The mission of the District Retiree Health Contribution is to contribute to the funding of the District’s other post-employment benefits (OPEB) liabilities.
District government retirees who were first employed after September 30, 1987 ("post-87") may obtain health insurance (pursuant to D.C. Code 1-622) and life insurance (pursuant to D.C. Code 1-623) from the District. The federal government is responsible for funding OPEB costs for District government retirees who were first employed prior to October 1, 1987 ("pre-87").
In 1999, the Council of the District of Columbia established the Annuitants' Health and Life Insurance Employer Contribution Trust Fund (“Trust Fund”) to pay the District's portion of post-87 retirees' health and life insurance premiums. Through FY 2007, the District contributed to the Trust Fund from available funds. Beginning in FY 2008, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board requires state and local governments, including the District, to recognize any OPEB liability in their financial statements. The District is budgeting an actuarially determined annual OPEB contribution to gradually reduce its unfunded accrued liability. The proposed budget of the District Retiree Health Contribution represents the District’s FY 2018 contribution to the funding of its OPEB liabilities.
The District passed permanent legislation effective in FY 2011 changing the calculation of its contribution to the cost of health, vision, and dental insurance premiums for retirees and their dependents to a scale based on the amount of creditable service of the retiree. The District’s maximum contribution for the cost of healthcare for retirees is 75.0 percent, the same as the contribution for all current employees.