Brothers and Sisters:
The UTU Discipline Income Protection Plan (DIPP) has remained steadfast in looking for ways to pay claims of participants. By contrast, other job benefit plans are looking for ways to AVOID paying claims.
A pattern of harsh discipline imposed by the carriers — resulting in a significant and steady drain on assets as benefits are paid out — has drawn considerable reserves from the DIPP fund.
To adequately maintain this valuable service to UTU members — and ensure the DIPP’s survival — the UTU scheduled adjustments to premiums and benefits to become effective, March 1, 2008. However, the adjustments, which were published in the December-January issue of the UTU News, have drawn numerous comments from DIPP participants — and those comments have been heard.
We have no choice but to impose the premium increase on the scheduled date of March 1.
However, additional changes, which were to include a 15-day elimination period, a 20 percent reduction for a second claim within 12 months, recovery of benefits from a favorable discipline appeal, duration of coverage-period application, and the benefit reduction schedule have been put on hold.
The UTU will continue to monitor and review the DIPP fund, and may implement change in the future, as deemed necessary.
The DIPP fund is much like Railroad Retirement, in that it is a pooled-risk fund whose financial survival depends on a broad base of participants making contributions in order that benefits are available for payment.
In short, if the DIPP fund is to continue to be offered as a service to UTU members, then UTU members must participate in large numbers. We therefore ask all participants to continue their membership in the DIPP fund, and to encourage your brothers and sisters to participate, also.
There is strength in numbers, and the continuation of this beneficial DIPP program depends upon everyone’s support.
Mike Futhey, International President
Arty Martin, Assistant President
Kim Thompson, General Secretary & Treasurer
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