Milwaukee Public Schools’ retiree benefit costs drop by $1 billion

Erin Richards:

The latest actuarial valuation of the district’s nonpension benefit obligation was conducted by consultants Gabriel Roeder Smith & Co. If the conditions upon which the report is framed stay in place, MPS is predicted to face a $1.8 billion liability by the year 2019 instead of a $4.9 billion liability.
“This is an important step upon which we will continue to build,” Milwaukee Public School Board President Michael Bonds said in a statement provided by MPS.
The road to lower long-term health care costs started in late 2010, when the district finalized contracts with unions that called for a new health care plan administrator.
Under Act 10, the School Board in November 2011 approved increasing the health care premium contributions from employees, increasing the age and years of service needed to be eligible for the district’s retiree health benefits and increasing the amount of sick leave that needed to be accumulated in order for the board to subsidize the benefit.