The End of The Retiree Trust Fund
Today the members of the Financial Control Board (FCB) will meet to certify New York City’s Adopted Budget for Fiscal Year 2014 is balanced. As the FCB mentions in its report, the 2014 budget is balanced with $2.8 billion in surplus funds from fiscal year 2013 and $1 billion withdrawn from the Retiree Health Benefits Trust Fund. The Trust Fund was established with surplus revenues in fiscal year 2006 to begin to tackle the City’s unfunded liability for retiree health benefits. Starting in fiscal year 2010, it has been slowly depleted, leaving the city with no resources to address its $85 billion OPEB liability.
The animation below shows how surplus funds have been used to balance the budget in the last ten years and how there are no longer any reserves available—including those in the Trust Fund.