Lynch added that the city's current unfunded health-care liability for all current retirees and active employees who will be retiring is $433 million, a figure than can be slashed considerably by the adoption of the statute. For instance, if a retiree who had been on the city's Master Medical plan enrolled in Medicare upon retirement, the city would save $3,105 annually.Now multiply that times a whole lot of retirees, and factor in that the unfunded liability cost is just going to spiral "up, up, and away." Also, as CM Lynch notes in the article, the city (err...the taxpayers) are paying twice for nothing by paying the Medicare payroll tax for workers while they're in the system, then paying again for a separate plan, and then not reaping the benefits of Medicare for those people down the road.
I'm glad to see there's an effort out there to rein in the runaway cost of entitlement spending, especially as it relates to retirements and pensions. It may seem politically unpalatable (good luck to the pol who runs on a platform of cutting benefits people currently enjoy) but it can work as long as it's written in a way that works it into the future (i.e. let's raise the raise where people can receive such-and-such a benefit, but not implement it until some really futuristic-sounding year).
As a next step, I'd like to the sacred cow of "20 years" slain for a lot of public professions. If someone's occupation is truly hazardous or exceptionally stressful, I'm on board and I get it, but if someone finishes their schooling at 22, and works in an office job for 20 years, that only puts them at the very spry young age of 42 -- young enough to have full mental capacity, physical mobility, etc. Since that person is most likely capable of continuing to make meaningful productions to the workforce (and our payroll taxes!) for many more years, I don't want to pay him or her not to.