Volume 27 | September 23, 2019
September 2019 Newsletter
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In this Edition:
  • 2020 Open Enrollment Updates & Meetings
  • New SBCERS Benefit Statement
  • 2019 COLA Tracker
  • August 2019 Investment Results
  • August 28, 2019 Board of Retirement Meeting Highlights
  • September 25, 2019 Board of Retirement Meeting Agenda
  • Board of Retirement Elections: General, Safety, & Safety Alternate
  • CareCounsel Information
  • RESBC Membership Information
2020 Open Enrollment Updates & Meetings
2020 Open Enrollment is coming! Here is the important information for you to know:
Are rates increasing?
There are minimal rate increases for County and Court Retirees. Health Insurance is increasing between 2% and 4%, and there are no increases to Dental and Vision Insurance this year.
What if I am not making any changes for 2020?
SBCERS will automatically continue your current coverage into 2020 at the new rates. You do not have to submit any forms or contact SBCERS, and your benefits will remain the same.
When are the Open Enrollment Meetings?

Santa Maria
Monday, October 14, 2019, 9:00 – 11:00 AM
Board of Supervisors Hearing Room
511 E Lakeside Parkway
Santa Maria, CA 93455

Santa Barbara
Thursday, October 17, 2019, 8:30 – 10:30 AM
Board of Supervisors Hearing Room
105 E Anapamu Street, Fourth Floor
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

When will Open Enrollment booklets and forms be available?
Open Enrollment booklets will be mailed at the end of September, and available on September 28 th on line at www.sbcers.org . Forms will also be available at www.sbcers.org .
New SBCERS Benefit Statement
Welcome to the newly enhanced SBCERS Retirement Benefit Statement format, which will be effective beginning the October 1, 2019 Benefit Payment. We are excited to provide you with improvements including:

  • A larger, easier to read font.
  • The tri-fold, perforated page is being replaced with a standard 8 ½ by 11 inch page in a standard envelope. This standard sized page will be easier to file.
  • Your Care Counsel healthcare advocate deduction no longer reads $0.00, it reads the amount that has always been deducted from your offset: $3.25
  • The actual insurance premium amounts are now listed in the Deduction section, so you can see the actual cost of your premium. This amount now matches what is listed in our Open Enrollment booklet, our rate sheets, and is now an easy to find number you can use to know the true total cost of your insurance.
  • The amount of your insurance subsidy, the amount your former employer pays to reduce your premium, is listed in the Deductions section as a negative amount, because it is reducing your cost
  • A newly enhanced "Insurance Subsidy or HRA" section lists what your share of the monthly insurance premiums is, or, if you have a Health Reimbursement Arrangement Account, the HRA amount awarded to you for the month.
  • A larger, easier to read Monthly Message center.

We hope you find the new Retirement Benefit Statement useful, and we look forward to continuing to improve our communications to you.

Click HERE or on the image to view a sample Benefit Statement.
2019 COLA Tracker
For August 2019, Los Angeles Area Inflation (year over year) was 2.97 %. The average monthly increase for 2019 to date is 3.05%.

Click HERE   or on the chart to see 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.

Click   HERE   to read the current Bureau of Labor Statistics report. 
August 2019 Investment Results
The Total Fund returned 0.13% for the month of August net of fees . For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2019, the portfolio has returned 0.39%, generating approximately $12.6 million for our beneficiaries.

Click HERE to read the full August 2019 Investment Flash Report.
August 28, 2019 Board of Retirement Meeting Highlights
At the Board of Retirement's August 28, 2019 meeting, the Board approved the 2020 Board Calendar and a resolution calling for a special election for the 3rd General Member vacancy. The Board received quarterly reports on Private Real Estate, Private Equity, Private Real Return, and Public Markets portfolios, and education on venture capital basics. The Board also approved interim Private Credit Investment Guidelines, and authorized RVK, Inc. to issue a request for proposals for the management of
SBCERS’ Emerging Market Debt portfolio. RVK, Inc. will recommend a single manager candidate for consideration at the December 11, 2019 regular Board of Retirement meeting.

The minutes for the August 28, 2019 regular Board of Retirement meeting can be found HERE .
September 25, 2019 Board of Retirement Meeting Agenda Available
The next Regular Board of Retirement meeting is on September 25, 2019 in the Coastal Room at Employees' University.

Click HERE to access the Board M aterials on our agenda management website.   
Board of Retirement Elections: General, Safety, & Safety Alternate
SBCERS is holding elections for the 2nd General Member, 7th Safety Member, and 7th Safety Alternate Member of the Board of Retirement.

All members eligible to participate in the elections should have received an official ballot by mail. Ballots are due to the Elections division on Wednesday, September 25, and results will be tabulated by the Elections division on Thursday, September 26.

Please contact clerkoftheboard@sbcers.org for questions regarding Trustee elections.
Want help with your Health Care Inquiries and 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 Provider

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, 3916 State Street, Suite 100 Santa Barbara, CA 93105, 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.