Question: How can I determine if I want to join the Trust?
The Municipal Association offers a calculation tool to help estimate your GASB 45 impact. The tool may be used to calculate a reasonable estimate of the current unfunded liabilities and Annual Required Contribution using as many scenarios as necessary. The estimate is strictly for decision making purposes. It will not meet GASB 45 financial reporting and disclosure requirements.
Question: How do we get access to the calculation tool?
Contact Heather Ricard, CFO for Risk Management Services, at 803.933.1258, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question: Once we-ve decided what my organization can afford, how do we join the Trust as a participating employer?
- Contact Heather Ricard at (803.933.1258 or email@example.com) to begin actuarial process
- Adopt a resolution to authorize participation in SC ORBET
- Sign the Participation Agreement
Question: How do we make contributions to the Trust?
Contributions begin after the ARC has been actuarially determined. An actuarial study conducted by the plan sponsor actuary, Milliman, Inc. or an actuary of your choice will provide the ARC calculation.
Question: How much should we contribute?
Annually or as otherwise required under GASB 45, each participating employer will receive an actuarial study to help determine its ARC . It is at the participating employer's discretion to determine how much they choose to contribute into the Trust. The contributions are credited to each employer's account and reflected in the quarterly report provided by the Trust.
Question: How are the Trust funds invested?
The Trustee deposits all employer contributions into the Trust. Guided by the Investment Policy, a professional investment management firm will invest the Trust's portfolio to produce the best returns possible consistent with prudent investment policies and legal requirements.
Question: What fees apply to participating employers?
The Trust will deduct investment and administrative costs each quarter based on portfolio value. A fee schedule is available upon request.
Question: How do I know what assets I have invested in the Trust?
SC ORBET will provide a quarterly report indicating the value of each participating employers" assets, including investment income of such assets. Within 60 days from the end of a quarter, the SC ORBET will provide an unaudited account summary. An accounting firm, selected by the Trust, will perform an annual financial statement audit. The quarterly statements and annual audited financial statement will assist each employer with its GASB 45 reporting requirements.
Question: What benefits are payable?
Benefits are limited to paying for a participant's health insurance or other eligible post-employment benefit costs. Before issuing a benefit payment, the Trust administrator may require evidence the costs are eligible under the terms of the Trust.
Question: Who is eligible to receive benefits?
Eligibility is based solely on if the individual is a current and/or future retiree of a participating employer. Based on each participating employer's criteria, other individuals may be eligible.
Question: How do we get money out of the Trust to pay for those benefits?
Participating employers must submit a Disbursement Request to SC ORBET for payment of eligible retiree costs. The Trust administrator and trustee or Third Party Administrator rely on the employer's written directions to pay benefits. The employer attests any disbursement is solely for other post-employment benefits (typically health insurance) as described in the Trust Agreement. The Trust administrator or TPA may, in its sole discretion, inspect any documentation and/or circumstances surrounding any distribution.
Question: What if we stop participating?
SC ORBET was created to be maintained indefinitely. However, participants can decide to discontinue their employer contributions. Failing to contribute will not discontinue the Trust. Participants can transfer assets from SC ORBET only under terms of the Trust Agreement.
Question: What happens to the assets?
The Trustee retains the assets until the employer provides evidence the assets will be transferred directly into another tax-exempt vehicle for the sole purpose of paying health insurance to or on behalf of participants. SC ORBET generally will not distribute the assets to the employer or any person or entity under the employer's control.
If a participating employer simply terminates coverage of benefits, the assets will be used to continue providing benefits to those benefit eligible retirees as of the effective termination date. Payments from the trust will continue until the earlier of the exhaustion of the participating employer's trust assets or the last payment of benefits. If assets remain after all benefits are paid, they may revert to the employer.