Weymouth, MA to Join Plymouth County Trust for Retiree Health CostsCategories: New England Developments,OPEB/GASB 45/75,PARS In the News
Wicked Local: Weymouth by Ed Baker, May 16, 2017
Town council approved a proposal to enroll Weymouth post retirement health care for municipal employees in the Plymouth County OPEB Trust (PCOT) fund to comply with new financial recording requirements by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.
Councilors unanimously approved a recommendation by Weymouth Chief Financial Officer Brian Connolly and town treasurer Robert Conlon on Monday, May 15 to have the town’s post retirement health care placed in the Plymouth County OPEB.
Connolly stated in a letter to councilors prior to the meeting that Weymouth’s unfunded $220 million OPEB liability would increase by more than $40 million if it did not join a trust program.
“Reputational risk exists because borrowers, bond counsel and auditors will question our ability to manage the finances of the town,” he stated.
Connolly added Weymouth’s credit rating would also be in jeopardy and the town’s borrowing costs will increase if it did not join a trust program.
“Furthermore, pursuing a pay as you go path would require the establishment of a professional level team to manage the program as well as a budget for annual reporting,” he stated. Connolly added it would cost the town more than $100,000 annually to have a management team administer its OPEB account.
Councilor-at-large Jane Hackett said she believes Connolly and Conlon did considerable research before recommending Weymouth join the Plymouth County OPEB.
“It is a creative new idea for us,” she said.
The Plymouth County OPEB has a five-member investment committee that is selected to serve on staggered terms by the trust fund’s members or communities.
The investment committee membership rotates among its members and the group’s meets four times per year.
“Monthly and quarterly reports are distribute to all members,” Connolly stated. “Annual review is performed with each member.”
The Public Agency Retirement Services provides all financial statements and U.S. Bank is the portfolio’s investment fiduciary, according to Connolly.
Councilor-at-large Michael Molisse , chairman of the budget-management committee said it made sense for Weymouth to join the Plymouth County OPEB.
Molisse said the Plymouth County OPEB was highly recommended to Weymouth by various cities and towns.
“A lot of work was done and they were highly recommended,” he said. “I think it will be good.”