Record numbers of public employees in Wisconsin are planning to retire because of fears that they could lose promised benefits if they don't.
The Boardman law firm, which advises unions on contract matters and benefits, sent a letter union lawyers last week warning them that the state could revoke certain health insurance benefits.
"The only way to guarantee receipt of the SHI [Supplemental Health Insurance] benefit [accrued sick time that converts to health insurance premiums after retirement--worth tens of thousands of dollars in many cases] will be to resign State employment," attorney Steven C. Zach wrote. "Receipt of the benefit is conditioned upon retirement, death, or layoff."
"[T]here are no assurances that, as of March 13, 2011, the SHI benefit will be available under the terms of the current colective bargaining agreement... The worst case scenario is tha WSAA members would lose that benefit both retrospectively and prospectively on that date."..........