Related: Retiree health care cuts looming for cops and firefighters in Ohio
Lawmakers revamped the public pension funds in 2012 and emphasized the importance of preserving the pension benefits, which are mandated by law. Health care coverage is not required, though OP&F has provided coverage since 1974.
Police and firefighters often retire in their early 50s – or even earlier if they’re disabled. Currently, OP&F covers 75 percent of premium costs for its retirees and 25 percent of the costs for their spouses.
OP&F has $15.7 billion invested for the benefit of 58,000 police, firefighters, retirees and beneficiaries.
Without the health care changes, money for coverage would have dried up within 10 years. The changes are expected to stretch the health care fund to last for the next 15 years.