In a special meeting last week, a quorum of three Fern Valley Water District directors unanimously voted to change retiree health benefit policy.

At the March 28 special meeting, directors adopted a new vesting requirement. Resolution 525 requires employees have 10 total years of paying into the California Public Employee Retirement System, CalPERS, before they are eligible to receive health benefits after retirement from district employment. Five years of service, and associated CalPERS payments, must have been completed while employed entirely with the district. The policy becomes effective on May 1.

Prior to adoption of this policy, the district was exposed to situations in which it became responsible for paying the employer contribution amount, even if an employee only worked briefly for the district and otherwise met retirement eligibility criteria (at least 50 years of age, five years of CalPERS retirement service credit, and had retired within 120 days from separation of employment).

With adoption, the district is only responsible if the retiree has worked five years for the district, logging the five years of CalPERS payments, and has another eligible five years of payments from a previous employer.

By adopting this resolution, the district complies with applicable California Government Code. Voting in favor of the resolution were Directors Charlie Wix, Trischa Clark and James Rees. Directors Robert Krieger and Diana Johnson were absent.