On March 19, 2020, checks representing a distribution of the remaining Group Benefits Trust Fund were mailed to all those who were Plan Participants in Trust as of December 31, 2015, the date the health insurance plan was terminated by the State Bar. The Plan provides that upon termination of the Plan, the remaining Trust Fund be distributed to those who were Plan Participants as of the date of termination. Below is a list of answers to frequently asked questions the Bar has received from Trust participants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why am I receiving a check from the State of Montana Group Benefits Trust?
A: The Trustees decided to terminate the Trust and the liquidated assets are being distributed to the participants as of December 31, 2015 as required by the Trust Agreement. See letter from the Trust here (link).
Q: Why is this happening now?
A: The medical claims period for the Trust has expired and the investment assets of the Trust were liquidated in 2019, prior to the recent significant downturn in the financial markets.
Q: Why are the funds being distributed to individuals and not employers?
A: The State Bar of Montana Group Benefits Trust Agreement specifies that upon liquidation of the Trust, “the remaining assets shall be distributed to the Employees of the Employers as directed by the Trustees….”
Q: How were the payments determined?
A: The liquidated investments and others asset of the Trust were distributed on a pro rata basis after deducting from the aggregate distribution amount the estimated continuing costs and obligations of the Trust in the liquidation process, including final audit and other tax preparation costs.
Q: Is the amount I am receiving taxable income?
A: You should consult your tax advisor for specific advice, however, the Trustees were advised the payment does represent taxable income, and as such the Trust will be sending 1099s for the current tax year to all payees.
Q: I purchased Group Life, Voluntary Life and Long Term Care coverage through the Trust. Will this affect my policy?
A: No. The Group Life, Voluntary Life and Long Term Care offered through UNUM are outside of the Trust and the windup. If you have questions about the UNUM policies, please contact Leavitt Group at 800-558-7798.
Q: My address is incorrect and I have concerns I have not received my check?
A: Please contact the State Bar of Montana at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact you to discuss your concerns. All attorney addresses were verified and updated according to the most recent address on file with the State Bar of Montana.
Q: I have more questions.
A: If you have additional questions concerning the liquidation of the Trust, please contact email@example.com and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.