As reported in the last issue of CPER, the "storm" over post-retirement health care benefits is not going to abate anytime soon. As costs continue to rise and retirees live longer, public agency employers and employees are faced with a financial burden that few predicted and even fewer are currently able to meet. Changes in governmental accounting principles — namely the Governmental Accounting Standards Board's GASB 45 — have brought the issue and the costs associated with providing retiree health care benefits to the forefront.
In "Weathering the Gathering Storm Over Post-Retirement Health Care Benefits —Vested or Not," Jeff Sloan, Genevieve Ng, and Merlyn Goeschl did a thorough job of discussing GASB 45 and the perils of the "pay as you go" approach, particularly in the context of the County Employees Retirement Law (CERL) and the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act. This article continues the discussion to focus on public employers that are covered by the Public Employees' Medical and Hospital Care Act (PEMHCA). A solution to the retiree health care debacle may prove even harder to find under the PEMHCA's more rigid statutory scheme.