HEALTH BENEFIT UPDATES: Important Health Benefit Cutbacks? Not So Fast!


Tom Moutes

Health Benefits Update:

By Tom Moutes

What would you do if you lost your Retiree health care benefits? Retirees in many other pension systems have seen their retiree healthcare benefits cut back or eliminated altogether. The Dayton Daily News recently reported that the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System is considering reducing its retiree healthcare from the current range of $225 to $405 to $178 to $315 per month. (LACERS subsidies tend to be much higher than this.)

When public employee retiree healthcare cuts are made and those cuts are litigated, the courts frequently look to the source of the benefit promise, if any. Sometimes, those “promises” amount to nothing more than a longstanding practice or a verbal agreement. In those cases, the benefit cuts are more likely to be upheld by the courts.

As LACERS Retirees, we are very fortunate that the benefit promises for our healthcare benefits are laid out in great detail in the City’s Administrative Code. The ordinance containing our benefit promises was voted for by the City Council and signed by the mayor. The fact that our Retiree healthcare benefits are in such a formal document as the Administrative Code makes it much more difficult for any proposed cutbacks to occur or be upheld by courts.

This is just one reason we are fortunate to be LACERS Retirees!