California’s OPEB Crisis

Jerry Brown and Betty Yee aren’t telling you the whole story.

Everyone has heard about pension costs but few have heard about the other retirement cost that’s burdening California governments and schools. “OPEB” — “Other Post-Employment Benefits” — are a form of deferred compensation, just like pensions. The principal OPEB benefit is a promise to cover post-retirement health costs. Because government employees in California may retire before they are covered by Medicare and often receive benefits on top of Medicare, OPEB promises in California add up to hundreds of billions of dollars.