Other Post-Employment Benefit Liabilities, 6th Edition

by Jonathan Williams, Lee Schalk, Nick Stark, Joshua Meyer & Thomas Savidge

Introduction

Other Post-Employment Liabilities, 6th Edition measures unfunded OPEB liabilities, now totaling over $1.14 trillion, just under $3,500 for every man, woman, and child in the United States.

Other post-employment benefits (OPEB), also known as the “trillion-dollar acronym,” covers all the benefits a retired public employee is eligible to receive in retirement that are not a pension. These benefits include health insurance, life insurance, Medicare Supplement Insurance, and other benefits.State OPEB plans face many of the same problems as public sector pension plans.

Without real reforms, defined benefit OPEB plans will place a severe burden on taxpayers. By offering a range of defined contribution options as well as implicit subsidies by pooling retirees together with active employees, states can keep the promises made to both public employees and taxpayers.

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