From ARCRA's President Michael Carroll
When ARCRA learned that the Red Cross had purchased a new annuity from Athene to meet pension obligations for thousands of retirees and that annuities purchased in 1989 from Aetna and John Hancock would now be paid directly to beneficiaries, we made plans to support our members and other retirees.
We did so by e-mailing or mailing an “Initial Communication” to our nearly 2,000 members which encouraged reading written materials from the Red Cross and the annuity companies carefully and reinforced the contact information provided. Since then, we have made the annuity transition our priority focus by including new info in our eNewsletters and The Retiree, our print newsletter.
We posted new info to our website including an updated “Pension Primer” developed by Dave Therkelsen. Additionally, we have fielded questions through our toll-free number staffed by the volunteers of the Retiree Connection. Finally, we included a set of detailed FAQs, developed by board member Jack Campbell, in the print newsletter.
Although we cannot speak for the Red Cross or the annuity companies, we have worked hard to educate ourselves on the issues and have received great cooperation from the Red Cross when a retiree needed more help than we could provide. The most important information bears repeating: “there will be no changes to the gross amount or timing of your monthly pension payment.”
Naturally, we have thought about the future of ARCRA in light of the changes. Our conclusion is that membership in the Association is more important than ever.
The Association continues to be important because we represent retiree issues at regular meetings with Red Cross management, research the implications of changes, and share what we learn with members.
As an ARCRA member, your support has enabled us to do this work. If we all encourage other Red Cross retirees to become ARCRA members, we will become stronger and able to do even more.
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We're retired, but the world--and the Red Cross--continue to change. And changes at the Red Cross sometimes directly affect retirees, whether we're paying attention or not!
As a member of the American Red Cross Retiree Association you're assured that someone is paying attention and championing your interests. The voice of the association is the voice of our members. . .and we're the only organization that speaks to Red Cross management on your behalf. As our membership grows, the association has an ever more powerful seat at the table as we work to protect our pensions and our health benefits.So click the button below and join us now, with the assurance that we'll always keep you up-to-date on the issues that really matter to your retirement security. . .and that we'll continue to represent you to a changing Red Cross