As a result, the
The board could vote on one proposal, which would lock retirees' insurance rate increases at either 3% or 5% for the next 30 years, said
If the board voted to lock in the premiums at a 3% or 5% increase per year, "the retiree would bear the cost if health insurance went up more than 3 or 5%," Johnson said.
Another proposal: If the district changes retirement benefits but implements a three- or five-year grandfathering system, the board could consider grandfathering employees into those retirement benefits who meet criteria for age and years of service -- but letting those employees continue working if they wish, instead of setting a fixed retirement date.
In August, the board approved some changes to district employees' OPEBs, or other post-employment benefits.
The approved policies include shifting the deposit date of employee health reimbursement accounts, or HRAs; eliminating automatic HRA contributions for retirees the year after retirement; and locking in retirees' insurance rates at the year they retire, instead of the year after.
In the 2000-01 school year, the district's premium for a family health insurance plan was
"Health insurance was far less costly when these benefits were bargained," Johnson said.
The district's OPEB costs could also impact its bond rating in the future -- and contribute to an unpredictable budget, Johnson said.
An updated actuarial study will likely come mid-November. After that, the district will be able to pinpoint how much money locking insurance rates would save, Johnson said in August.
Johnson recommended the board make a decision before early 2020 because
"We try to stress that if there's a decision, it's early enough so people have time to think about if they want to make a different decision when to retire," she said.
"I think it's important to communicate that to staff," Harder said. "We know the savings don't really start for a few years out. We have some pressing immediate needs in terms of balancing our budget that OPEB doesn't directly and immediately address. So it's a question of pulling together that full list of ideas."
In other school district news,
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