I live in a smaller community in Northern California. It’s not rural by any means, though sometimes it feels like it. For example, when a baby is born at the local hospital, they play a soft, melodic chime on the intercom. No matter where you are in the hospital or what you are doing when the chime plays, it will surely bring a smile to your face. Guaranteed. Sort of an involuntary response.
Wondering how that has anything to do with the Retiree Medical Trust? It’s like this — each and every time I learn we have another association become participants in the Trust, it brings a smile to my face. I just can’t help it. A smile and a real sense of satisfaction. For me it means that an association leader has stepped forward to help their members plan for their retirement. Specifically, those costs relating to medical insurance premiums and health care expenses.
This month is clearly a special month in the life of the Trust. First, September marks the 11th year since our 2008 inception. It seems like it was just yesterday when former PORAC President Ron Cottingham and Vice President Mike Durant decided that we should “give it a go.” Their vision of the future for the RMT was stellar.
And second, I’m proud to let you know that the Oakland Police Officers’ Association is our newest participating group. With more than 800 members strong, they become the largest association to join the Trust. As you are likely aware, they are led by Oakland POA President Barry Donelan. Barry is very familiar with managing a trust — he sits as a trustee on the board for the PORAC Legal Defense Fund. When Oakland was considering joining the RMT, Barry was extremely diligent in his research. That included traveling to Southern California to attend one of our Trust meetings, which was held in the offices of our investment advisors. And, of course, Barry has the assistance of their extremely competent legal counsel, Rocky A. Lucia (Rains Lucia Stern St. Phalle & Silver, PC). Barry and Rocky worked out a fairly unique agreement with the City of Oakland for shared contributions. The addition of Oakland POA will grow our Trust participant numbers by around 30%. This is clearly a happy moment which makes me smile.
And at the same time, we celebrate the members of the San Fernando Police Officers Association, as they also recently joined. Kudos to Sergeant Irwin Rosenberg for spearheading the effort to make that happen.
One of our goals has always been to grow the Trust in a solid and positive manner — educated growth while at the same time protecting the benefits of all of the participants. And grow we have. We have several associations that are currently negotiating with their employer to get set up to join.
Perhaps the RMT is a benefit you are interested in. It’s all too easy to not even think about the future 10, 15 or 20 years down the road. But, trust me, it will come quicker than you think. Then, upon retirement, you will be trying to figure out how to pay for your medical insurance premiums. And it’s not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it will likely approximate an amount equal to your house payment. That right there is an ugly scenario.
The RMT can soften that blow by putting money back into your pockets, once you retire. In short, the program works like this: Contributions are made on a pre-tax basis (by you, your employer or a combination of both). We have the money professionally invested and there is no tax on the earnings. When you retire, we reimburse you for medical insurance premiums and health care expenses. The reimbursements are tax-free.
So, are you an association leader with a vision? Give us a call and let us share with you and your members how to plan for the future. You join and everyone smiles.