Posted on 14 February 2011
By Mark Miller
Fast-rising retiree health benefit costs are prompting more states and municipalities to seek cuts in health benefits for their retired employees, according to The New York Times.
The Times’ Steven Greenhouse notes that public sector employers have much more flexibility in adjusting health benefits than they do pension plans, which usually are governed by state law and union contracts. Many plans for public sector retirees are richer than comparable private sector plans; the story cites Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers indicating that “state and local employees pay 11 percent of the cost of individual medical plans on average, compared with 20 percent for private-sector employees, and state and local employees pay 27 percent of the cost of family plans, compared with 30 percent for private-sector employees.”