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New York City Owes Over $100 Billion for Retiree Health Care — And Only $5 Billion Set Aside

In December 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he was increasing paid maternity for city workers, from 6 weeks to 12 weeks. PHOTO: HuffingtonPost.com/Pacific Press/Getty

By Martin Z Braun | 1 November 2018

BLOOMBERG — New York City faces future health costs for its retired workers of $103.2 billion, an increase of $40 billion over a decade. It has about $5 billion set aside to pay the bill.

The so-called “other post-employment benefits” liability was disclosed in New York’s comprehensive annual financial report released by the city comptroller’s office Wednesday. The city’s $98 billion unfunded liability for retiree health care exceeds the city’s $93 billion of bond debt and $48 billion pension-fund shortfall.

“The numbers are huge,” said Maria Doulis, a vice president at the Citizens Budget Commission, a budget watchdog group funded by the business community. “If you’re looking at the big three liabilities, this is the one that’s problematic, because there’s nothing set aside to address this and there’s absolutely no strategy on the part of the city.” […]

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