Spotlight on Retiree Health Care Benefits for State Employees in 2013
An overview of the health benefits states provide for their retired employees and how they pay for them.
- Joshua Franzel, Center for Excellence, and Alex Brown, NASRA
- Publication date:
- Filed under:
- Research Studies
- Key findings:
- Health care as a portion of overall public employee wage and benefit compensation has increased from 10 percent in 2004 to 12 percent in 2012.
- Fewer state government units offer retiree health care benefits now compared to ten years ago.
- Retiree health care obligations on a per capita basis vary widely among states.
- Unfunded retiree health care liabilities are concentrated in a minority of states: of all state retiree health care unfunded liabilities, 80 percent are attributable to 12 states.
- States use a variety of methods to reduce their retiree health care costs, most commonly shifting more costs to employees and retirees.
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This brief uses recent data to review the health benefits states offer their retired workforces; underlying funding issues; approaches states are taking to pay for retiree health care and address unfunded liabilities; and the policy and program changes states have made to retiree health benefits since 2009.