A San Diego taxpayers’ watchdog group released a report Tuesday that says the Southern California Metropolitan Water District has accumulated more than $600 million in unfunded liability for retirees since 1999, according to published reports.

The water wholesaler supplies water to half of San Diego County and southwest Riverside County. It is a member of the California Public Employees Retirement System.

The San Diego Taxpayers Educational Foundation anticipates that the costs will be passed on to customers, according to the report.

Retiree health costs represented the most significant chunk of unfunded liability, at $409 million as of year-end June 2009.

Gary Breaux, Metropolitan’s chief financial officer, told the North County News in San Diego that the agency has done fairly well in funding pensions, which are now 86% funded.

While health benefits are not as well funded, Breaux told the newspaper, he expected that recent changes in Metropolitan’s contract with its employees will improve the numbers.

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