The Retiree Medical Trust is quickly approaching its 10th birthday. Ever since its inception in September 2008, one the RMT’s tenets has been that growth must be part of the big equation.
Unlike some of the products and services available from vendors associated with other trusts, participation in the RMT requires an amendment to your Memorandum of Understanding, or labor agreement. Most often that simply takes time to accomplish. This is likely the biggest hurdle for an association to get over, and it mandates planning by your association leaders. But once it hap-pens, it is a beautiful thing to see.
This past month, we saw two new associations join the RMT. San Leandro POA is now fully joined. It took a long time to accomplish, but they are now finally aboard. Welcome! The other new group comes to the RMT by way of a merger. The City of Orange Police Association (COPA) had previously established their own medical trust. However, sometimes a merger can be beneficial to both an established trust and the trust into which they merge. That is the case in this situation. Thank you, COPA, for having faith in the RMT.
Right now we have one additional association that is strongly considering a merger with us. There is also, for the first time, an out-of-state group in the wings. This is very exciting for the RMT, as we can now look beyond the California state line for law enforcement groups interested in what we have set up.
This year is certainly shaping up to be one of our biggest in terms of interested associations. I’m not exactly sure what the reason for that is, other than perhaps that the word is out. We have been providing on-site presentations to any association with an interest. Clearly, the current trend for city and county governments that offer some type of retiree health coverage is to try to cut back or eliminate that benefit. That is where the RMT is able to come in and offer a solid and viable alternative.
Meanwhile, the feds have set their sights on Social Security and Medicare. Full Retirement Age (FRA) for Social Security benefits is on the rise. What’s going to happen to Medicare? It’s likely to follow the same path at some point in time. What that means is that you need to take some ownership of your retirement health-care needs. It is more prob-able than not that the federal government is going to reduce benefits for both Social Security and Medicare.
The RMT is run by your fellow PORAC members. Each of the current trustees is now, or has been, a law enforcement officer. They have your best interests in mind. One thing all the RMT trustees recognize is that the money in the fund belongs to each and every one of the participants. That being the case, there is a profound sense of fiscal prudence when it comes to the finances. We try to save money — whenever and wherever possible.
I would like to point out to prospective associations that the trustees (and some of our contracted service providers) can typically be found at one or more of these three annual events:
- Conference of Members
- Peace Officers’ Memorial in Sacramento
It would be very easy to get together at one of those venues to discuss the RMT. At the upcoming memorial in Sacramento, you will have the opportunity to meet with Suzan Kolb, a special accounts supervisor for Benefit Solutions, Inc., our third-party administrator. Suzan is well versed in our Trust and is happy to meet and share information. If you are at the memorial and want to reach out to Suzan, give her a call at (425) 359-5642. She will be there for a couple of days.
I feel very comfortable saying that this Trust is now very well established. We are on solid ground. We continue to experience positive growth. A hearty thank-you to each of our participating associations for helping us get to where we currently are.
It’s safe to say that the RMT is a good investment in your future. The word is out!