A commission working on the problem of funding health benefits for retired public sector workers agreed on a solution last week. The plan calls for a new system of trust funds that would provide retired teachers, firefighters, police and municipal workers with a health care subsidy.
The current system is broken badly, especially for teachers. Funding for a subsidy for retired teachers was so low that the Legislature cut off eligibility this year.
The new retiree medical trusts would be fed by contributions from both workers and their employers at rates agreed to in local contract negotiations.
Estimates are it will take four years before enough money builds up in the trust to provide a benefit. Trustees of each work group's fund would set benefit levels, based on its finances.
Fahey also writes extensively on the layoffs across state government.