The Path We Are Traveling
We are heading into the fourth quarter of 2020 with riots, anarchy, civil unrest, racial tensions, unbelievably poor legislation, violent attitudes toward law enforcement, COVID-19 and a presidential election. For me, the real topper was the cancellation of our annual Conference of Members. I think we are all a bit numb just thinking about it all. And when I do try to make sense of it, I realize that things like the PORAC Retiree Medical Trust are not going to be at the forefront of anyone’s mind.
We Need Your Help
If your association is participating in the RMT, I would like to ask you for a wee bit of help.
As a trust operating under the provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), we have to abide by many codified statutes, rules and regulations relating to employee benefit plans. One thing we have to do is to keep track of our participants. That includes a mailing address, an email address and a telephone number. When we have that information, we can forward important updates and notices regarding changes in the Trust.
The rules require that we make an effort to locate missing participants and make sure they know that they have benefits available to them.
One of the most common mistakes participants make is providing the wrong contact information. By that, I mean using their department address and phone number, along with their work email address. When someone leaves their place of employment, that information is no longer valid. That is a break point and we sometimes lose contact right there. We really do need your personal, permanent contact information.
As a participant, you can keep the Trust up to date by accessing your account online and making any updates to your information. Simply go to our website at PORACRMT.org. If you have already registered, simply log in and make any changes.
If you have never registered, please help us out by doing so. Here is how you do that:
- Go to PORACRMT.org.
- On the landing page, click the MEMBER LOGIN tab.
- You are now on the SIMON Login page. On the left side of the page, where you see the blue background, you will find all of the instructions on how to register. (Note: The info includes the Registration Code you will need in order to proceed.) Basically, you provide your personal information. The Trust will verify that information and email you a link to your account. Once you log in, you will be able to choose a new password. If for some reason you experience a problem, you can either email or call the Trust. That contact information is also listed on this web page.
Azusa Joins the Trust
I asked Lieutenant Robert Landeros to share the Azusa story with us. He says that in 2018, the Azusa PMA and Azusa POA combined their efforts to join the PORAC RMT. This was necessary to help the City of Azusa deal with an unfunded liability and to help maintain fiscal sustainability. Due to the forward thinking and positive collaboration between past APOA President Steve Sears and current APOA President CJ Wilkins, both groups came together during contract negotiations to establish a quality benefit to attract new hires to the Azusa P.D. In addition to joining the PORAC RMT, this process between both groups improved internal relations between the rank-and-file employees and management. The boards of both groups understand that it is important for all police officers to stand together. Robert pointed out that the process was made easier with the assistance of Region IV RMT Trustee Dennis Hashin. He also gave a shout-out to APMA attorneys Kasey Castillo and Brandi Harper of Castillo Harper, APC, for their guidance and support during this negotiation process.
One Final Note
We have many instances of participants who leave an agency before making enough contributions to access a lifetime benefit. Here are some ways that can happen:
- Failing to pass probation
- Lateral to another agency
- Promotion to a management group that is not in the Trust
The good news is that nobody loses any of their contributions. All of those in the list above likely have a tax-free benefit available to them. And in most cases, it is available immediately upon severance of employment — for whatever reason.
That is why we need good contact information. We want to distribute all benefits to our eligible participants.
As always, feel free to call me at (530) 588-5117 or email CPOAPrez@sbcglobal.net with any questions or concerns.