RCMP VETERANS’ ASSOCIATION
Annual Report: Benefits and the Quarterly/la Trimestrielle
June 2009 – May 2010
Cal Small, Director
As always, it is my pleasure to report to the Board of Directors and to the Annual General Meeting on matters pertaining to benefits, including insurance and the Quarterly/la Trimestrielle Magazines. In their reports, Bill Gidley, Executive Director and Dale Lively, National Advocate also comment on many areas involving benefits. I will therefore, try not to repeat their remarks.
The general insurance policies and the personal insurance policies of interest to the Association are briefly described below. The first group of policies labeled “RCMP Veterans’ Association General Insurance Policies” refer to the insurance the Association requires to protect itself and its members/volunteers from risks associated with the day-to-day conduct of its business and activities. The second group of policies, “RCMP Veterans’ Association Personal Insurance Policies” held with Great West Life Assurance Company, refer to those personal life insurance policies carried by our members.
General Insurance Policies
Commercial General Liability Insurance
Our policy, provided this year by Enron Group Inc., Ottawa, provides $2,000,000.00 coverage for employees and volunteers for risks associated with personal injury, employer’s liability, non-owned autos, host liquor liability, property damage, etc. This insurance is required by most hotels, conference centers, shopping malls, meeting rooms and any place where you and your colleagues may choose to hold a function. In the case of a large function such as the Annual General Meeting, the Insurance Company wants to be informed of such details as the number attending, location of events, etc in order that a Certificate of Insurance may be issued. Such information should be provided to the Insurance Company a couple of months in advance of the proposed date of the event and may be channeled through The Executive Director of the Association.
Directors and RCMP Liability Insurance
This insurance has also been obtained through Encon and provides up to $2,000,000.00 coverage for each wrongful act with no deductible for Directors/Officers and $1,000.00 deductible for the Corporation.
Libel, Slander & Errors & Omissions Liability Insurance for Publishers & Printers
The $1,000,000.00 coverage provided by this policy is required to protect the interest of those involved with the publication of the Quarterly/la Trimestrielle and the premium is paid by the Magazine. This policy also provides relevant coverage to the rest of the Association.
Personal Insurance Policies
As I reported last year, Treasury Board is now the policyholder for these plans. Treasury Board will be guided by an Insurance Advisory Committee comprised as follows:
-Chairperson: Appointed by Treasury Board;
-Members: -Three nominated by RCMP Staff Relations Representative Program;
-One member nominated by the RCMP Veterans’ Association;
-Two nominated by the Commissioner of the RCMP;
-Two nominated by the Office of the Chief human Resources Officer,
The Executive Director has been nominated to this Committee, replacing the Director of Benefits.
Basic Life Insurance Plan
Coverage is $160,000.00. At age 60, coverage commences to decrease until it is reduced to $10,000.00 at age 70. This amount is the lowest residual value of the plan and is available to cover end of life expenses. As such, in case of an emergency, 75% of the amount can be quickly made available without formal documentation. The monthly premium for this plan is $30.25 until age 70 at which time it is reduced to $12.00. There are, however, no premiums if you had reached age 70 prior to January 1, 1997.
As I reported last year, there is interest in having the $10,000.00 residual coverage increased to $15,000.00 and perhaps to $20,000.00. I had hoped to be able to say something positive about this but unfortunately, I can’t. I can, though, say that the implications in terms of premium increases are being examined. This initiative will also require the support of the SRRs as any increase in benefits will also affect the premiums of serving members.
Optional Life Plan
The Optional Life Plan is intended to supplement coverage provided by the Basic Plan. The cost of this insurance is determined by the age of the individual and the number of units purchased. Premiums increase at age 40 and every five years thereafter with coverage terminating at age 70. Approximately one half of eligible pensioners are enrolled in the plan.
Optional Dependent Life Plan
This plan provides insurance for spouses and children of members. For spouses, coverage is decreased at age 60 to $5,000.00 and this amount remains available until age 70 at which time coverage is terminated.
As I mentioned last year, there is interest in having the benefits associated with this plan improved. There are a couple of options. One would be to increase the $5,000.00 available between ages 60 and 70 to $10,000.00. Another would be to extend the $5,000.00 to cover end of life expenses. This would seem a preferable option. Again, the cost implications associated with this proposal are not known.
Accidental Death and Dismemberment Plan
The AD & D plan is unique in that it operates on a fully insured non-refund basis. That is to say the Insurer, Great West retains any surplus in annual results while being responsible for any deficit. Coverage is available to members, pensioners and dependents to a maximum of $100,000.00 for accidental loss of life. Compensation for losses other than loss of life is dependent on what is loss and follows a schedule as a percentage of the $100,000.00. Coverage is terminated at age 70.
RCMP Disability Insurance Plan
This plan provides salary protection for disabled members at the 75% level of their pre disability salary. Benefits from the plan can be paid to age 65 if the member is unable to work and continues to meet the definition of disability, which changes after 24 months.
Marriage after Age Sixty
I provided a fair amount of background information on this issue last year. At the moment there is no reason to be optimistic that any changes will take place, at least not in the short term. Initially the Force and the Canadian Forces contemplated a Memorandum to Cabinet. This has not happened and I understand the Federal Public Service is not interested. From the Government’s perspective, interest is dampened by the economic climatic that currently exist as well as the state of pension coverage available to Canadians, generally. Please also see comments by the Executive Director in his report.
Veterans’ Independence Program (VIP)
I provided background information on this issue last year, as well. The Force has submitted a Memorandum to Cabinet so it’s a matter of waiting. I do understand that the funding for this proposed program has not been finalized. Please see comments by the Executive Director, also.
Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC)
Both the Executive Director and the National Advocate have reported on our meetings with the Minister of Veterans Affairs and our subsequent meetings with VAC Officials in Charlottetown, PEI. Also, the National Advocate mentioned the fact that one of the benefits derived from these meetings was an opportunity to access Service Officer Training for our members. Three are presently taking this training from The Royal Canadian Legion in Ottawa. In a relative short time we hope to have trained Service Officers in all parts of the country. This will make it more convenient for our retired members to determine what services are available from VAC, how to access them and the legal processes available to the client when a service or benefit claim is denied or reduced.
A report related to the Charlottetown Meeting was recently contained in the VAC publication Salute. The article described in some detail the services available through VAC for members of the Force. This article by Insp Parker Kennedy, RCMP Liaison Officer to VAC is also contained in the Spring Edition of the Quarterly/la Trimestrielle.
I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the many efforts of D/C Peter Martin (Rtd.). In his role of Chief Human Resources Officer for the Force, he supported the Veterans’ Association on many occasions. It was through his efforts to help and promote our Association that the trip to Charlottetown was made possible for three of our members. As well, he has been generous and sensitive to the needs of our Association in other areas, for example arranging a full time employee for our National Office. I’m sure all of us wish him a long and happy retirement.
THE QUARTERLY / LA TRIMESTRIELLE MAGAZINES
This year the magazine was pleased to welcome Mike Duncan to the Editorial Management Board. Mike is retired from the Force and is currently employed with the Bank of Canada. He has a deep interest in the Quarterly/la Trimestrielle Magazines and I’m sure will make a great contribution to them. C/Supt. Dale Sheehan, while continuing his tour of duty in Lyon, France is still a member of the Editorial Management Board and makes contact during his periodic visits to Ottawa. Tanya Baglole, Editor was welcomed back on May 1st from her second maternity leave. During her absence, Ron Sparks again managed the affairs of the magazine as Editor in a thoroughly professional way. The Editorial Management Board is most grateful to Ron for pitching in.
Financially, the magazine had a very good year. In July, 2009 an application was submitted to the Canadian Heritage Department requesting financial assistance under their “Support for Editorial Content” Program. In March of this year, the Department advised that our application was successful and we were granted $21,167.00. This contribution is greatly appreciated and will significantly help us to continue publishing a quality magazine in both Official Languages. .
Last year the Magazine did not distribute any of its profits. A major concern then had to do with the Subscription Tracking System. There were indications that the existing one, because of its age and lack of support would not be able to provide the necessary service anymore. The cost to replace it was estimated at $30,000.00. The good news here is that the Force has undertaken to replace it for us at no cost. As a result, the Board of Trustees felt it was in a position to distribute some of its profits this year. Consequently, $47,000.00 will be distributed. $5,000.00 of this amount will be given to the Heritage Centre in Regina and the balance will be allocated to the National Association and the Divisions. The actual allocations have not been determined at the time of writing but I can say that the small Divisions, those with fewer than 100 members will be receiving an extra $500.00 in addition to the amount they would normally quality for, based on their membership. As well, medium size Divisions will receive an extra $300.00. This is in recognition of the limited funds they can generate from their small memberships.
In order to increase circulation, the magazine routinely engages in projects for that purpose. I reported on the Academic Achievement Award last year; the award recognizes the cadet obtaining the highest academic standing in his/her troop with a $100.00 cheque and a certificate. Presently we are giving retirees an opportunity to subscribe to the Magazine by giving them a one year free subscription.
At the last meeting of the Editorial Management Board it was decided to publish the magazine in full color. This has been considered for years but for various reasons was never done. It is hoped that full color will make the magazine more attractive and hopefully increase circulation.
The following are members of the Editorial Management Board, those indicated by an asterisk are members of the Board of Trustees.
Tanya Baglole, Editor
Bill Gidley, Managing Editor*
John Religa, Treasurer*
Chantal Renaud, Circulation Manager
Nancy Sample, A/Director, Corporate Communications, (RCMP Rep.)
C/Supt. Dale Sheehan, INTERPOL, (RCMP Rep.)
Cal Small, Chair*
Insp. Jamie Taplin, O i/c Field Coaching, Learning & Developing (RCMP Rep.)
Again this year the Board of Trustees and the Editorial management Board deserve a vote of thinks for all the work they do on your behalf. As I have stated in my previous years’ reports, it is challenging to publish a magazine that is contemporary, relevant and interesting and at the same time respectful of its roots. Much of the material that appears in the magazine and helps us meet the challenges I mentioned above, is provided by the Associated Editors who are identified below. Their efforts are, as always, much appreciated.
“A” Division Sgt. Marc Menard
“B” Division Helen Cleary-Escott
“C” Division Diane Clement
“D” Division Christina Keys
“Depot” Division Marie Patterson
“E” Division Carly Paice
“F” Division Christine Niemczyk
“G” Division Marie York-Condon
“H” Division Paula Sibley-Fox
“HQ” Division Linda Holmes
S/Sgt. Ian Cooper (Rtd.)
Sgt. Bob Keeble (Rtd.)
“J” Division Paul Greene
“K” Division Catherine Hillerud
“L” Division Sherry MacDougall
“M” Division Sgt. Don Rogers
“O” Division Jean Floyd
“V” Division Jamie Perry
If you are a subscriber to the magazine, thank you. If you are not, please consider becoming one.
Director of Benefits
April 28, 2010.