Placer County supervisors OK employee benefits plan | SierraSun.com

Placer County supervisors OK employee benefits plan

" Sun staff reports

The Placer County Board of Supervisors, along with the Placer Public Employees Organization, approved a memorandum last week that will provide pay increases and greater cost sharing of health care benefits for county employees.

“The new agreements will provide a strong foundation for recruiting and retaining employees in what has become a very competitive labor market,” said Thomas Miller, county executive officer.

The new compensation agreements require employees to pay 10 percent of the cost of county-provided health care benefits starting in 2008.

Additionally, staff will receive a four percent salary increase retroactive to June of this year, a three percent increase effective next January, a five percent increase effective next November and subsequent raises in 2008 and 2009 based on the California consumer price index.

The new health insurance cost sharing agreement marks a significant change than from past practices. It helps the county to reduce its current obligation and makes available dollars that can then be set aside to cover future expenses for retiree benefit obligations.

The board also approved an Other Post Employment Benefits Policy to implement their plan to pay for the future costs of retiree benefits.

“Post-retirement benefit packages are designed to attract and retain qualified personnel. However, both the private and public sector have faced the challenge of paying future benefits, particularly as retirees live longer and retire younger,” Miller said. “Our board of supervisors has taken an aggressive step to promote and protect the economic health of the county by funding such benefits in advance, though it’s not required by accounting standards. This will promote good financial management of the county and also provide greater security for the benefits that have been promised.”

Most public agencies use a pay-as-you-go method for retiree health benefits.

These actions do not apply to the Deputy Sheriff’s Association, which has not yet completed its negotiations with the county.