City Of Greenville Workers Concerned About Retirement Benefits

Some city workers in the east are concerned about their post-employment retirement benefits that could result in less insurance coverage by the time they're eligible to retire.

The City of Greenville is looking at ways to change the current benefit package. They call it the Other Post Employment Benefits or OPEB. Greenville has allowed workers who have put in 20 years of employment to receive medical and vision benefit coverage of up to 95 percent until they reach medicare age. After that, the city provides 65% of coverage along with medicare benefits.

With 767 city employees and 423 Greenville Ulitity workers who also fall under this current plan, the city says they can not cover the costs in the long term.

At this time, the city has more than $38.8 million dollars in unfunded liability, for retiree health insurance, active employees and past retirees. If changes are not made, the city says that number would grow to $181.1 million dollars in the next 30 years.

"The numbers are very large, that's why the accounting standard board planned for each government to look at future impact. The impact is a lot of money in the future," said Greenville City Manager Wayne Bowers.

"I hope that the city staff, upper management, as well as city council are doing everything they can within their powers to help city employees as much as possible, because we can. Our hearts are in our jobs, everyday," said Greenville city employee Sylvia Brown

The council is expected to consider several options. We're told those options would not affect current retired workers or those who have put in 15 years or more.

The council will hear public comment Monday night during their council meeting. A second meeting is scheduled with the Greenville Utilities board Tuesday.

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