(Dan e-mails: "Dear Mr. Answer Person: Several months ago local news outlets reported that, in the most recent round of contract talks between the city of Decorah and city employee union reps, the union had agreed to certain changes in the city employee benefits package. I think I remember reading that city employees now pay a portion of their single coverage medical premium, and a larger percentage of the premium for family coverage, as well as higher deductibles and copays. Details were not disclosed.
Could you publish the full details of city employee medical benefits? I would like to see the numbers for medical coverage provided for city employees by local taxpayers: for example, single premium/portion paid by the employee; family premium/portion paid by employee; deductibles/out-of-pocket maximums/copays.
While you're at it, would you publish the details regarding city employee retirement benefits: Traditional pension (defined benefit) or 401K (defined contribution)?How much does each city employee contribute to his/her retirement account? How much does the city chip in for each employee?"
Mr. Answer Person replies: Thanks to Decorah City Administrator Chad Bird for providing the information you requested, Dan.
City of Decorah employees split the cost of a single person health insurance policy, with the employee paying 5 percent, or $18.22/month. For a family health insurance police, it's a 90/10 split, with the employee share being $89.65. There's a $250 per person and a $500 per family deductible. The maximum yearly out of pocket cost is $750 per person and $1,500 per family.
The City of Decorah provbides a $30,000 face value insurance policy to employees, with 100 percent of the cost paid by the city. Likewise, the city pays 100 percent of the cost of dental insurance--either single coverage or family coverage.
As for retirement benefits, those are determined by state law or state programs. Regular city employees are covered by the Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System--best known as "IPERS." IPERS requires employees to contribute 5.78 percent and employers to contribute 8.67 percent.
However, fire and police department employees are covered by a different program--the Municipal Fire and Police Retirement System of Iowa. That program sets the employee rate at a fixed 9.4 percent. The city's contribution rate effective July 1st, 2012, will be 26.12 percent.
You didn't ask, but here's the information about other benefits for city workers. They receive 5 days of vacation after working one year; 10 days of vacation after two years; 15 days of vacation after seven years; 20 days of vacation after 15 years and 25 days of vacation after 20 years.
City workers get 11 holidays, one day of sick leave for each month worked, up to a maximum of 150 days; two personal leave days per fiscal year; and funeral leave, jury duty leave and military leave.