Notice of Merger of Trust and Benefit Payment Suspension in July/August
On January 24, 2023, the Board of Trustees of the California Firefighters Benefit Trust (the “CFB Trust”) approved merger of the CFB Trust into the IAFF Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan of the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters Employee Benefit Trust (the “IAFF MERP”).
This merger achieves economies of scale, reducing the percentage of each employee’s contribution that must be spent for Trust operating expenses and leaving more assets for benefit payments. With the partnership of the International Association of Fire Fighters (the “IAFF”) in the IAFF MERP, the IAFF MERP has significant opportunity for growth, which may create even more efficiencies of scale and long-term stability. The merger also provides new Plan design features that were not included in the CFB Trust and likewise the IAFF MERP will be adding some CFB Trust features not currently in their Plan. Additionally, two current CFB Trustees will join the IAFF MERP’s Board of Trustees, which will provide that your interests are still represented in the IAFF MERP. This merger is expected to occur on August 1, 2023.
Upon completion of the merger, your benefits will be provided under the IAFF MERP, which is administered by a different Trust Office than the current CFB Trust Office. The new Trust Office will be operated by Vimly Benefit Solutions, Inc. A future notice will provide you with more details about Vimly Benefit Solutions, Inc. (“Vimly”), their contact information, and the IAFF MERP policies and procedures.
No benefit payments will be paid to CFB Trust Eligible Retirees from June 16 through September 11, 2023. However, all Covered Expenses that you could have submitted to the CFB Trust Office during that period will be paid by the IAFF MERP Trust Office with the first claims payment (expected on September 12, 2023), as long as you submit those claims to the IAFF MERP Trust Office and they are received by August 25, 2023. You will receive additional correspondence that informs you about how to submit claims to the new Trust Office, Vimly, upon completion of the merger.