For years, there has been a great trade-off for public sector employees — they often don’t earn as much money or have the same kind of flexibility that private sector employees do. However, one thing public employees rely on is a stable pension and retiree health care coverage — for many, this is the reason they chose to serve the public sector.

But today, public sector retiree health care coverage is at risk of going away. If it does, state and local governments will lose a valuable recruiting and retention tool. While most plan sponsors will quickly say retiree health care is not a vested benefit, they know employees count on it. Eliminating health care coverage is a huge loss for the retiree and impacts human resource plans as employees delay retirement longer than expected.

Some believe providing retiree health care is unsustainable without making huge reductions in the program or increasing taxes, but there are other options.

Hosts Marianne Steger and John Barkett kick off the series by talking about what makes public sector employees the strongest thread in the fabric of our communities. They also share how plan sponsors can reduce their retiree health care liabilities.

Listen to the full episode below. You can also subscribe on Apple Podcasts or bookmark the "Eye on 65" page. More information for public sector plan sponsors can be found on the Willis Towers Watson website.



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