Washington state senators proposed changes Wednesday in how government handles retiree medical benefits and pension costs, responding to an Associated Press investigation that documented problems with pre-retirement pay spikes and post-retirement health costs.
Under a bill sponsored by six senators, lawmakers would develop a voluntary risk pool for local governments to help manage the medical costs of the retirees in an old pension system called LEOFF-1. Local jurisdictions are required pay for all the medical expenses of their LEOFF-1 retirees, and the AP reported on how some government budgets were being overwhelmed by the unpredictable and dramatic costs of long-term care.
In one case identified by AP earlier this month, the small city of McCleary was paying $90,000 a year for a single retiree who had in-home care. That is $129 for every household in the city.
(Hat tip to John K. Ross)