State retiree health care benefits in FY2015.

Position:News & Numbers

State governments contributed $18 billion to their retiree health costs in FY2015, 42 percent of their annual required contributions, according to a brief by the National Association of State Retirement Administrators and the Center for State and Local Government Excellence.

Key findings include:

* Nearly every state and most local governments provide access to health benefits to retired employees and, in most cases, this coverage includes spouses and dependents.

* Thirty-one states hold approximately $41 billion in assets to pay for future retiree health benefit costs.

* Ten states--New Jersey, Texas, New York, California, Illinois, North Carolina, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Massachusetts--are responsible for $451 billion, or nearly 77 percent of the aggregate state retiree health unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities.

* The median state retiree health unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities is approximately $2.7 billion, and the mean average is approximately $12 billion.

While OPEB liabilities in some states are quite large in dollar terms, annual costs remain at 1.5 percent of aggregate state expenditures, according to the brief. Most states contribute far less each year...

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