California controller pegs state retiree medical costs at $64 billion

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 4A
Last Modified: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 - 7:37 am

California faces a $63.84 billion obligation to cover state retirees' medical expenses over the next three decades, according to state Controller John Chiang.

The figure, which captures unfunded retiree health care costs from mid-2012 through mid-2042, is up nearly 3 percent in the last year.

For the most part, the state pays those expenses as they come up. The bill for the current fiscal year will hit an estimated $1.8 billion, about $100 million more than in 2011-12.

Chiang wants the government to set money aside and invest it for retiree medical obligations.

For example, if the state paid almost 10 percent extra, about $170 million, it would cut $2.74 billion from its unfunded liability, according to his office's estimates.

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