What it takes to excel as a TPA to Labor Funds

For more than 30 years, MagnaCare’s all-important task—the space we call home—has been administering Labor Funds for their participants and families according to plan documents and government compliance.

Our expert trust administration

Labor Funds, of course, are created and maintained through employer contributions paid to a Trust after a collective bargaining agreement; they are overseen by a Board comprising equal numbers of union and management trustees who have a duty of loyalty to the Trust. As Labor Fund management team, a large part of what we do is relieve the administrative burden of these trustees. We set agendas for general and trustee meetings; maintain minutes and distribute reports; publish and distribute notices about benefit plan options for members; keep track of all plan summary summaries and summary updates; and manage all documents (both physical and digital) including fiduciary records, participant records, and annual filings. (The documents entrusted to us include copies of collective bargaining and participation agreements, records of employee contributions and benefit claims, records of regulatory compliance, and all other activities of the Trust.)

Designing and implementing Retirement Funds

We also design, implement and administer health and welfare, pension and retirement, and other programs to maximize member benefits while minimizing Fund costs. One way we have lowered costs is through our quick and efficient technology platform, which can be customized to match the rules and processes to the Funds we represent. Essentially, it’s one-stop shopping for everything from eligibility determination and benefits enrollment to member self-service, claims management and contribution accounting.

Although I’ve focused on the regulatory and administrative side of our work as a TPA, equally important is the human side. One essential component of our Trust Administration is understanding the fact that Boards are made up of labor and management trustees who may view each other with a certain wariness. Let’s not forget that in a ten-person board, generally you will have five trustees who represent the same union, but five management trustees who may represent competing employers in the same industry.

Our job, diplomatically speaking, is to reconcile the needs of all parties, including members, so plan participants are assured their Fund is administered in accordance with plan documents and regulatory compliance.

The reason it works is that MagnaCare believes in establishing rapport with clients. We listen and respond, and these practices are just as important as the regulatory side of our job. Are we doing it well? I think we are. Our services to Labor Funds started way back in 1990 with our first union client, IBEW Local 3 (JIB), which is still our valued client today. We’ve been on a trajectory of continuous growth since that time, providing TPA services to one million members.

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