More inaccurate and dishonest information coming out of the Warwick Beacon and it's the taxpayers that are outraged.
The Beacon likes to site the "unfunded actuarial accrued liability" of $291 million because it's the lesser of the scary numbers.
The present value of future healthcare benefits --despite the baby steps that were taken to ratify the the 2015 WFD contract that limited a retiree to an individual plan while retires prior to 2015 receive family coverage-- is $381 million. The annual required contribution to fund the cost of FUTURE benefits is almost $26 million--and the City has never paid a penny.
Mr. Picozzi states that the City Council refused to fund Mayor Avedisian's Interlocal Trust fund of a measly $25k as a method of "taking action" to address the massively growing unfunded healthcare liabilities. The reason why the City Council chose not to go in this direction is because setting up this fund appeared by all testimonies and accounts of its funding structure and investor appearance to be nothing more than a ponzi scheme.
The video below includes the questioning and feedback that directly came from the administrators of the Interlocal Trust (of which Avedisian is a board member) that raised many eyebrows and resulted in the City Council deciding, "no".
Mayor Avedisian --putting up his cheerleader Mr. Picozzi-- to advocate the City joining the Interlocal Trust is nothing more than a political soundbite. Picozzi is demonstrating why the public testified against joining this Trust.. because it's just a political gimmick to make it seem like Avedisian is addressing the issue--- but in reality its all a sham.
It's amazing, Picozzi touts the "great reforms" the City made in retiree healthcare in 2015, but it still falls very short of what the school administration requires of the school teachers which is... at age 65, they pay for their own healthcare and it does NOT include spousal coverage. .
Mayor Avedisian and Mr. Picozzi...modeling what the teachers are doing when they retire should have been the starting point in 2015.
Mayor Avedisian, why didn't you stipulate in 2015 that retirees would be responsible for paying their own prescription costs and a copay on their healthcare premium?
Mayor Avedisian, why didn't you stipulate that ALL City employees after 2015 would move into an individual vs a family plan?
Mr. Picozzi makes the "spin" statement that when the city is finished paying for the Police/Fire 1 pension plan in about another 20 years, it's going to free up about $30 million extra dollars.
If wishes came true...
In 5 years, never mind in 20 years , the value of future healthcare benefits for retirees will have increased astronomically, probably at a value somewhere around $500 million or so, if not more...
The Mayor and Mr. Picozzi would have much more credibility if they called for immediate elimination of COLAS in City pension plans and the institution of an immediate copay for retiree healthcare that also eliminates spousal coverage.
Mayor Avedisian, it would also be expected-- at a minimum-- that you eliminate the cap on prescription drugs for city employees that's currently costing Warwick taxpayers 3.9 million per year.
Mr. Mayor, you helped create and exacerbate the massive financial dilemma the City faces, it's up to you, NOW, to take the honorable steps to fix the mess you created.
Anything else is a dereliction of your duty.