Webb County updates retiree benefits program

By: Valerie Bragg Email
By: Valerie Bragg Email
The update is sparked by the recent issue of the retirees health insurance premiums rising.

Webb County has upped their age for retirement from 59 to 60 years old with a minimum of 8 years of service.

LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - Sylvia Palumbo is a retired Webb County worker. She saw the stress some of her friends went through when Webb county decided to raise their insurance premiums from $100 per month, to $1,000 per month. That number was finally settled at $350. Now, the county has a new policy for future retirees.

"I'm ok with it. Because at least the future retires are going to have a choice to make and that's a choice we did not have. So at least they have a choice and if they want to go and retire, that’s fine. But as long as it does not affect the present retirees, I'm ok with it."

For now, retiree's insurance premiums will stay at $350 per month. That is until commissioners revisit that number, in about a month, for future retirees. After that, reviews will be less frequent. This new policy allows the commissioners to come back and revisit it every year and make changes to the insurance premiums if necessary.

Cynthia Mares is the county's administrative services director. She said the new policy change was needed to make it easier to understand for the future retirees.

"There were a lot of inconsistencies, a lot of contradictions in some of the areas. In one section it may have said, you need eight years of continued service and then somewhere else it mentioned something else. So it was just time then to look at it and clean it up, update it."

This new policy took affect Tuesday. Another change that was made was the age to retire. Previously, you could retire from Webb County at 59. Now, you need to be 60 with at least eight years of service."

This new policy affects future retirees from Webb County, not the ones who have already retired.

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