NYCDC Delegate Body Meeting--President Peter Thomassen addressed the delegates on the status of our benefit funds. He told the delegates “our welfare fund has been doing extremely well over a time when we see other union and big companies cutting benefits and making their workers pay large co-pays for their insurance”. He stated, that the “trustees" have been able to increase coverage in some areas and have not recommended any increase in the per hour contribution for the additional coverage.
He also stated “that the welfare fund was doing so well that the trustees have decided beginning July 1, 2003 to reduced the hourly contributions in the welfare fund by $1 per hour and reallocate the $1 per hour into the pension fund which was hardest hit with the stock market crunch”.
Although things “seem to be getting much better with the investments in the pension fund, the trustees felt it was prudent to try to pump some extra money into the general pension fund to protect our future” Thomassen said.
President Thomassen also stated “this reallocation of $1 per hour from the welfare fund to the pension fund was only a temporary measure as a way to infuse some extra money into the pension fund to help build up the pension fund assets".
He also stated that the $1 per hour increase into the pension fund “will not increase the pension fund pay-out to members”. The $1.00 will be put into a Supplemental Pension and the trustees will monitor the funds closely and move the $1 per hour back to the welfare fund should it become necessary.
June 27, 2003
We are writing to give you news on some recent positive developments in your Benefit Funds. After hearing a report from our professionals indicating that the Welfare Fund has been operating at a surplus for the last few years, the Trustees decided to reduce the hourly contribution rate to the Welfare Fund and maintain the same level of benefits. The Union has communicated to the Employers that beginning July 1, 2003, the hourly contribution rate required for the health benefits Fund will be reduced by one dollar ($1.00). The one dollar saving will be directed to the Pension Plan to strengthen the Plan's funding status. Our actuaries have assured us that the Pension Plan remains in good shape. The Plan has, however, along with many other plans, sustained losses on the Stock Market in the last three years. While not required to do so, all the Trustees felt that this action would help the financial condition of the Pension Plan .
On July 1, therefore, the Union has designated this one-dollar as an additional contribution to the Pension Fund to be used solely to strengthen the Plan. The extra dollar will not be used to fund additional benefits. It will be used to improve the financial condition of the Pension Plan.
Many other union health plans have in the last year significantly reduced benefits or increased co-pays to their participants. We are happy to report to you that your health benefits have remained undiminished.
Board of Trustees