Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) are retirement benefits other than a pension, such as health, life and other insurance benefits, to which municipal employers have a liability to contribute for current and future retired employees.
While employers are not yet required by GASB 45 to fund this liability, they must now show it on their balance sheets. Beginning to fund this unfunded future liability voluntarily will help to level out these costs over time, as well as demonstrating fiscal prudence and planning, particularly for municipal bond ratings.
For employers choosing to set aside funding, a legal OPEB Trust Fund is required to permanently safeguard these funds for the intended purpose.
The 15 municipal employers in Dukes County have been pooling their retirement funds in the Dukes County Contributory Retirement System since 1939. The same employers joined together to pursue special legislation that would allow them to pool their OPEB Trust Fund. The special legislation (Chapter 149 of the Acts of 2010) passed on July 2, 2010 and the Trust Agreement was signed on November 1, 2010.
The sole purpose of the trust is to conduct bi-annual actuarial studies and to hold and manage the pooled OPEB funds in trust.