Growth of OPEB Participation

Among its 2009 financial recommendations to the City of DeKalb, Executive Partners, Inc. warned that the costs of DeKalb’s retiree health and life insurance plan, known as Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB), would continue to outpace contributions “to infinity.” EPI recommended the city jettison the program ASAP.

In confronting the continued growth of what was already at the time an unfunded liability of nearly $30 million, the city council discussed the options in joint meetings with its financial advisory committee. One of the things that came out in these discussions was that the city is making contributions for all its retirees, not just those with whom it had a contractual obligation to do so. Even retirees from the DeKalb Public Library can participate.

I had gotten the impression during those discussions that DeKalb had included all retirees in the OPEB for generations.

[table id=48 /]

I was wrong.

Sources:

May 2009 EPI Report and Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports from the City of DeKalb Downloads page