APRIL 2, 2018
Just a heads up that there is a SCAM going around involving the new Medicare Cards coming out in April. Pass it along. It might come in handy to know Medicare will never call you on the phone.
It is true that the new cards will be sent out from April 2018 to April 2019. Medicare has also warned on scams. They do not charge for cards or want your personal information over the phone.
This change is coming up. DO NOT give out information over the phone. Medicare Cards without Social Security Numbers Coming in.
Example of new Medicare cards:
This is pretty important to get to people with Medicare, their families, and friends or adult kids who help parents with Medicare. Have just gotten word about the newest Medicare scam from an organization I educate for, Texas Senior Medicare Patrol, a division within the Better Business Bureau. Here's what you need to know to protect yourself, family and friends, throughout the US.
Starting 4/1/18 Medicare will start a year-long project to replace all current Medicare cards for beneficiaries to convert to alphanumeric ID numbers. Currently, the ID number is your social security number. This is starting to hit the media. Scammers are opportunistic. First of all the new Medicare card will come to you in the mail. You don't need to request it or do anything. It will show up.
WHAT'S THE SCAM?
Somebody from "MEDICARE " will call to tell you-you are getting a new Medicare card. But until it comes you will need a temporary card. Fee for the card is between $5-50 dollars. They want personal information, bank account or credit card so they can process your temporary card.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Medicare will never call you unless you ask them to.
Medicare does all communications by mail unless you ask them to call.
Ditto for anybody saying they "work with Medicare to make sure you get everything you are entitled to" .
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THIS ONE?
First of all, spread the word. Feel free to share these notes.
Use your answering machine to screen calls or just don't even answer a number you don't recognize.
If it has happened to you or your friends or loved ones and personal info had been given out (happens considerably more often than you think so don't feel bad or stupid) immediately take action to protect yourself against identity theft.
JUNE 6, 2016
TAMU TRUST TERMINATION
Information on Benefits Contacts in Error on TAMU Letter
Participants in the TAMU Trust's early retiree medical benefits just received notice that the TAMU Trust is terminating, because there are no more funds to distribute.
The Tower Automotive Milwaukee Union Retiree Benefit Trust (TAMU) was established in 2006 with funds from the Milwaukee Unions settlement with Tower in bankruptcy proceedings.
TAMU provided retiree health insurance for eligible Tower retirees until 2010, when through legislation eligible retirees were able to participate in Badger Care. The State of Wisconsin did not provide a subsidy for Tower participants, but TAMU used the funds left to subsidize the cost from 2010 until May 2016.
Notices went out last week that the funds have now been exhausted and the TAMU Trust is terminating with partial reimbursement checks for May.
Unfortunately, no one from TAMU checked with the SmithSteelworkers Litigation Trust 19806, and as a result there were errors in the information in that letter on who to contact if there are questions about benefits other than health insurance.
Here is the right information:
The SmithSteelworkers Litigation Trust office continues to be open on Monday's and Thursdays. phone (414) 871-2460
Don Schrauth is available at number - you can leave a message or call him at his home number: (414) 578-8285
There is also information on the website for Pension questions and Life insurance questions as follows:
- A. O. Smith Corporation
P. O box 245008
Milwaukee, WI 53224
- Toll free number for A. O. Smith is 1-800-631-7819
- Tower/ New York Life Investment Management
P. O box 796
Norwood, MA 02062
- Toll free number for Tower is 1-800-294-3575
If you should need assistance with any of this contact me and I will help you.
In the event of a death - life insurance questions - about beneficiaries or benefits contact: Linda Fryc @ 616-802-1543, she is at Tower Automotive in Grand Rapids. She can change your beneficiary's and tell you what your policy is worth, as many of the older members have differing amounts. That information is also available on the web site.
If you are in the Badger Care program and have questions contact your provider or contact me. If you have any questions at all, please give me a call and I will attempt to clear it up.
NOVEMBER 18, 2015
NOTICE TO PLAN PARTICIPANTS in the Tower Automotive Milwaukee Union Retiree Benefits Plan:
As you know, the Tower Automotive Milwaukee Union Retiree Benefits Trust (“TAMU”), which funds the Tower Automotive Milwaukee Union Retiree Benefits Plan is funded only through the settlement of the Milwaukee Unions with Tower Automotive during its bankruptcy proceedings and income generated by that settlement. Because of its limited resources, TAMU no longer provides health benefits but has provided a subsidy to retirees participating in an otherwise unsubsidized Badger Care Plan available through the State of Wisconsin. The same subsidy is provided to individual Participants who reside out of state and as a result are not eligible to participate in the Badger Care program.
As we informed you in October of 2014, TAMU will not have funds to make the $100.00 individual/$200.00 family subsidy through all of the 2016 calendar year. From the information which the Trustees now have available, we have determined that the Trust will be able to provide the $100.00 individual/$200.00 family subsidy for the first four months of 2016, that is, through April 15, 2016 but not beyond April of 2016.
Retirees or their spouses who have not yet reached age 65 as of April of 2016 will be able to continue to participate in Badger Care until they reach age 65. However, your bill for the cost of participating in Badger Care will increase by the amount of the subsidy, $100.00 individual/$200.00 family, starting in May of 2016 when the subsidy is no longer available. TAMU may provide a partial reimbursement for the May 2016 premiums, if funds allow, but will not provide any further subsidies because the Trust’s funds will be exhausted. TAMU will then terminate, most likely in May, 2016.
Any participants who purchase dental insurance through Benistar Admin Services, Inc. must direct questions about that insurance to Benistar at 1-800-236-4782 not to TAMU.
If there are any questions, you may reach us at the following address through May 15, 2016.
The Trustee for the Tower Automotive
Milwaukee Union Retiree Health Benefits Trust
P.O. Box 170564
Milwaukee, WI 53217
Phone Number: 262-825-2716
TAMU SUBSIDY ENDS IN APRIL
Many DALU 19806 retirees have asked why their Badger Care premiums are increasing in May of 2016. The reason is that the Tower Automotive Milwaukee Union Retiree Benefit Trust (TAMU) after all these years is running out of funds.
Since 2010, through Wisconsin legislation, TAMU participants have been able to obtain coverage through Badger Care, but without a subsidy. The funds which TAMU still had were used to provide a $100.00 for single coverage/$200.00 for family coverage subsidy which was paid directly to the State of Wisconsin and which reduced the premiums the State of Wisconsin charged TAMU participants by those amounts.
The TAMU Trustees have announced that TAMU's funds can provide the $100.00 single/$200.00 family subsidy through April, 2016, but there will not be enough funds to provide the full $100.00 single/$200.00 family subsidy after April. This information was provided to all current Participants with their annual financial report on TAMU.
TAMU also informed State of Wisconsin that the $100.00/$200.00 subsidy would not be available in months after April so that it could send out accurate billing. Therefore the State billed for the full premiums for May 2016 and later; those premiums are $100.00 more per month for single coverage and $200.00 more for family coverage that the reduced premiums Tower retirees previously were charged. This is not the result of an increase in premium costs. It is the result of the TAMU Trust running out of funds and not being able to subsidize your premium expenses after April, 2016.
It is impossible to determine exactly how much will be left after April subsidies are paid because some Tower retirees leave and others are added to Badger Care. TAMU has asked the State to inform it of the premiums Tower retirees pay in May and will use that information to provide a partial reimbursement for the month of May to the extent funds are available. TAMU has announced that at that time, it will have no further funds and will dissolve.
SMITHSTEELWORKERS DALU 19806 LITIGATION TRUSTEES
New York Life Retirement Plan Services is now John Hancock Retirement Plan Services!
Recently, New York Life Retirement Plan Services, the organization that provides record keeping and administration services to your retirement plan, merged into John Hancock Retirement Plan Services. This merger allows us to better serve your retirement saving and investing needs and to help you reach your retirement income goals.
While our name, logo, website address, and some colors and designs have changed, your Plan’s features, investment options, and your account have not changed as a result of this merger.
Here’s an overview of what has changed and what has not:
Stays the same
Website address – mylife.jhrps.com – update your bookmark today!
User ID and PIN/Password; Features and capabilities
You will be welcomed to John Hancock Retirement Plan Services
Search your app store for MyLifeNow
Ability to view, review, update, and make changes to your account
Print and electronic
John Hancock name
Design, colors, content
1. If you forget to do this now, it’s ok. The old website address will redirect until the end of the year.
2. The mobile app supports 401(k) and 403(b) plans only.
3. Over time, you will see new colors and designs too.
Additionally, the teams that service your Plan, and the current recordkeeping system for account information and statements, remain the same.
With a strong commitment that puts emphasis on individual wellness and retirement readiness, we continue to focus on helping you enjoy a financially secure future.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as these changes and future enhancements are incorporated. We look forward to serving you now and into the future.
Update your bookmark today, or contact us if you have any questions about this merger, or any of these changes.
Representatives are available between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Eastern time on New York Stock Exchange business days. For your protection, all calls to a representative are recorded.
Auto Discount for Retirees
Tower/A O Smith employees-retirees are entitled to discounts as follows:
DCX - Company Code - S35104 - web address - www.chrysleraffiliates.com phone number - 888-444-4321 - Employees, retirees, surviving spouses are eligible to purchase/lease up to 2 vehicles per plan year.
Ford X-Plan - Company Code - T510H - web address - www.fordpartner.com phone number - 1-877-975-2600 - Employees (full/part time and contractors), spouses, and retirees and spouses can purchase/lease up to 2 vehicles per plan year. (Mazda vehicles are now ineligible)
2014 - A. O. SMITH RETIREMENT PLAN AND BUYOUT MAILING
We have learned from former A. O. Smith employees who have not yet applied for pension that they have received an offer to receive a lump-sum or monthly payments starting immediately, in place of their pension benefit.
The Smith Steelworkers DALU 19806 Litigation Trust CANNOT give you financial advice. The Trustees, however, urge everyone to read the information packet CAREFULLY and to request additional information, which is not included in the packet.
The packet provides, "if you need additional information, call the A. O. Smith Lump-Sum Window Service Center toll-free at 1-888-288-2391. At a minimum, we urge you to request the following information:
1. When would I be eligible for a pension under the terms of the pension plan, if I did not elect to receive a one-time lump-sum payment or to begin monthly annuity payments immediately?
2. What would my monthly pension payment be if I elect not to receive immediate payment, but apply for pension when I am first eligible under the pension plan?
3. What would my monthly pension payment be if I did not elect immediate payment and instead applied for my pension at age 62?
You should consider this information of any election in making your choice and compare these options to what you are offered. For example: if you are 56 and the early retirement benefit under the pension plan starts at age 57, you should consider the benefit you would get by waiting a year and whether it is a better option for you. If you will get the full pension benefit at age 62, three years before age 65, you may find that pension benefit is a better option for you.
On page 3 of the Notice of Rights, in the information packet - A. O. Smith states:
"By not deferring the start of a benefit, plan participants who are not yet eligible for early retirement may forgo the ability to receive an annuity in the future that includes and 'Early Retirement Subsidy.' Neither the immediate annuity benefit payable before a participant reaches early retirement age nor the lump-sum benefit payable immediately include the Early Retirement Subsidy."
Additionally, you should consider the TAX CONSEQUENCES, including an additional 10% tax, if you take payment at less than 59 1/2 years old, which is outlined in the packet.
Everyone's situation is different. We urge you to get all the information you need to make the best decision for yourself.
SMITH STEELWORKERS DALU 19806 LITIGATION TRUST TRUSTEES
2014 UPDATED CONTACT INFORMATION
A. O. Smith Pension Portion:
A. O. Smith pension account changes, including address changes, tax changes, direct deposit changes - NEED TO BE MADE IN WRITING.
AO Smith Corporation
PO box 245008
Milwaukee, WI 53224
The toll free number for AO Smith is: 1-800-631-7819
Tower Pension portion:
The same applies: for address changes, direct deposit, tax changes etc.
They will supply you a form on which to do this.
New York Life Investment Management
P O box 796
Norwood, MA 02062-0796
The New York Life participant service center is 1-800-294-3575
(New York Life)
The recording will ask you to enter your Social Security Number and your PIN. If you do not have a PIN press "0" to be transferred to a representative.
New York Life website www.mylife.NewYorkLife.com
If you need assistance with any of this let me know. I will be able to help you.
People wanting to apply for their pensions:
You must contact both: AO Smith and Tower via New York Life
AO Smith Corporation Employee Benefits
P. O. Box 245006
Milwaukee, WI 53224-9506
Toll free number: 800-631-7819 (AO Smith Corp)
New York Life Participant Service Center 800-294-3575 8 am to 10 pm ET Monday through Friday
The Benchmark Plan is ending - effective 12-31-2013.
The "tower folks", will be enrolled in the Standard Plan automatically - effective - 1-1-2014.
The Standard Plan actually covers more than the Benchmark Plan did and the co-payments for services are much less.
There will be a change in the premiums for 2014 - but the cost is unknown at this point, and information is not available until November.
When that information becomes available - every effort will be made to get it to everyone.
Jodie states "We will send notification out to the "tower folks", regarding the change in plans and a new listing of the covered benefits, along with the premium amounts sometime in November, after the rates are final.
As soon as information is available we will make every effort to get out to everyone.
Any questions you can call me.
Effective January 1, 2013, Tower International will have Guardian as their new life insurance carrier.
You should have received a letter telling you how much your benefit is, along with a new beneficiary designation form to fill out and return to Guardian. The form is incorrect, so please don't fill it out. If you have a current form on file with Tower and/or Aetna, there is no need to fill out a new one. You may contact Linda Fryc at Tower with any questions or if you would like a correct form sent to you. You may also contact Guardian at 1-800-525-4542. When contacting Guardian, remember to mention that you are a retiree of Tower, not AO Smith (or they will get confused).
If you have any questions give me a call at 414-871-2460 or 414-578-8285.
Attention Badger Care Bench Mark participants in the Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha and Waukesha areas.
Effective 10-31-2012 - United Health Care will be dropping those enrolled in their United Health Care services.
Effective 11-1-2012 they will be able to get services from any one that will accept their ID cards - Per Jodie Mender.
It is just a different payor for the services.
If anyone has any questions - they may call me.
People that would like to select a different HMO, may call the enrollment broker at: 800-291-2002.
People reaching 57 that would like to see how much of a pension benefit they have coming or would like to start that benefit, this is the process:
You must contact both: A. O. Smith and Tower at New York Life
- A. O. Smith Corporation Employee Benefits
P. O. Box 245006
Milwaukee, WI 53224-9506
Toll free phone number: 800-631-7819 (A.O.Smth Corp)
- New York Life Investment Management
P. O. 796
Norwood, MA 02062-0796
Toll free phone number: 800-294-3575(New York Life)
- If you need any help with any of this please give me a call either at
414-871-2460 or 414-578-8285.