From ARCRA's President Michael Carroll
In mid-September, many retirees learned the Red Cross will change the way in which it meets its pension benefit obligation to them. Following initial communication from the Red Cross to all affected retirees, the American Red Cross Retiree Association (ARCRA) provided additional guidance to our members through a special eNewsletter and regular mail. This information is posted here on the ARCRA website.
In addition, we’ve prepared the volunteers who respond to calls at The Retiree Connection (1-888-738-2724) and our office (firstname.lastname@example.org) to respond to basic questions and point the caller in the right direction. And we’ll now expand the educational focus in our newsletters and on our website to include annuity companies in the pension fund business and the state insurance organizations which back them.
Whether the pension benefit is paid directly by the Red Cross or through an annuity company, the Retiree Association will continue to speak up for all retirees, educate our members through a variety of communications tools and help them to “stay connected”. Not only do we intend to continue supporting retirees whose pension benefit will now be paid by one or more of the annuity companies, we are also exploring ways to connect with retirees whose benefit will come from the Red Cross Savings Plan 401(k). And, of course, we’ll continue to work for the thousands who are still part of the Red Cross Retirement System including many not yet drawing their benefit.
While the Red Cross has pledged that there will be no changes to the gross amount or timing of anyone’s monthly pension payment, we know that change is seldom completely comfortable. Our Retiree Association Board remains firmly committed to not only helping our members and other retirees understand these changes but to finding additional ways to make ARCRA membership even more valuable going forward.
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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!
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