Cost of health and pension benefits for county workers could rise

NORWICH – Pension and health care benefit coverage for Chenango County government employees are expected to come at a significant cost next year.

Just how significant isn’t known as of yet, according to the county treasurer’s office, but budget makers are anticipating an additional $1 million more for retirement and, if trends are any indication, at least 1 percent more for hospitalization.

Chenango County’s $81 million-plus budget for this year included $1.2 million for retirement and $4.5 million for hospitalization. The latter was up 7.5 percent over 2009. Increases were 6 percent in 2009 and 4.5 percent in 2008.

Chenango County Treasurer William Evans said he would have both numbers pinned down within the next couple of weeks. His office is currently running the New York State Comptroller’s Office retirement rates against the five different tiers of salaried workers.

“We are looking at some very high hurdles,” said Evans, who also pointed to a 12.4 percent increase indicated in the county’s department of social services in 2011.

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