Progress Report from the Group Insurance Plan & Pension Plan Evaluation Committees
Publié le September 26, 2022
The insurance plan evaluation committee and pension plan evaluation committee have been at work for several months. An initial report on their progress was submitted to the general meeting in April. We are now sending you an updated progress report in writing.
Mandate and composition of the committees
The terms of reference for both committees were set out in the combination and merger agreement signed on August 28, 2020. The agreement called for the executive committee to establish two committees (one on the insurance plan and one on the pension plan) to objectively evaluate the plans, study issues related to the plans and make recommendations to the executive.
The agreement also stipulated the composition of the committees: one member from IATSE 514, one from IATSE 667, and two from AQTIS, to be appointed by the members of each association on the executive committee. Each committee could also bring in an external resource person.
Insurance plan evaluation committee
The members of the committee are Christian Lemay (for IATSE 667), Dominic Pilon and Daniel Fontaine-Bégin (for AQTIS) and now Simon Poudrette (replacing Anne-Marie Roberge for IATSE 514).
The committee’s meetings began in August 2021 and have continued at a steady pace since. At the outset, Canada Life and Medavie Blue Cross made presentations to the committee to familiarize its members with the plans. The structure of the plans (including philosophy, issues and risks) and the coverage they provide were compared. The objective wasn’t to determine which plan is the best but rather to imagine what might be the best insurance plan for all members going forward—a sustainable plan offering the best possible coverage.
At this stage, accurate data on member profiles and coverage history was collected from each provider, as we needed to have a full, up-to-date picture of our members’ coverage. The next step will be to send a letter of intent to each of the current insurers to ascertain their ability and interest in providing our new plan. To limit transition risks, we decided to solicit only the two providers already familiar with the file (Canada Life and Medavie Blue Cross).
To assist it in its work, the committee called upon a firm of insurance plan experts. They provided the committee with neutral input and information on best practices and market comparables. The committee also invited members of the board of directors of AQTIS and of the IATSE Local 514 health plan to a consultation meeting to get their comments on some of the directions and hypotheses regarding the structure of the new plan. Some IATSE 667 members were also consulted. This approach was chosen because it would have been complex to consult all the members at this stage. Depending on the response to our letters, further consultations, surveys and/or information sessions may be held.
Pension plan evaluation committee
The members of the committee are Christian Lemay (for IATSE 667), Dominic Pilon and Jean-Philippe Audet (for AQTIS) and now Maïa Nadon-Chbib (replacing Anne-Marie Roberge for IATSE 514).
Once the insurance plan evaluation committee had begun its work, the pension plan evaluation committee was able to set to work in October 2021. Like the insurance committee, we devoted our first meetings to familiarizing ourselves with the plans through presentations by Canada Life and Industrial Alliance. The committee also worked to understand the plans’ internal operations and the related issues, to identify the advantages and disadvantages of each plan, and to define the criteria on which the decision would be based.
It then called upon a firm of pension plan experts to provide neutral outside input and validate its conclusions. Compared with the insurance plans, the pension plans have only minimal differences, which have now been clearly identified.
The work of the committees is well advanced but has not been completed. Once the committees have agreed on their recommendations, these will be presented to the AQTIS 514 IATSE executive committee, which will review them and bring a proposal to the members at a meeting. The target is still to submit the recommendations to the membership by the end of 2022. Once the members have made a decision on the plans, implementation can begin. That process will take several months, as setting up the technical and administrative structure of a new plan, merging the databases and informing the members of the new services will be complex.
Establishing harmonized insurance and pension plans is a vital last step in the merger of the three unions. Member services, accounting and administration will only be truly merged once the plans are harmonized. In the meantime, we must maintain three parallel systems, with all the issues and expenditure of energy that entails. We are therefore aiming for operational implementation of the new plans in 2023. A staffer has already been assigned to planning the project.
Your evaluation committees members,