Senators propose pension changes

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OLYMPIA — Washington state senators proposed changes Wednesday in how government handles retiree medical benefits and pension costs, after an Associated Press investigation that documented problems with pre-retirement pay spikes and post-retirement health costs.

Under a bill sponsored by six senators, lawmakers would develop a voluntary risk pool for local governments to help manage medical costs of retirees in an old pension system called LEOFF-1. Jurisdictions are required pay all medical expenses of their LEOFF-1 retirees, and AP reported on how some government budgets were being overwhelmed by the unpredictable costs of longterm care.

The city of McCleary was paying $90,000 a year for a single retiree who had in-home care. That is $129 for every household in the city.

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