Important Plan Bulletins
CLEA Plan Tops $100 Million in Benefit Payments to Members and Families
The California Law Enforcement Association’s Long-Term Disability (LTD) Plan recently reached the $100 million mark in benefits paid to its members, the Plan’s Administrators announced. CLEA’s LTD plan, which serves over 20,000 law enforcement personnel in California, is the largest of its kind in California and reached the $100 million milestone in its 31st year of operation.
“The amount we’ve paid to support our members while keeping rates down really shows what we’re all about,” said Dave Boffi, CLEA President. “We’re here to support the welfare of our members by paying the benefits they need. Many of the people who depend on us would have been financially devastated without CLEA behind them.”
CLEA started in 1985 and today serves over 160 law enforcement agencies. Not only is it the largest long-term disability (LTD) plan in California for law enforcement personnel, it offers the most comprehensive benefits available.
“The CLEA plan was founded on the desire to provide law enforcement officers with long-term disability coverage that was superior to the other plans available,” explained Jerry Hall, a former Santa Clara County deputy sheriff who was the charter president of CLEA and is currently chairman of the Plan’s board. “I don’t know that we ever thought it would grow to where it is today with more than $100 million paid out. Our priority was always to ensure that our members would be able to have the highest level of income protection when they needed it the most.”
“I’m grateful and pleased to know that over $100 million in benefits have been paid to officers in need, with the care and concern that one would like to have for their brothers and sisters,” Hall said. “I’m also proud that because they’ve had this Plan available to them, they have saved hundreds of thousands of premium dollars over the years through CLEA.”
The CLEA Plan provides long-term disability benefits of up to 85 percent of a member’s pay. It is a member-owned non-profit and non-political organization managed by a statewide board of directors comprised of representatives from its participating groups. The Plan is managed by California Public Safety Administrators, Inc., which offers a similar plan for firefighters. Together, the two Plans have paid over $165 million in benefits and serve over 36,000 law enforcement and fire service personnel.
CLEA LTD Plan Determined to Be Actuarially Sound
By Dave Boffi, CLEA President
Late last year, CLEA began the process of conducting an actuarial review following the passage of AB 1072 (Daly), which required that Police Officer Benefit Relief Associations such as CLEA submit a report to the California Department of Insurance by July 1, 2016 showing that they are financially sound enough to provide the benefits they have promised to Plan Members.
I am very pleased to tell you that the recently completed CLEA LTD actuarial report confirmed what we already knew: Our Plan is financially strong and our members can count on it being there for them when they need it.
Immediately after AB 1072 passed, the CLEA Executive Board initiated a nationwide Request for Proposal and interview process in order to select a firm that we believed to be the most qualified to conduct the actuarial review we were seeking. As a result of this interview process, United Health Actuarial Services (UHAS) was selected to conduct the review. UHAS is one of the most respected actuarial firms in the nation, and the California Department of Insurance welcomed our selection because it knew of UHAS’ outstanding reputation and competency.
CLEA supported the intent behind AB 1072, which was to ensure that members of the law enforcement community in California could make an informed and confident choice when choosing long-term disability coverage. We worked with the author of the bill, Assembly Member Tom Daly, to craft the bill with language that best achieved that purpose. Once the actuarial review process began, members of our Executive Board, our Plan Administrators and our Plan Counsel worked diligently with the actuary to provide the data needed to conduct their valuation and answer questions that arose.
The soundness of our Plan has now been verified not only by providing 30 years of benefits amounting to over $100 million, but also by top-notch actuaries. Among the findings in the report by UHAS, which was also professionally peer-reviewed by another qualified actuary, are:
Due to the 2013 rate increase, “premiums are now more than adequate to pay for current losses and expenses.”
Not only are current premiums “more than sufficient” to pay current claims and expenses, they “are also expected to contribute to a modest increase in surplus in 2016.
While the actuarial process has been long, complex and expensive, I believe it has been invaluable to ensuring that our members and potential members can be confident in the strength of our Plan. CLEA appreciates the effort Assembly Member Daly made to work with us, often in the face of opposition from our competitors, to develop reporting requirements that were fair and led to our support for his bill.
Since we were founded in 1985, CLEA has repeatedly proven that it is possible to provide the best value in LTD coverage while maintaining our business model of operating as a financially sound association exclusively serving, and managed by, members of the law enforcement community. I want to personally thank everyone who worked so hard to bring the actuarial process to a successful completion. We filed our report with the California Department of Insurance prior to the July 1 deadline.
CLEA now serves over 20,000 members and is the overwhelmingly leading choice among law enforcement in California for LTD coverage.
Brown Lawsuit Update
November 11, 2015
The lawsuit filed by William David Brown of the Oakland Police Officers Association has been resolved by a Stipulation and Order of Dismissal With Prejudice. The order is “with prejudice,” meaning that the plaintiff, Mr. Brown, cannot re-file his complaint against CLEA. The plaintiff and CLEA agreed to the dismissal, and the court signed the dismissal on Oct. 28, 2015. The dismissal fully resolves the case and the claim of Mr. Brown. Although Mr. Brown had filed his case as a potential class action, no motion to certify the class was filed and no class was ever certified. CLEA and Mr. Brown agreed to a process for Mr. Brown and certain other members of OPOA to submit their claims to CLEA. After reviewing the claims that were submitted, CLEA paid Mr. Brown’s claim and the claims of five other members of OPOA for a total of about $54,000.
35 Years of Vision…A CLEA Milestone
Thirty-five years ago, a new way to provide comprehensive yet affordable disability coverage for law enforcement personnel in California was introduced. California Law Enforcement Association (CLEA) was built with a vision to serve this community through innovation, a commitment to its members, and with integrity and transparency.
Thanks to the nearly 20,000 law enforcement personnel who have supported CLEA with participation in the LTD plan, CLEA’s success can be measured by the over $120 million in long-term disability benefits it has paid to the members and their families while offering the most comprehensive level of income protection available.
Our exclusively member-owned plan provides the highest level of coverage, on and off duty, 24/7. Our plan was designed to meet the specific long-term disability needs of law enforcement personnel, and to ensure it stays that way it is overseen by law enforcement representatives from across the state.
Thirty-five years later, CLEA remains financially strong, has delivered on every promise, and is ready to serve for generations to come.
35 Years of Continued Success Serving California Law Enforcement and Fire Service Personnel
We are pleased to announce that California Public Safety Administrators, Inc. (CPSA) has just celebrated its 35th anniversary as the Plan Administrator for California Law Enforcement Association (CLEA), California Association of Professional Firefighters (CAPF) and National Peace Officers and Fire Fighters Benefit Association (NPFBA).
This is truly a milestone event since CLEA, CAPF and NPFBA now exceed 40,000 participants from over 300 different unions and associations from within the state. Additionally, the three Plans have paid in excess of $200 million in benefits to disabled and deceased law enforcement and fire service personnel.
According to Jim Floyd, founding principal of CPSA, Inc., “it has been one of the most rewarding tasks of my life helping CPSA serve thousands of our first responders and their families in their time of financial need due to job-related and non-job related disabilities and death. CPSA and its staff are truly honored to have worked with so many dedicated people for all these years.”
Floyd goes on the say the secret in CPSA’s 35 year success story has been the ability of each Plan to self-fund and self-manage the most comprehensive level of benefits through its representative board of directors and trustees with the fervent objective “to take care of each other” in the event of disabling illnesses, injuries and death.
Updates of PORAC Magazine Articles
October 10, 2014
Dear CLEA Directors,
As some of you may know, recent issues of the PORAC magazine have contained articles about CLEA and its Long-Term Disability Plan.
CLEA has provided LTD coverage to law enforcement in California continuously since 1985, and currently provides coverage to nearly 20,000 members. CLEA believes that its benefits are the best benefits available in the marketplace today. CLEA has always been and is committed to providing superior coverage at a reasonable price.
We encourage our members and potential members to become informed about the specifics of CLEA’s LTD plan, and to ask questions about our plan and its benefits. For CLEA members or non-members interested in becoming CLEA members, we suggest they review our website at www.CLEA.org for a detailed summary of the CLEA plan benefits. You may request a copy of the Summary Plan Description or full LTD plan, obtain other information, or ask any questions about our plan by calling our administrator at 1.800.832.7333. The most accurate source of information about our plan is through our administrator, rather than through a competitor’s plan. For potential members, we suggest you find out for yourself which plan has the best benefits for you. Ask questions of the administrator of any plan you are considering purchasing and carefully review the materials provided by each plan. We understand that LTD benefits are very important to peace officers, and believe that all peace officers should be as informed as possible before deciding which plan is best for them.
The PORAC articles mention a lawsuit that has been filed by a former member of CLEA’s LTD Plan against CLEA. CLEA believes there is no merit to the lawsuit. The lawsuit is in the earliest stage, and CLEA will be responding to the suit in the near future. The lawsuit is not approved by the court as a class action. At this time, the only plaintiff in the case is a single person, and CLEA believes that the case will not proceed as a class action.
The PORAC articles also mention CLEA’s “successor” LTD Plans. CLEA’s LTD Plan has never been terminated and there has been no interruption in benefits or coverage to CLEA’s members. In 2013, CLEA did establish separate safety and non-safety trusts, but the assets available to provide benefits to CLEA members were always and continue to be maintained in trust for the plan members.
CLEA’s members should be confident that CLEA’s LTD Plan will be there for them if they need it, as demonstrated by the high level of benefits provided to the members. Since May 2013, CLEA has paid LTD benefits in excess of $6.9 million to its members. We believe CLEA’s benefits are unmatched.
If you have any questions about any of these matters, please contact CLEA’s administrator at the telephone number above.
David Boffi, CLEA President
Daly City POA
Darin Ryburn, CLEA Vice President South
Kevin Mickelson, CLEA Vice President North
Sacramento Co. DSA
Joe Chirillo, CLEA Chief Financial Officer
Beverly Hills POA
Mario Yagoda, CLEA Executive Secretary
Jerry Hall, CLEA Chairman of the Board
DSA of Santa Clara Co.