Norwell: Selectmen Vote on OPEB Funding Policy

Norwell Treasurer/Collector Darleen Sullivan presented a policy to the Selectmen on funding for Other Post Employment Benefits, or OPEB.

Sullivan says after a town employee retires, health insurance coverage, such as a Medicare supplement plan, is offered by the town. A trust fund was been set up to address unfunded liability.

Currently the town’s unfunded liability is at $39 million. But the town is taking steps to reduce that number.

“Norwell has had an established trust fund, a trust fund policy, investment policy, we have a trust fund committee – we meet regularly,” said Sullivan. “Rockland Trust does our investment management, we have an actuary, that’s required. We have been actively trying to fund our OPEB.”

Sullivan says there’s nearly $3.9 million saved in the town’s OPEB trust account, or 10 percent. Contributions change based on the town’s financial status, but that amount is a lot more than some other towns in the area.  

The written policy is something that stands out to auditors and rating agencies.

“We do have to address this. That was the purpose of also setting up a schedule and the funding policy was to put something in writing,” said Sullivan. “It solidifies our promise that we’re going to continue to aggressively try to fund this liability.”

The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to adopt the OPEB policy.

About Lenny Rowe

Lenny Rowe is one of the newest additions to the WATD News team. Lenny has won two Edward R. Murrow awards for breaking news coverage, and a Mass. Broadcasters Award in the sports feature category. He grew up in Pembroke and was an intern at WATD in 2012. A 2016 graduate from Suffolk University, Lenny now lives in Rockland. Outside of WATD, Lenny covers high school sports for The Boston Globe. Lenny can be reached at Lenny.Rowe30@Gmail.com.