AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Australian Air Pilots Mutual Benefit Fund
J-C
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AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby J-C » Fri Mar 6 2015, 05:14

Since there appears not to be a forum for those in the AAPMBF (the AFAP's Loss of Licence Insurance Fund) to discuss the current proposed changes to the rules I hope that this post can stay and generate appropriate discussion - at least in the helo world.

The MBF proposes a series of changes to its current rules put for vote by its members - you should have received an email. It's a simple yes or no vote to the whole lot. I ask that members do not disregard this as spam and read the proposed changes as it may seriously effect your insurance policy and potential pay out that you pay lots of premiums into for your protection.

Of note is the proposed change to rule 6(c):
(c) The Fund shall not be liable to make payment of Benefits to a Member where the Member’s Class 1 Medical Certificate has been suspended or Permanently Lost for any disability, in respect of which, in the Trustee’s reasonable opinion, the Member either is currently or would be entitled to receive any periodical or other payments (including, but not limited to workers’ compensation) under state or federal legislation, unless the disability has been specifically accepted by the Trustee.
The proposed change of note is underlined.

Essentially if the vote is passed, the MBF may refuse to pay your insurance pay out if it were deemed you "could" be entitled to, or are receiving another form of payout (workers compo etc) which caused your loss of Class 1 medical. I ask that members seriously consider this change as essentially if you lose your Class One to any work related injury, car crash (covered under CTP) or other accident that could be considered someone else's fault (and hence liability claimable) you may not receive any or all of your insurance pay out that you have paid many $thousands of premiums into!!

This is flawed policy and an easy out for the fund not to pay out your insurance!!! Insurance pay outs should be treated as mutually exclusive pay outs regardless of what other compensation you may receive - that's why you pay premiums!!

Unfortunately the Fund does not have a means for general discussion on these changes (another flaw!!), nor can you vote for individual rule changes (another flaw...). So unless someone from the Fund, or otherwise, can argue a decent counter to this or explain that my interpretation is wrong, I'll be voting NO to all changes and I urge other members to consider this seriously and to spread this discussion on other forums.

JC
Last edited by J-C on Fri Mar 6 2015, 19:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby Bitch Slapper » Fri Mar 6 2015, 06:54

The Trustee would like, to the extent possible, pay out the full amount of Members' claims.
To ensure there are sufficient funds within the Fund to meet those claims the Trustee is of the view that Members who have an entitlement to receive benefits from other entities, such as WorkCover, should first be obliged to exhaust those avenues.
Accordingly, this expanded Rule provides the ability for the Trustee to exclude or defer claims where the Member should be receiving other benefits, such as workers compensation and others.
If a Member has no relevant entitlements then this Rule will be of no effect.


Yep your right. If they think for one minute you could get money from elsewhere then there not paying you, Well I'll be voting NO.
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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby scobie » Fri Mar 6 2015, 07:55

The board may not like it when a number of pilots start pulling out of the fund!! I for one look at the MBF as a bit of a safety net for my family if something were to go wrong. Regardless of wether or not I have other insurance I always believed they would look after me.
It will be a no from me and if it goes through I think I will be seriously considering spending my hard earned $3k somewhere else.
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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby Capt Hollywood » Fri Mar 6 2015, 08:47

The fact that if you want to vote no to that particular rule means voting no to all the proposed changes is ludicrous.

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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby Tsv Pilot » Fri Mar 6 2015, 11:13

Well picked up slappers!! I think this change has tried to be snuck in with some other nebulous changes.

I think all MBF members need to take to social media and make all there friends aware of this; if they are like me I recieved the email but paid boat tension to the details.

Their wording is too convenient if you ask me. I will be voting no!!
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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby Matt Nielsen » Fri Mar 6 2015, 11:21

Ask away... I will try and answer any questions you may have.

In the case of the rule you mention though, there is already a provision for an exclusion where a member is in reciept of other funds. This is common sense... if a premium has been paid and you your income has been replaced by a workcover or defence payout, you would presumably not also need a monthly income from the Fund? If you did draw a monthly benefit, you would not only be paying tax on the amount but you would be reducing any capital payout should the condition prove permanant.

AAPMBF is not an insurance product nor is it a salary continuance product.

The primary benefit is the payment of a substantial sum in the event of a catastrophic and permanant loss of your class 1.

Standing by...
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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby DJ » Fri Mar 6 2015, 12:11

Hi Matt,

The above mentioned rule 6(c) change seems to be for permanently lost Class 1 Medicals. Which would mean that the full sum payout is under threat and not just the temporary loss of licence.
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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby J-C » Fri Mar 6 2015, 20:45

DJ wrote:Hi Matt,

The above mentioned rule 6(c) change seems to be for permanently lost Class 1 Medicals. Which would mean that the full sum payout is under threat and not just the temporary loss of licence.


DJ you are completely correct in that the capital benefit pay out is now completely under threat! If the Trustee deems you "should be receiving other benefits" your capital benefit starts to dissolve to zero. (This rule also applies to suspended medicals and hence monthly payments, my cut and paste off PDF didn't quite come through - I have edited above.)

Matt, a couple of points:
First the current rule as it reads:
(c) The Fund shall not be liable to make payments for monthly Benefits to a Member where the
Member’s Class 1 Medical Certificate has been suspended either temporarily or permanently
for any disability recognised by any repatriation or statutory authority whether treatment is
currently being received or not, unless the disability has been specifically accepted by the
Trustee.

Matt Nielsen wrote: If you did draw a monthly benefit, you would not only be paying tax on the amount but you would be reducing any capital payout should the condition prove permanant.
The primary benefit is the payment of a substantial sum in the event of a catastrophic and permanant loss of your class 1.


I presume you work/volunteer for the Fund, you seemed to have completely missed this point DJ makes!?!? I hope this hasn't been missed by the Fund in its writing process in that the wording of the new rule allows for you to disallow the capital pay out????

The current rule ONLY refers to monthly benefits, whereas the new rule went to the length of crossing out the monthly Benefits wording and replacing it simply with "Benefits". I would suggest this now takes aim at the capital and indeed premium benefits.

The Defence Pay Out clause in the current wording is irrelevant and obsolete anyway, as those members would be on a DVA Repatriation scheme under the MRCA, so these medical conditions would be "pre-existing" and the fund would have already excluded them under "Denial of Liability - DVA accepted Liability" for the individual anyway - trust me I know!

The current rule also only applies for those who have "recognised" disability and hence compensation under a statutory authority - The proposed new rule applies to those who could be deemed as "should be receiving other benefits, such as workers compensation, and others." Should being the operative word here. As Scobie states, you are taking away that safety net, "A vital safety net to protect you and your family when you are unable to fly" - I took the liberty of pasting this quote from the MBF's website.

Matt Nielsen wrote:AAPMBF is not an insurance product


Yes, your website goes to length to highlight this point. The affect here is a marketing ploy to separate the Fund from the rest of the "insurance industry sharks" that we smart pilots may perceive as a bunch of unethical gold diggers.......... Lets be honest mate, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck........ This product is treated as an insurance policy by ALL of your members in every sense of the word "Insurance" and you know this. We are insuring ours and our family's futures. Please do not try to patronise us with your marketing tools dressed up as an altruistic guise!! This attitude concerns me as a member, particularly if you do sit on the board of Trustees!!!!

In the end, it comes down to what we singed into when we first joined the Fund. No matter how you dress it the MBF is significantly moving the goal posts from this original "contract." It's just not cricket bloke!!

JC
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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby Matt Nielsen » Fri Mar 6 2015, 22:36

There has never been any discussion about reducing Capitial benefits when in receipt of Work Cover, DVA or any other payment.

There is something of an issue where a pilot simply makes a claim which is obviously for instance, a Work Cover issue who simply elects to go to the Fund first. This is actually in the interests of the member anyway! If for instance, you received 12 months of benefits from Work Cover, there would be nothing preventing a pilot receiving his MBF benefits for the FULL two years afterwards, should you still fail to meet the Class 1 requirements. Were the condition permanent, then after the waiting period, you could make a claim for your Capital (which has been preserved by taking Work Cover payments). Your Capital payment is free of tax.

This is flawed policy and an easy out for the fund not to pay out your insurance!!! Insurance pay outs should be treated as mutually exclusive pay outs regardless of what other compensation you may receive - that's why you pay premiums!


This unfortunately is precisely how the insurance industry works. You couldn't simply insure the same vehicle 10 times for an agreed value and expect 10 payouts. The advantage of 'mutual benefit' is that we are driven by rules designed to look after YOU the member rather than a share price. This is not the same as just giving away money without a rigorous process of assessment. This governance is why the Fund is in such a good position to support the many dozens of members who need our help each month... none of whom would be effected by this change.

Please remember, a monthly benefit is payable for two years. It is set by your income and your nominated Capital Benefit amount. Any monies received monthly, reduce any capital benefit payable, should a condition be assessed as permanent. It really is in the interest of all of the membership for people to reduce their reliance on monthly payments by accessing any and all support. It is understood that this is not always possible for everyone and monthly payments are an important part of how the Fund supports its members.

The suggestion that the Fund could refuse a payment based on your assertion is frankly ... extreme. It seems predicated on an assumption that there is something to be gained by refusing claims without good reason. Remember, the Board is unpaid, are all members (looking for the same protections as you) and volunteer specifically to help provide a robust Fund that will look after us all as well as the next generation of pilots.

I'm really not interested in starting a slinging match J-C but if you or any of the other Members would like to discuss anything further, I'm happy to discuss here. Alternatively, should you wish to speak to me personally, PM me an email address or phone number and I can speak with you directly.



Matthew
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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby J-C » Fri Mar 6 2015, 23:09

Matt Nielsen wrote:It really is in the interest of all of the membership for people to reduce their reliance on monthly payments by accessing any and all support.
Matthew


Matt, from your website:
"Benefits start 90 days after the date of disability or at the end of sick leave, whichever occurs last - and are paid for up to two full years.
Paid in full regardless of other income
With an insurance policy, your monthly payments are reduced if you earn other income. Not with your Fund - we pay the full monthly amount regardless of anything else you earn.
No income insurance adjustments, so you know exactly what your monthly payments will be.
"

There seems to be a significant shift in the Fund's underlying principles of Member support with this new rule.

Matt Nielsen wrote:
I'm really not interested in starting a slinging match J-C but if you or any of the other Members would like to discuss anything further, I'm happy to discuss here. Alternatively, should you wish to speak to me personally, PM me an email address or phone number and I can speak with you directly.
Matthew


It's not a slinging match mate, it's a discussion forum that's in place which you chose to join and counter - mainly in large part because the MBF does not have its own vehicle for this public debate (hint hint). My argument's are all logical and not aimed at slinging at the Trust, but more so its attempt to change its underlying principles of member support, it's methods in changing rules and the way it tries to sell its arguments which from the outside all appear very exclusive and patronising of its members.
Matt Nielsen wrote:This unfortunately is precisely how the insurance industry works. You couldn't simply insure the same vehicle 10 times for an agreed value and expect 10 payouts.
Matthew


Case in point on your "sale of arguments", no one is asking for 10 insurance premiums. A statutory authority, or other, compensation pay out or disability pension are both different ideologies to each other and completely separate to a privately paid for insurance policy (or Fund membership in this case....). They should not be combined nor confused. Lets not forget your wording is not exclusive to workers comp, the same would apply for a CTP claimable car accident or any other accident where someone else is deemed liable - this concept of liability could be deduced of most accidents in life if you tried hard enough (or had a good enough lawyer). Regardless, yes I can take out 10 life or licence insurance policies and they would all pay out regardless of if the others did! THIS is how the insurance industry works. Your argument is wrong.

You still haven't countered the fact that you can bite into the capital/premium benefits (its in the wording of the new rule), nor discussed the issues of the vagueness that now exists around the Trusts ability to "Deem" in its own right, what the member "would be entitled to receive". Can you not see how this underlying principle of member support has been eroded, or perceived to be eroded?!?

Perhaps a more involved and inclusive education program on these changes would have been prudent!!

JC
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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby Matt Nielsen » Sat Mar 7 2015, 00:17

JC, it is ALREADY the case that where another authority has accepted liability i.e rule 6(c) as it stands is instructive.

So no ... it's not accurate to say that this constitutes a major shift. It was and will remain the case that were you to work whilst receiving benefits that there would be no reduction. If your employer pays salary continuance, you have a farm or work part time... none of that is taken into account. During this time, its not uncommon for members to actually receive much more income than they would by flying alone.

So the Fund already provides a mechanism for excluding liability where there is an established responsibility.

In practical terms anyway, the Fund would exclude any pre-existing issues. This is prudent and a means of managing risk for the rest to the Membership.

I take on board that there may be a perceptional issue.

Every month the Board exercises its discretion in the interests of the members. Judgements are made about hardship and early payments on a regular basis. Where the Board is satisfied of the genuine nature of a claimant, everything is done to assist the Member. Consider for a moment the provision to reduce Capital payments under Rule 8... to my knowledge... this has never been exercised.

Again... your arguments seem to be predicated on the notion that the Board has something to gain by not making payments. The Board are all members with a rational self interest. Rule changes apply to all members and there is no special protection for the Board. Any rationally self interested Board member is hardly going to put up a rule change that reduces his benefits? I assume that your circumstances may be a little different but decisions are made on the basis of the greatest utility.

I can tell you first hand, every email that comes to the Fund is read to the Board and discussed. Over the last couple of years, I could count membership or rules based enquiries on two hands. The Board is very mindful that it is in a competitive space and it is with this in mind that the product has been massively enhanced (based on an exhaustive consultation with the membership). For the most part, there is thunderous silence from the membership. We are however, in conjunction with the AFAP, getting dragged kicking and screaming into a world of social media and on-line content. Hopefully, this will give people more of an opportunity to engage with the Fund and keep us connected.

I encourage you to write your concerns to the Board so that it can be discussed formally. Whilst this process is well and truly under way, rules can change any time.

Get involved, email, phone... come to the AGM.

On a related note, I hope to hold an AGM of the AFAP Helicopter Council in Melbourne or Brisbane in the coming weeks. Suggested preferences and dates would be welcome and I would hope to see some of you at this meeting. Obviously libations will be involved. Likewise AFAP needs you help and feedback to stay relevant and to ensure that we are allocating resources in the best possible way.

Keep the questions coming.
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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby J-C » Sat Mar 7 2015, 05:36

Matt, may I suggest the thunderous silence is due to either lack of appropriate forum (AGMs around the continent are not so practicable), or more likely due to Member satisfaction with the status quo. If it ain't broken.... what's there to talk about.

I understand the board make up and obviously you wouldn't detriment your own protection as a Fund member. I can now see how your are trying to set conditions to appropriately distribute funds during certain circumstances so thanks for the insight. However, I can't agree with the premise of taking this decision away from Members as to when they should or shouldn't be able claim their 'safety net'. If they choose to chew into their capital via a disability payment then they should have the right of choice, even if they are receiving an alternate form of compensation. Yes I get that you can already control this under current rules, however, it seems as though you are trying to make this more prescriptive - if this is not the case then why change the rule at all? This is probably the real question - Why the rule change?

As a side I have already written to the MBF with three suggestions, none of which go against current rules so could be instituted:
1. All future proposed changes are promulgated/emailed, and well before the ballot period, in an easy to read pamphlet or similar that puts in plain English the differences or additional rules. The current PDF documents do not really provide for an obvious and clear resolution to this;

2. All proposed rule changes are voted for individually, and not en masse as per the current ballot;
(points 1 and 2 may assist with the perception that you are not trying to get through unpopular, or controversial rule changes within the fine print - not saying that is what you are doing, but some on forums are suggesting this, hence a perception management issue) and

3. The MBF generate a discussion forum/Q&A forum on your website during the information promulgation period for members to convey their concerns or ask questions publicly.

Food for thought,
JC
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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby J-C » Sun Mar 8 2015, 02:14

Matt,

This from another member in a conversation on another forum:

Had a conversation with the MBF, the gist of it:
-current rule doesn't allow the fund to force a member to claim on work cover (or TAC etc)
-new rule has changed that so they can, or at least withhold payments if they think you should be
-both the current and previous rules mean that if receiving WorkCover periodical payments you will NOT receive MBF payments. Once work cover payments stop you can claim MBF.
-if on a permanent disability leading to loss of licence a WorkCover/TAC etc payout was "unsatisfactory" you could then claim from the MBF. Not sure who's definition on satisfactory is used.
-Whilst receiving payments from WorkCover/TAC/etc the MBF will NOT top up payments to bring in level with what you would receive from the MBF even though they acknowledged it would be significantly less.


My questions to you are:
1. Under the proposed rule if I were to receive a significant Workers Comp (or other) payout due to permanent disability - let's say $1million for hypotheitcs, that also permanently cancelled my Class 1. Would I then receive my $800,000 Capital and Premium pay out from MBF if I were to claim?

2. Why the new rule?

Thanks,
JC
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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby Matt Nielsen » Sun Mar 8 2015, 07:56

Hi guys... not ignoring you.

I'm just currently being used as a jungle gym by a number of small people.

Bladeslapper has also kindly offered to set up an AAPMBF thread for the discussion of relevant material which I see this discussion has been moved to.

Once I've got my head around it (I'm a relatively new Bladeslapper), I'll get back to you.

The offer still stands for anyone to contact me with an email or phone number should you anyone want to discuss anything directly. Remember... I'm not a financial advisor... just another helicopter pilot.



Matthew
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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby Matt Nielsen » Sun Mar 8 2015, 22:00

J-C wrote:My questions to you are:
1. Under the proposed rule if I were to receive a significant Workers Comp (or other) payout due to permanent disability - let's say $1million for hypotheitcs, that also permanently cancelled my Class 1. Would I then receive my $800,000 Capital and Premium pay out from MBF if I were to claim?

2. Why the new rule?

Thanks,
JC


J-C,

On the first question. There has never been any discussion around reducing capital claims. None to my knowledge anyway. I should add that I don't sit in the Rules area so I'm not across all the nuances of the conversations had in that forum. That said, these suggestions come from the Board... not just the Committee... so they have been discussed. Again for clarity, there is NO intent to offset your SCB / PCB ) standard and capital benefits against payments from elsewhere.

On the second, the Board is obviously mindful that serving the members involve striking a balance between looking after the individual during a time of need and looking after the future of the Fund. Obviously I cant be specific with details but there have been instances where it has clearly been established that a claim would be a work cover issue. Remember there is already a provision to delay payments in this circumstance. Please also remember, your SCB / PCB amount is NOT reducing just because you are in receipt of a payment form one of those agencies. Under the current rules, what we haven't been able to do is require that a member exhausts other avenues to reduce the burden on the Fund. Remember, there is no reduction in the provisions for payments to commence on the grounds of hardship almost immediately (where a claim has sufficient supporting evidence). I guess, our way of thinking is that Work Cover's pockets are much deeper than ours so run with work cover and preserve your capital. In a perfect world, you will get well and your $800,000 is left intact.

I also take your point about 'thunderous silence' indicating underlying satisfaction. The Board takes the view that rules will have to change over time to reflect the aims of the Fund based on how well they are serving the membership. That sounds vague... but if you look at a piece of legislation, it will invariably have been amended via the parliamentary process over the years as contexts change. The MBF is just the same.

We have a very thorough internal process of review which has to take into account professional legal, actuarial and audit advice. The wheels turn very slowly and its a long and at times expensive process. This is probably the primary reason why the rules are presented together in this way... it saves $$$

Anyway we meet in Adelaide next week. If any South Australian pilots would like to meet with me on any AAPMBF or for that matter AFAP matters, I'll be in town on Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th March.
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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby Capt Hollywood » Mon Mar 9 2015, 00:32

My concern is as follows...

In QLD the maximum that Workers Comp will payout is 85% of your NWE (Normal Weekly Earnings). With a pregnant wife, two kids and a mortgage, I don't want 85% of my NWE, I NEED 100% of my NWE!

As a helicopter pilot it's basically impossible to obtain affordable income insurance other than the MBF fund, and if you can get coverage it has a cap on the payout. That, along with the fact that it is an MBF fund run by pilots and not an insurance product, is the reason I took out the MBF coverage.

Like a lot of people these days, financially speaking we run pretty close the wire. If I have an accident at work tomorrow and my income drops to 85% of my NWE, I'm going to have to sell my house. Whereas if I was able to claim the temporary benefits from my MBF policy, that aren't capped at a percentage of my income, then I can keep my house and my kids stay in Kindy. It's that simple for me! The MBF policy gave me piece of mind that I'd be able to continue my life as it is now until such a time that I get my Class 1 medical back or it is determined that I'm not getting it back.

The concept of having the fund top up the workers comp payout up to your NWE (as a minimum) is a good suggestion in my opinion.
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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby J-C » Mon Mar 9 2015, 00:39

And we're back.....

Great idea having the MBF thread.

I get the intent is to always support members, and there has been no 'official' discussion about chewing into PCB and SCB. But, Even by your own comments though it's nothing definite. And the wording of the rule does not support that finite point of view when you've changed the ruling from monthly benefits to simply benefits which can incorporate the SCB/PCB.

Again, I get that the MBF is there for its members and in an ideal world their decisions would always err in favour of the member, but surely you can see how this new ruling combined with comments from the MBF as per my previous post on "unsatisfsctory" pay outs are making members nervous! There's just not enough finite information in the ruling not coming from the MBF formally. The new rule allows for too much subjective interpretation by the Trustees.

JC
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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby Matt Nielsen » Tue Mar 10 2015, 05:05

J-C, Captain... you both make good points.

J-C wrote:I get the intent is to always support members, and there has been no 'official' discussion about chewing into PCB and SCB.
JC


Not only has there been no official discussion but there has been no unofficial discussion either. The notion wouldn't be one that the current Board would be likely to consider in my opinion.

I do understand that the operative effect of the rule change as put, MIGHT lead to an interpretation of the rules as per your concerns but equally there is nothing in the rule requiring the Board to not pay. I cant read the minds of all the Board but I would suggest that there is an intent to be able to compel someone to offset the Funds liability where someone just sits back on their heels and says 'no.... gimme my money' when there is a well established case for a Work Cover claim (yup ... it's happened). That segues into Hollywood's point... remember mate... the current rule already provides for a reduction so your 85% wouldn't be topped up anyway if you were receiving Work Cover payments. I've got FOUR little disease carrying urchins to feed... so I empathise!

That I guess leads into another very important point. The AAPMBF is not and will not be (without a major philosophical change) income protection. Whilst it is true that monthly benefits do exist and it may seem a semantic point, but the primary purpose of the Fund is to give Members some assurance that if things go pear shaped, that you have a safety net... a capital sum primarily.

Any injury or illness is always going to involve a catastrophic change in a members circumstances. I doubt it matters what product or combination of products you choose to cushion the blow... its always going to be pretty awful.

If you want your circumstances assessed, I know I'd prefer a group of my peers making a decision rather than insurance assessors with profit rather than mutual benefit in mind.
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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby J-C » Tue Mar 10 2015, 21:51

Matt Nielsen wrote:Not only has there been no official discussion but there has been no unofficial discussion either. The notion wouldn't be one that the current Board would be likely to consider in my opinion.

I do understand that the operative effect of the rule change as put, MIGHT lead to an interpretation of the rules as per your concerns but equally there is nothing in the rule requiring the Board to not pay.


Herein lies the main issue for mine. Current Board intentions do not equal future board intentions as economic and social factors evolve over time - society is not so alturistic unfortunately. 'Black and White' Rules protect members against such change in governance and intent.

Perhaps the rule could be more prescriptive to monthly benefits and your concerns over work cover specifically - with a more consultative development process too. Of course pending the current vote.

Thanks for your discussion input. It's been very helpful.

JC
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Re: AAPMBF Proposed Rule Change - CAUTION!

Postby Matt Nielsen » Tue Mar 10 2015, 22:42

Thanks for your input J-C and you can be assured that we will be discussing your and your fellow posters points at the Board meeting on Friday.

You are absolutely correct about having to be careful of setting rules that instruct the Fund to behave in a fair, appropriate and consistent manner. That is why the process of making rules is so carefully considered. I'm afraid that I can't agree entirely with your point about 'black and white' rules though. I can tell you first hand, the more prescriptive and specific a rule, the greater the likelihood that an individual circumstance may fall outside of said rule. I can assure you, that's not an obscure philosophical point... it happens pretty regularly and it is by the discretion afforded to the Board that the Member is best served (in my opinion anyway).

Again, that's the difference... the AAPMBF is a member based organisation. There's no benefit to the Fund NOT paying benefits... no one is personally enriched. What the Board MUST do though, is constantly balance the performance of the Fund against its liabilities. On balance, despite one of the most troubled periods in financial history, the Fund keeps on supporting its membership whilst simultaneously growing the capital base that protects us all.

Consider for a moment also this fact, your current contributions do not cover the benefits that are being paid out. It is only via the performance of the Funds investments and discretion of the Board to apply certain rules, that members have continued support.

Discretion is employed at just about every Board meeting and I can tell you first hand, it is discretion exercised in the best interests of individual members and the longevity of the Fund.

As previously mentioned, these rule changes do not change the way the Board intends to operate benefits as they relate to other Authorities. To be clear, members in receipt of Work Cover already have their payments delayed / deferred.

Additionally it's important to point out that there are a range of other initiatives that have not yet been mentioned here that are very positive in their intent. For instance, there will be a discretion to allow a period of amnesty for returning members which has previously excluded people who have been absent from the Fund for a period. Eligibility will be cleared up meaning that members (touring pilots for instance) will have their eligibility secured. Further, there is also a provision for allowing non-citizen members to take their cover with them for a defined period for an overseas posting etc.

All these things will act to responsibly grow the membership whilst providing further incentives for people to be active industrially. This benefits us all. The more people we have joining AFAP / AAPMBF the greater that ability your bargaining reps have to negotiate increases to employer contributions to AAPMBF contributions and pay and conditions more generally.

I trust that you will all consider the rules in their entirety and make your decisions based on the resoundingly positive intent of the suggested changes.

As ever, please be aware that we will be meeting on Friday. I am happy to convey any queries to the Board. Please be in touch via PM or on the forum and I will attempt to get answers to you as soon as I can.

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