CalSTRS Will Form Health Care Task Force
Sacramento, CA – The California State Teachers’ Retirement Board voted at their meeting today to form a task force with school health care stakeholders to address the health care issues facing employers and their employees, including retired employees.Employers have been experiencing increasing health care costs which have resulted in higher premiums paid by both the employers and employees, higher co-pays and reduced coverage.Beginning in 2007, public employers that have a financial liability associated with the provision of health care to their retired employees will be required by Government Accounting Standards Board rules to disclose that liability on their financial statements.
“We have a critical role as fiduciaries of this system to assist school districts, one of our key partners in serving California’s educators,” said Dana Dillon, benefits and services committee chair. “If we can use our expertise and experience to help school districts see their way through this thicket of new rules, it will come back around as a boon to our members.”
The task force will determine the approach CalSTRS could take in assisting the school districts in complying with the new accounting rules. The task force will include representatives of certificated and classified employees, school districts, county offices of education and community college districts and administrators of school health care plans. CalPERS and state legislators will also be invited to participate.
As CalSTRS and CalPERS have considerable expertise in the area of federal financial compliance and actuarial valuations, the task force role may determine the pension plans could:
- Assist school employers in conducting actuarial valuations of their health care liabilities;
- Manage assets accrued from contributions or other financial vehicles to fund those liabilities;
- Develop educational materials associated with GASB rules; and
- Administer programs to finance health care plans to increase access to affordable health care for retired members.
CalSTRS does not provide health care for current or retired educators; school districts provide health care to its employees based on collective bargaining agreements.
With a $146 billion investment portfolio, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System is the second-largest public pension fund in the United States. It provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits to California’s 776,000 public school educators from kindergarten through community college.