SAG-AFTRA urges health plan merger

Board votes to urge trustees on combination

Leaders of SAG-AFTRA have taken their first official step since the March merger to combine the separate SAG and AFTRA health and retirement plans.

The national board voted Sunday with 99.47% support to approve a motion urging the union and industry trustees of the SAG Producers Pension and Health Plans and the AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds to combine the plans.

The plans are operated by separate boards, with an equal number of reps from the unions and the industry, and these boards were urged to “undertake expeditious and appropriate action” to create a unified health plan and to implement immediately a reciprocity agreement between the two existing health plans.

“The board specifically directed the union-appointed trustees of the plans to treat as priorities the creation of a unified health plan and the immediate implementation of an interim reciprocity agreement between the existing health plans and to meet for the purpose of discussing the actions necessary to create a unified health plan and a unified defined benefit retirement plan,” the union said Sunday.

Merger backers touted the combined SAG-AFTRA as having more power than the individual unions and asserted that combining the unions would be a first step toward combining the separate SAG and AFTRA health and retirement plans — and starting to solve the problem of performers not qualifying for coverage under separate SAG and AFTRA health and pension plans.

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