About 2,500 former county employees were receiving as much as $375 a month to supplement their health insurance premiums. As with most people, retirees have seen the premiums escalate in recent years. And the county’s pension reserves have been hurt by the state of the economy.
The board that administers retirement benefits has suspended the stipend for next year.
Rex Cline, a former employee of the county coroner’s office, says he and others are hopeful the economy will improve to the point that the benefit will once again be available.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s being taken away permanently. They’re not just going to pay it for that one-year and then revisit it to see if they want to reinstitution it.”
Cline says the loss of the stipend will have a greater impact on older retirees, who don’t have as many opportunities to find part-time work to make up for the loss.