Board Communique: December 2, 2021
Introducing the Municipal Retiree Benefit Trust
As part of the redesign of the Municipal Pension Plan, the plan partners have created a new way to fund and manage group benefits (extended health care and dental plans) for retired members. Starting January 1, 2022, these benefits will be available through the Municipal Retiree Benefit Trust (MRBT) overseen by a new trust board.
You do not need to take any action as a result of this change.
The retiree benefit trust will provide more flexibility in funding retiree group benefits, which will make the program more sustainable. Seed funding was provided by a $100 million one-time transfer from employer contributions as part of plan design changes. Ongoing employer contributions of 0.6 per cent of salary will go into the trust. These contributions will accumulate and earn investment income over time. Retired member premiums will also continue to fund the trust. While the trust will help make the group benefits program more sustainable, these benefits are not part of the lifetime pension and are not guaranteed.
We, as the Municipal Pension Board of Trustees, prioritize making group benefits accessible to retired members. The two boards will work together to continue to provide retired members of the plan with access to group benefit coverage through the new trust.
If I am retired and enrolled in group benefits, what does it mean?
Your current benefits continue without interruption.
You do not need to take any action, and you will continue to:
- Have the same coverage
- Use the same group health number
- Use your current Pacific Blue Cross ID card
- Make claims the same way
Contact Pacific Blue Cross with questions about coverage and claims. See the plan website or contact the Pension Corporation if you want to add coverage or add or remove a dependant. Contact the MRBT board if you want to provide input on group benefit coverage.
What if I want to sign up for group benefits when I apply for my pension?
Group health coverage remains available to you when you retire. Extended health care and dental options and group premium rates will be provided as part of your pension application. Monthly premiums for extended health care are based on your years of pensionable service in the plan.
Are premium rates changing?
We anticipate the new MRBT board will continue to review premiums annually. Any changes will be reflected in your January pension payment or pre-authorized withdrawal. The current rates are on the plan website and in the winter issue of Pension Life, which retired members receive in January.
Where can I find information about group benefits?
You can find more information about group benefits under the Retirement health coverage section. Retired members can also find information in the winter issue of their Pension Life newsletter.
Who is making decisions about group benefits now?
The plan partners have appointed a board of trustees to oversee and manage the new trust effective January 1, 2022. The trustees are:
- Bonnie Pearson, chair
- Lyn Kocher, vice chair
- Lorne Burkart
- Dean Levangie
- Diana Lokken
- Gary MacIsaac
- Janice Morrison
- Tom Stamatakis
How do I contact the MRBT board?
You can write to the MRBT board at firstname.lastname@example.org.