Cary Grade School Board President Scott Coffey suggested looking at the Woodstock School District’s “Other Post Employment Benefit Costs” in a comment under Susan Handelsman’s cost-benefit analysis of keeping Clay Academy, a special education facility, open.
I asked for an explanation and got the following:
They relate to a series of benefits paid to or on behalf of employees that have retired from district service.
These benefits are typically oriented to maintaining ongoing participation in the district’s Health Insurance program/Life insurance/dental/vision/etc.
Typically, they last until they are eligible for Medicare/etc at age 65.
Some districts, like Cary D-26 do not offer these programs and therefore do not incur any expense.
Some districts, do offer these programs and may be a part of a collective bargaining agreement with one of the unions or with administrators.
I would doubt that most board members in some of these districts know how much they are spending on these programs or even that they existed in their own district.
The part of his comment that led to my inquiry follows:
As to OPEB costs, it might be interesting to have the finance staff breakout the $546K in OPEB costs.
Based on the audit report, it looks like D-200 pays the insurance costs of retired administrators until they’re 65 and other insurance costs for IMRF retirees.
A quick check of other districts’ OPEB costs shows:
- Huntley D-158 at $0,
- Cary D-26 at $0,
- D-155 at $41K, and
- Crystal Lake D-47 at $567K
$546K seems like an awfully expensive, unnecessary benefit.
As to SEDOM, many districts are pulling out and SEDOM will be dissolved/reorganized in some manner.
At the August SEDOM Board meeting member districts voted on the upcoming Budget submission which reflected a deficit.
I argued rather sternly against approving another deficit.
I believe I only convinced 1 other district to vote No.
SEDOM has a significant unfunded IMRF liability of $3.4 million with a like amount remaining in Fund Balance.
I thought it might be a great idea to preserve that fund balance to cover the unfunded liability during the dissolution process.
Because that liability just doesn’t go away once SEDOM dissolves.
The IMRF lawyers are already trying to determine how portions of that liability get pushed back to the member districts.
So, Susan, when you look at D-200’s reported IMRF unfunded pension liability number of $10.6 million, it will likely go higher once D-200 eats their allocated share of SEDOM’s number.