Bill would require government to fund retirement benefits in sep - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Bill would require government to fund retirement benefits in separate account

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Lawmakers hope a bill aimed at retirement benefits will save local government from unexpected costs down the road.

A bill has been introduced that would require local governments and school districts to pay certain health benefits before they're needed.  It would include things like sick leave or health insurance that employees can collect after retiring.  Right now, this type of early funding is not required, so when someone does retire, it can put a strain on budgets.

"We're saying, 'be responsible, fund it from the get go, set it in a segregated account and then you will have it available when these retirees go out the door.'  And right now, that's not happening in too many cases and it puts a bind on school districts, the tech schools and local governments," says Rep. Steve Nass, (R) 33rd Assembly District

If the bill is approved, local governments offering retirement benefits would have to start putting money into a special fund starting in January of 2014.

In Eau Claire, the city does not set money aside for retirement benefits.  Instead, the benefits are included in the annual budget.  The city says if the bill passes, it would be required to pay current and future obligations at the same time.

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