I urge you to not vote for VEBA. The City is the only one making out on this health plan, in my opinion. It is the City's way of getting out from paying for a health plan when you retire. The plan will be funded by you and those that follow you. There is no guarantee that the hours that you are required to contribute to the plan will not go up from 40hrs. to an even higher percentage later. There is no guarantee that the pay percentage, 1.5%, that you are required to contribute will not go up - remember that our present health benefits started under a $1 and look what it is now. There is no guarantee that the plan fee paid to Nationwide will not go up also.
The Lts. and Capts. are already voting on this measure. Please read the attached files. Two Lts. offer some valid points that does not make this plan by the City a good deal for them (Lts. and Capts.) or us (Sgts.) as all three ranks would be bound by the same agreement, if agreed to. I made notes in the margin of one document as to what I thought; you may or may not agree. Remember it is not the majority of participants in each rank that determine if each rank will participate in the plan, but a majority of those voting. If you don't vote, you have no say. I repeat, if you don't vote, you have no say.
In my opinion there are other points to consider: The plan is based on the hours set forth as written now and the number of participants. What if the City decides to cut back on the number of participants in each rank? Will that mean that the rest of the participants will have to make up the difference with higher contributions, due to either attrition or not filling vacancies? This of course is not addressed. And just what is the City's contribution during the life of the health plan on a monthly, quarterly, yearly basis or on a participant's involvement? Does the City make a blanket contribution or a contribution based on the salary level of the participants? Remember also that you will need 40hrs. now in the bank to pay for this plan on a yearly basis. If you are one of those sergeants that has very few hours on the books because you may take off for a variety of reasons, you will be forced to burn Baby Furlough Days and Personal Days to take off till that 40hrs. is contributed. Why has the City unilaterally decided who will administer this plan and not allow the participants have input as to what entity should administer the plan? Why hasn't the City offered the Capts., Lts., and Sgts. the opportunity to seek other similar plans that are on the market? If you like dealing with BC/BS or HMO, how much more fun will it be dealing with Nationwide and the IRS? This health plan proposal was left over from the previous contract. Why did it take the City so long to bring it up again and why is the City in a rush to get it finalized?
Please take the time to read the attachments and ask questions to make an informed decision should you be asked to vote on this proposal.
I feel compelled to give my opinion on this one. The negatives, as I see them, are more glaring than the positives.
I am a person who holds hundreds of hours in comp time as opposed to a person who holds thousands of hours. Some may view this as a higher initial cost to the person with thousands of hours and others may view it as a bigger opportunity to save. Each and every one of us would be impacted differently.
keep in mind that there are no guarantees that your contribution of comp time and or payroll deduction will not increase.
The city does not contribute one penny but decides who manages your money.
If you die and have no qualified dependants ( you are divorced/widowed and children are grown} your money will be placed in the fund. No beneficiary can be named.
There is nothing voluntary about this plan, once in, there is no way out.
Thanks but no thanks.