by Max Brantley
Because new federal accounting rules are requiring public employers to record future retirement benefits as balance sheet liabilities -- even though they are not guaranteed -- at current costs, many agencies are reviewing their benefits.
The UCA Board of Trustees will be asked tomorrow to trim some of the college's benefits to reduce the bookkeeping liabilities, which can influence the interest rate on bond issues.
Here's the proposal. Some changes on health benefits -- dropping payment of Medicare supplemental coverage and reducing the monthly contribution for people who retire after Jan. 1, 2009. Also: The end of paid life insurance and no more free parking decals and athletic passes for retirees.
I suspect we'll be seeing a lot more of this. And I suspect some day the state will have to re-examine the generous health benefits it provides for retired public employees.