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Se NSP a UO ROAR IM a RON aaa 0) Eugene Hudson, Jr. J. David Cox, Sr. Augusta Y. Thomas National Secretary-Treasurer National President NVP for Women & Fair Practices February 2016 1430084049 - D07 - Loos? - 53, Dorothy James, Acting President 320 S.Ashland Ave, Ist Floor Chicago, IL 60607 Dear AFGE Officer: ‘The National Executive Council (NEC) has establish: a strict policy regarding insurance ‘companies, insurance programs and insurance sales represen’ ives, This policy is contained in the NEC document entitled Criteria and Guidelines for the Establishmr -nt of Insurance Programs. You may view this document in the Member Benefits section of the AFGE web ite under “Insurance.” ‘There are several important reasons why AFGE Districts, Councils and Locals must adhere to these Policies, and this letter is intended to address these issues in the best interest of the Federation, its officers and members. Atthe NEC meeting in November 1996, the NEC adopted the following resolution which makes clear that officers of AFGE affiliates will violate the NEC's insurance policy in the future at their own risk: In the event of legal action, the AFGE National Office will not defend any elected officer at any level, or agent thereof, who willfully: has entered into a contract of insurance in violation of the NEC's Criteria and Guidelines, has otherwise violated the NEC established policy as stated in the Criteria and Guidelines, or has actively encouraged locals to violate the NEC established policy as stated in the Criteria and Guidelines. The insurance industry is highly regulated and is subject to many federal and state laws. An insurance program's compliance with such laws, as well as its consistency with the fiduciary obligations of AFGE and its affiliates, must be established prior to implementation. This is the function of the NEC's Insurance Committee with the assistance of the Office of General Counsel. AFGE’s experience has shown, in ‘his regard, that reliance upon an insurance company representative to determine the propriety or legal sufficiency of an insurance program serving our members is often misplaced, because an insurance company Tepresentative (whose livelihood is dependent upon commissions) has a perspective and priorities that may well be different from those of AFGE and our members For example, two of the criteria set forth in the policy require that a program include an indemnification agreement (Hold Harmless Agreement) to shield an affiliate's officers and members from liability and a commitment from the insurance company to pay al legal and approval costs incurred in the ‘evaluation of the proposed plan so as to preserve the affilate's scarce resources. The typical proposal from an insurance company rarely includes such protections for our members, which AFGE's fiduciary responsibility demands. (over) ‘Asa result, the NEC policy regarding any insurance program that is being marketed to AFGE members requires that any such program must first be recommended by the NEC Insurance Committee and then approved by the full NEC. If an unapproved insurance program is being sold to the members you represent, you must take immediate steps to seek approval for that insurance program, as specified in the Criteria and Guidelines, Detailed instructions are available under ‘Member Benefits’ in the “Insurance’ section on the AFGE web site, In addition, the NEC recently addressed the issue of financial advisors who contact AFGE Locals and offer free financial or retirement seminars, or individual counselling. This action was the result of a study by the Council of Economic Advisers, who estimated that financial advisers who have conflicts of interest cause $17 billion in losses every year to Americans, many of them in working and middle-class families. The NEC endorsed the requirement of financial advisors putting the member's needs before their own using the concept of fiduciary duty, a well-established legal principle, An advisor who acts as their members’ fiduciary knows & member can bring him or her into court or, if agreed (o, arbitration. Therefore, this addition (see Section V, item H) was added to the Criteria and Guidelines. The new policy states: ‘Any insurance company, its representatives or brokers may not call themselves financial, estate or retirement planners unless they have agreed in writing toa fiduciary standard and who do not have a conflict of interest and operate with full transparency ‘Your compliance with the NEC's Criteria and Guidelines is critical in your role of providing representation to government employees. It is a mechanism to avoid personal liability and bad faith among our ‘members, as well as to assure the best possible insurance programs for AFGE's members, Fora list of the insurance programs that have earned Federation-wide or District-wide NEC authorization, please visit the Member Benefits section on the AFGE website under “Insurance.” If you have any questions, or require further guidance on this matter, please contact Mark Williams, National Benefits Coordinator in the Membership and Organization Department by calling 202-639-6483. Sincerely and in solidarity, pA Lad 62C J. David Cox National President