Alternative A: Bond Issuance
**Message from Commissioner Yousef Rabhi, Chair of the Board & Verna McDaniel, Washtenaw County Administrator:
Washtenaw County currently maintains two funds that pay for retiree benefits. Last year, the County's required annual contribution to these two funds - as determined by an actuarial evaluation - exceeded $20 million. The two funds are:
- The Washtenaw County Employee Retirement System (WCERS) provides biweekly pension payments to retired employees; the fund balance in this account is approximately $228 million.
- The Voluntary Employee Benefit Association (VEBA) pays for retirees' health care coverage; the fund balance in this account is approximately $82 million.
In addition to the funds set aside in WCERS and VEBA, it has been determined that the County has an unfunded pension and health care liability of up to $350 million. Michigan law allows for counties to issue bonds in order to create a funding pool that would resolve their unfunded accrued pension and health care liabilities.
The risks and benefits of this approach, and a wealth of supplemental information, are presented in the links below: