October 2021

Volume 50

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Highlights

SPECIAL ELECTION FOR GENERAL MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF RETIREMENT

OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS OCTOBER 31

BOOK A VIRTUAL SBCERS APPOINTMENT ONLINE

Also in this edition...


  • 2021 COLA Tracker
  • September 2021 Investment Results
  • September 22, 2021 Board of Retirement Meeting Highlights
  • October 27, 2021 Board of Retirement Meeting Agenda
  • CareCounsel Information
  • RESBC Membership Information

SPECIAL ELECTION FOR GENERAL MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF RETIREMENT

On October 1, 2021, a General Trustee position on the Board of Retirement of the Santa Barbara County Employees’ Retirement System became vacant. In accordance with the Board of Retirement elections policy, a special election will be held Wednesday, December 8, 2021 – Monday, January 10, 2022 to select a General Member to fill the vacancy of the 2nd Member of the Board of Retirement. The successful candidate will serve the remaining term of the 2nd General Member beginning January 26, 2022 and ending December 31, 2022.


General member candidates must be an Active Member of the Retirement System and may not be a Safety or Retired member. All candidates must submit a Petition of Nomination/Declaration of Candidacy.


The petition shall include the nominee’s name, certification of willingness to serve and the nomination by at least 15 but not more than 25 members of the nominee’s membership classification on a nominating petition. Nominations may be submitted with wet or electronic signatures of nominating members. The petitions and ballot statements must be returned to any SBCERS office no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 1, 2021.



Petitions are available online at www.sbcers.org/board-elections/.

Click Here for the SBCERS Elections Website

Please contact the clerkoftheboard@sbcers.org for questions or concerns.

OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS OCTOBER 31

2022 Open Enrollment is almost over! Here is the important information for you to know:


Are rates increasing?

  • Blue Shield Medical Plans will decrease 2.4%.
  • Kaiser Plan premiums will increase 2.6%. Kaiser Senior Advantage KPSA will decrease 4%.
  • United Healthcare will decrease 2%.
  • Dental HMO Plan rates and Dental PPO Plan rates will remain the same.
  • Vision rates remain the same.
  • CareCounsel rates remain the same.
  • The prescription drug program for early retirees enrolled in Blue Shield medical plans, Rx n’ Go, continues to be offered.
  • The County has added a new program, Medicare Solutions, a white glove, concierge Medicare assistance service with agents licensed in all 50 states. There is no charge for Medicare Solutions services.

What do I do if I need to make changes to my coverage?

  1. Review plan benefits, providers and rates.
  2. Obtain and complete forms.
  3. Sign and submit forms by MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2021. Forms are available at https://www.sbcers.org/retired-members/2022-open-enrollment/.

 

What if I am not making any changes for 2022?

SBCERS will automatically continue your current coverage into 2022 at the new rates. You do not have to submit any forms or contact SBCERS, and your benefits will remain the same.

BOOK A VIRTUAL SBCERS APPOINTMENT ONLINE


Due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, all SBCERS counselling appointments will be held virtually, either over the phone or on Zoom. Members may schedule their own appointment online by clicking the button below. All upcoming dates are updated at www.sbcers.org/pop-up.

Click Here to Book an Appointment

Members may choose between 20-minute or 60-minute appointments.


Example 20-Minute Topics:

  • Service purchase of medical leave or extra help time
  • Divorce
  • Tax withholding changes
  • Health reimbursement claims
  • Direct deposit changes
  • Insurance questions


Example 60-Minute Topics:

  • Pre-retirement or retirement counseling sessions
  • Death benefit claims
  • Continuance onboarding
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2021 COLA Tracker


For September 2021, Los Angeles Area Inflation (year over year) was 4.60%. The average monthly increase for 2021 to date is 3.12%.


View monthly inflation figures compared to last year. 


Want to track the COLA on your own? On the 15th of each month, the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor statistics releases CPI data for Los Angeles.


Read the current Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

September 2021 Investment Results

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The Total Fund returned -1.52% for the month of September, net of fees.


Since July 1, 2021, the portfolio has returned 1.79%, generating nearly $69 million for our beneficiaries.


Read the full September 2021 Investment Flash Report.

September 22, 2021 Board of Retirement Meeting Highlights


At the September 22nd meeting, the Board of Retirement received a monthly investment update report, and approved revisions to the Compensation Earnable and Pensionable Compensation Policy and Service Provider Selection Policy. The Board also approved a Special Election for General Member of the Board of Retirement.


Read the draft September 22, 2021 Minutes.

October 27, 2021 Board of Retirement Meeting Agenda Available


The next Regular Board of Retirement meeting will be held virtually on October 27, 2021. You can watch the meeting via YouTube live stream at https://www.sbcers.org/board-of-retirement/watch-live/.


Members of the public who would like to make a public comment may do so via Zoom. Please email clerkoftheboard@sbcers.org for instructions.


Click HERE to access the agendas and board materials on our agenda management website.

WANT HELP WITH YOUR HEALTH CARE INQUIRIES & CONCERNS?

Looking for a stress-free solution to your healthcare inquiries and, or concerns? CareCounsel is our health advocacy partner and is a service offered as part of your benefit package. CareCounsel works independently from your insurance carrier and is a completely confidential resource. 


It’s easy, call: (888-227-3334), or email staff@carecounsel.com Monday through Friday 6:30 am to 5:00 pm PST. After hours, you can leave a message and they will get back to you the next business day.


A few examples of why you should contact CareCounsel:

  • Education
  • Making Sense of Medicare
  • Benefits and Coverage Questions
  • Claims and Billing Assistance
  • Eligibility Status
  • Quality Concerns
  • Grievances and Appeals
  • Assistance with Locating Healthcare Providers

RETIRED EMPLOYEES OF SANTA BARBARA COUNTY (RESBC)

RESBC is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of county retirees by providing information on critical retirement issues and offering educational/cultural social opportunities. Membership in RESBC is $2.50 monthly. Dues are deducted from the member’s Santa Barbara County pension payment. County employees may join RESBC by completing the RESBC Membership Deduction Authorization form at the time of their retirement exit conference.


Retirees may join at any time by requesting a membership form from SBCERS, 130 Robin Hill Road, Suite 100, Goleta, CA 93117, 1-877-568-2940 or, by clicking HERE and sending the completed form to benefits@sbcers.org. 


RESBC Membership benefits include:

  • 4 issues of the RESBC newsletter per year
  • 4 subsidized luncheon meetings per year held at various county locations
  • Opportunities to participate in subsidized day trips and special events
  • Attendance at special presentations on critical issues such as health insurance, pension litigation, pension-related court decisions, etc
  • Opportunity to socialize and have fun with former co-workers and friends

Have a question about an item in this newsletter?

Call a Benefit Representative at 1-877-568-2940. We are ready to help you!


Want to look at prior newsletters?

Click HERE to visit the SBCERS Newsletter Archive.