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Amendments to the Plan. Premiums AND other eligible medical expenses (examples: copays, coinsurance, deductible, prescription sunglasses, over the counter cold medicine) are reimbursable Sick leave conversion Reduced Benefit Level for those with less than 5 years participation

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amendments to the plan
Amendments to the Plan
  • Premiums AND other eligible medical expenses (examples: copays, coinsurance, deductible, prescription sunglasses, over the counter cold medicine) are reimbursable
  • Sick leave conversion
  • Reduced Benefit Level for those with less than 5 years participation
  • Rollover of expenses
  • Delayed commencement of benefit
who is merp
Who is MERP?


Employee Benefit Trust

Board of Trustees


Third Party Administrator

Benefit Solutions, Inc.

Benefits Consultant

DiMartino Associates, Inc.


IAFF Locals


Fire Fighters

Legal Counsel

Carney Badley & Spellman

Shana Saichek

Investment Advisor

Halbert Hargrove

Tim Anderson

who controls merp
Who controls MERP?
  • WSCFF Benefit Trust Board of Trustees
  • The Board of Trustees is made up of 7 fire fighters all from separate participating locals
    • 4 are elected
      • Peter Craig
      • Pat McElligott
      • Jeff Wainwright
      • Open position
    • 3 are appointed by the WSCFF
      • Kelly Fox
      • Greg Markley
      • Ricky Walsh
components of merp
Components of MERP
    • The Board of Trustees may adjust the components of this Plan. This is only a summary of the plan and does not replace the specifics of the plan document.
  • Participation
  • Contribution Amount TAX FREE
  • Eligibility for Benefit
  • Standard Benefit Amount (SBA) TAX FREE
  • Reimbursable Expenses
  • Receiving your Benefit
  • Duration of Benefits
  • Must be member of a Local that has negotiated participation in the plan with their employer via a bargaining agreement or memorandum of understanding (MOU)
  • All members of the bargaining unit must participate, no individual election per IRS rules
contribution amount
Contribution Amount
  • Currently $75 per member per month PRE-TAX
  • Contributions transferred to money manager for investment and pooled with all other participating group’s contributions
  • Pool of contributions invested in Frank Russell Funds.
  • Earnings grow TAX FREE
eligibility for benefits
Eligibility for Benefits
  • Participate in the Plan at least 5 years (60 contribution months)
  • Cease working for the bargaining unit
  • Attain age 53
what if i don t have 5 years participation
What if I don’t have 5 years participation?
  • Buy-up to 60 months of contributions at retirement
  • Make 18 months of contributions under COBRA , then buy-up the remaining 60 months if necessary
  • Take a “reduced benefit level”
  • As a Local, roll over sick leave cash out on a pre-tax basis. This is available even if you have over 5 years participation in the plan.
buying additional participation with sick leave cash out
Buying Additional Participation with Sick Leave Cash Out
  • For example, the cash value of your sick leave PRE-TAX is $5,000.
  • $5,000 / $75 = 66.67 so 66.7 months or 5 ½ more years of participation are added to your account.
  • Sick leave value of $3,000 adds almost 3 ½ years of participation.
  • Sick leave value of $10,000 buys a little over 11 years of participation.
  • The plan does not limit the maximum sick leave conversion, but the Local can define a limit
standard benefit amount sba
Standard Benefit Amount (SBA)
  • SBA based on contributions to the plan, investment income, administrative expenses and demographics
  • At retirement, your specific benefit amount is determined by: 4% X # of years of contributions X SBA
standard benefit amount
Standard Benefit Amount

Currently SBA is $430 per month

  • For example:
  • 5 years of participation = 20% of SBA ($86)
  • 10 years of participation = 40% of SBA ($172)
  • 25 years of participation = 100% of SBA ($430)
  • 30 years of participation = 120% of SBA ($516)

There is no maximum on the % of the SBA for which you may be eligible.

benefit duration
Benefit Duration
  • Plan was developed to provide fire fighters a benefit until death
  • When a fire fighter dies at any age, spouse can access 50% of the benefit regardless of spouse’s age and until spouse reaches Medicare eligible age (currently 65 for everyone)
  • If you and your spouse die, eligible dependents would receive 50% of the benefit
what are reimbursable expenses
What Are Reimbursable Expenses?
  • Premiums for medical, dental and vision coverage for you and your family (spouse, domestic partner, dependent children)
  • Other medical, dental and vision expenses (that aren’t covered by insurance) for prevention, diagnosis, and/or treatment of a medical situation for you and your dependents.
what happens if i leave employment at my local
What Happens If I Leave Employment At My Local?
  • If you go to another local participating in MERP, your participation accrual continues
  • If you go to another job (or another local not in MERP), your months/years of participation in MERP are frozen and you may access your benefit when you reach age 53
  • If you are promoted out of the bargaining unit, you may continue participation on a self-pay basis
how do i receive my benefit
How Do I Receive My Benefit?
  • You must incur an expense and have proof of the expense
  • Submit proof of expense to BSI via fax or mail
    • You can batch your expenses and send in quarterly (for example) or submit them as they occur.
  • BSI will verify expense is eligible for reimbursement and cut a check to fire fighter
future goals
Future Goals
  • Create WSCFF retiree medical plan
  • Fund other retiree programs
mission statement
Mission Statement

It is the mission of the WSCFF Employee Benefit Trust to provide the best possible plan benefits to its participating members and to enhance the plan as greater benefit options become available in the dynamic health care industry