Changes to Workers’ Pensions, Retiree Health Benefits
On Monday, the University of California's Board of Regents voted 14-3 to approve changes to future employees' pensions and retiree health care contributions in an effort to close a $21 billion unfunded liability for the benefits, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Under the governing board's plan, current and future UC retirees would contribute more to their retiree health benefits over time. The university system gradually would reduce the amount it contributes from 89% of premiums to a minimum of 70% of premiums, depending on the type of employee.
In addition, the plan would create two tiers of pension benefits. The first tier would apply to current employees and would keep pension benefits at their current level.
The second tier would apply to employees hired after July 1, 2013. Such employees would need to work five more years before they would be eligible to retire with the same level of benefits that current employees can receive at age 60 (Rosenhall, Sacramento Bee, 12/14).
The board's changes will be subject to collective bargaining for the 42% of UC workers who are members of labor unions.
On Monday, many union members told the board that they will fight the changes to retiree health and pension benefits (Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/14).
Union leaders said the board's changes disproportionately would affect blue-collar workers with physically-demanding jobs, who typically retire earlier and with more health issues than UC faculty members (Gordon, Los Angeles Times, 12/14).
UC President Mark Yudof, said he will consider the physical requirements of some jobs when the university system negotiates pension and retiree health benefits with its unions (Sacramento Bee, 12/14).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.