About the Welfare Fund
What is the Fund?
The Fund was established to provide certain benefits to supplement City Basic Health Plans. It was created as a result of Collective Bargaining between the United Federation of Teachers and the New York City Department of Education located at 52 Chambers Street, New York, New York 10007. Employer contributions are predicated on the amount stipulated in the current Collective Bargaining Agreements and are provided at the annual rates, prorated monthly, on behalf of each covered member. Members, other than COBRA members and self-pay dependents up through age 29 (Unmarried dependent children 29 years of age or under), do not make contributions to the Fund.
Who administers the Fund?
A Board of Trustees administers the Fund. It consists of five persons designated by the United Federation of Teachers. Current members of the Board of Trustees are listed below and can be communicated with in writing at the Fund office. The Board of Trustees governs the Welfare Fund in accordance with an Agreement and Declaration of Trust. The Board of Trustees employs an Executive Director and staff who are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Fund, including the determination of eligibility and the processing of claims.
The Trustees and the Executive Director of the Fund are subject to a body of law designed to protect the beneficiaries of the Fund. Under this body of law, they are mandated to submit the Fund’s financial records to an annual audit by Certified Public Accountants. They are further mandated to submit copies of these audits annually to the Internal Revenue Service. Copies of these reports are provided to the Comptroller of the City of New York.
Who are the current members of the Board of Trustees?
The current members of the Board of Trustees are:
- Chair, Michael Mulgrew
- Karen Alford
- Thomas Murphy
- Richard Mantell
- Leo Gordon
What are my rights of appeal?
Decisions of the Executive Director and the staff are subject only to review by the Trustees upon appeal. The Fund Office uniformly applies all rules. The action of the Fund Office is subject only to review by the Board of Trustees. An appeal must be filed with the Fund Office within sixty days of denial of the claim, by submitting notice in writing to the Board of Trustees, United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund, 52 Broadway, 7th Floor, New York, New York 10004. The appeal must contain reasons supporting why a decision should be overturned. Supporting documentation should also be submitted. The Trustees shall act on the appeal within a reasonable period of time and render their 15 decision in writing, which shall be final, conclusive, and binding on all persons. If the Trustees have denied your appeal, and you still believe you are entitled to the benefit, you have a right to file suit in the New York State Supreme Court.
Do the contributions to the UFT Welfare Fund become part of the general treasury of the union?
No. The United Federation of Teachers and the United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund are two (2) distinct and separate legal entities. Their resources are not commingled.
What becomes of the contributions that the Department of Education makes to the United Federation Teachers Welfare Fund?
Under the Agreement and Declaration of Trust, contributions to the Welfare Fund are used to provide benefits for covered members and their families and to finance the cost of administration.
Does the UFT Welfare Fund operate under ERISA?
No. The Fund is not subject to the provisions of the Employees Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
Does the UFT Welfare Fund Operate under the Supervision of the New York State Insurance Department?
No. The Fund is not within the jurisdiction of the New York State Insurance Department as it is a unilaterally operated trust fund, administered by union trustees only.
Amendment or Termination of Benefits
The Red Apple booklet and amendments constitute the plan of benefits for members provided by the United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund and, as such, include the specific terms and conditions governing the coverage and the benefits provided for members by the Fund. In addition, there are various administrative policies and procedures that are applied on a uniform basis by the Fund, and claimants will be informed whenever such policies and procedures are applied.
The United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund is maintained for the exclusive benefit of employees and retirees of the New York City Department of Education who are “covered” under agreements with the UFT, and for whom the employer contributes monies to the UFT Welfare Fund. The Fund, as well as the plan terms, was established, pursuant to applicable law and regulation with the intention of being legally enforceable and maintained for an indefinite period of time. However, the Fund reserves its rights, under applicable law, to alter and/or terminate the plan of benefits, as it currently exists.
The benefits provided by this Fund may, from time to time, be changed, modified, augmented or discontinued by the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees adopts rules and regulations for the payment of benefits and all provisions of the Red Apple booklet are subject to such rules and regulations and to the Trust indenture that established the Fund and governs its operations.
- Your coverage and your dependent's coverage will stop on the earliest of the following dates:
- When you are no longer eligible; or
- When the employer ceases to make contributions on your behalf to the Fund; or
- When the Fund is terminated.
- Your dependents’ coverage will also terminate on the date when they longer meet the definition of “eligible dependent.”
Member benefits under this plan have been made available by the Trustees as a privilege and not as a right and are always subject to modification or termination in the exercise of the prudent discretion of the Trustees. The Trustees may expand, modify or cancel the benefits for members; change eligibility requirements and otherwise exercise their prudent discretion at any time without legal right or recourse by a member or any other person.