To: Members and Beneficiaries
From: Board of Trustees
Subject: Plan Assurances
Date: March 30, 2020
First and foremost, we want you to know that we are concerned with our membership's well-being above all else. For those of you who are retirees, we have procedures in place to make sure there is no interruption to your monthly benefits. For those of you who are active members of the Plan, the Plan's assets are held in the Trust which is invested for the long term and continually monitored. Please be assured that the Plan's trustees, staff and service providers are continuing to work to safeguard your payments and benefits. We know that these are difficult and uncertain times and we want to do what we can to alleviate concern about the health of the retirement plan to the extent possible. To that end, below are some assurances.
Your Plan is invested over the long term and your employer is required by law to ensure the Trust has the assets needed to pay the benefits. As a long-term investor the Plan is designed to withstand rises and falls in the investment markets. We have been through recessions before and extreme changes in the market and have always paid benefits. All the assets in your Plan are managed by professional investment advisors who have been continually reviewing and addressing your Plan's needs.
You should be aware that your Plan is a defined benefit plan which means that you are entitled to a fixed amount every month based on your years of service and your final average compensation. As a retiree, this is a constitutionally protected benefit and as an active, changes cannot be made on benefits that you have already earned.
We expect that all retiree and survivor payments will be made without change. The Board has been in contact with both the Administrator and the Custodian Bank. These entities assure us that they are committed to making sure that the payments will be made in full and on time, even in a quarantine.
We know that there is concern about the DROP accounts. As of now, all eligible, enrolled members have chosen the DROP option with a guaranteed rate of return. Your DROP account is not affected by market changes.
In terms of your cost of living (COLA). Your COLA is a set percentage and the supplemental benefit is a set amount, both of which are established by ordinance and not affected by market changes.
As always, any market changes will not affect your basic monthly benefit. Remember, even during these challenging times, we are only a mouse click away. Should you have any questions or concerns, please direct them via e-mail to
David M. Williams, Plan Administrator
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