The Voice of ARC Retirees

From ARCRA President Michael Carroll Updated 9/6/2019

July 25 2019 ARCRA board meeting report.

As reported in the August ARCRA eNewsletter, committee chairs and others reported on activities through June 30: /font>

  • Membership, Chair Jim Hamilton shared Q2 totals (see ARCRA Membership article) and shared results from several new member initiatives which, in general, continue to show disappointing results. Equally concerning, 122 Annual Members allowed their memberships to lapse; attempts to reenroll them will continue. Jim and the Board discussed membership trends and likely drivers especially the new “lump-sum” option now offered to all Retirement System members as they reach benefit eligibility. While there are challenges, the ARCRA Board was confident that we can achieve the membership income results required and continue to provide important benefits for our members and other retirees.
  • Treasurer Jack Campbell reported that ARCRA was showing a small positive variance on an annual volume of about $40k. Income from dues continues to track below budget and create concerns while the new donations program continues to show promise. Expenses are well controlled and cash reserves have grown to about $46k. If dues don’t rebound, ARCRA could post a $2k deficit at year end. 
  • VP Ann Byrnes reported that 100% of the ARCRA Board has made a 2019 donation to the Association. Appeals to Annual and Lifetime Members will be implemented in the 2nd half of the year.
  • The Board approved Bylaws changes which make explicit ARCRA’s intent to serve “non-traditional” retirees including annuitants, individuals vested in the Savings Plan, retirees electing lump-sum settlements and active employees especially those nearing retirement.
  • Additional reports were provided by Dave Therkelsen, (Nominations)Nancy Blaschak (Communications), Harold Brooks, (Advocacy & Education). In addition, Ann provided an update on our Regions and Affiliated Groups and Administrator Christie Phillips briefed regarding her support for the Association. President Carroll provided a status report on The Retiree Connection, ARCRA’s volunteer-staffed help-line for retirees, and stressed the importance of the program. (The minutes of the meeting will be posted to Retiree Resources on the ARCRA website in the near future.)

Significantly, the Board was unanimous in supporting changes to the Bylaws related to Purposes and Membership and will formally vote approval soon. In a nutshell, the changes reflect ARCRA’s commitment to supporting and recruiting Red Cross Retirement System members and “non-traditional” Red Cross retirees who elected a “lump-sum” payment, receive all or part of their benefit from an annuity company, or from the Red Cross Savings Plan. We are also working with Red Cross to finds ways to connect with staff before they retire. 

ARCRA’s primary focus will continue to be on Retirement System members but we can also support Red Cross retirees who have earned this distinction but don’t (or won’t) receive their benefit directly from the Retirement System. With these bylaws changes, ARCRA can explore new audiences and expand our benefits provide the incentive to join and renew. The new Purpose Statement will reaffirm ARCRA’s intent to keep members “up” on the mission work of the Red Cross and encourage them to give blood, volunteer and provide financial support and also reaffirms our commitment to helping retirees “stay-connected”.

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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.

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