Q: I have healthcare benefits through the Archdiocesan Medical Benefits Plan (AMBP). Do I have continued coverage following the archdiocesan corporation filing for Reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code (Reorganization)?
A: Yes, your coverage remains in effect.
Q: I understand that priest healthcare benefits are self-insured. Do priest healthcare benefits continue during the course of Reorganization?
A: Yes, priest healthcare coverage continues during the course of Reorganization.
Q: What about pension benefits under the lay employee or priest pension plans?
A: Both the lay employee and priest pension plans will continue to operate under the normal course of business, which means that all retirement benefits will continue to be paid as provided for under the plans and all contributions by participating entities should continue to be made. (See the letter and FAQ from the pension plans’ Board of Trustees for more information).
Q: What about other benefits?
A: The bankruptcy court authorized other benefits to continue in their ordinary course. These other benefits include the 403(b) plan, life insurance, long term disability insurance and flexible spending accounts.
Q: Are the assets of the pension plans or the 403(b) plan available to creditors?
A: No, they should not be. The plans are separate legal entities, and the assets of the plans are held in separate trust accounts. The assets of the trusts are not the property of the archdiocesan corporation and do not belong to the archdiocesan corporation. Our understanding is that the plan assets should not be available to the creditors of the archdiocesan corporation.
Q: Are the assets of the AMBP or the priest healthcare plan available to creditors?
A: In September 2016, the AMBP Board of Trustees filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to request access to funds in the AMBP Trust. Prior to the motion hearing, both the Board and the Unsecured Creditors Committee came to an agreement that allows the AMBP to access up to $6.6 million of the $8.5 million in dispute through plan year 2017. The remaining balance will remain in the fund for further discussion at a later date. The Board believes this is a fair resolution. The court order was signed by Judge Kressel October 11, 2016.
Q: What about assets in the life insurance, long term disability or flexible spending accounts?
A: These benefits are managed by outside vendors and payments are made by employers and/or employees specifically for the purposes of providing or obtaining these benefits. Our understanding is that these assets should not be available to creditors of the archdiocesan corporation.
Q: Who is in charge of the benefits plans?
A: Each plan is sponsored by the archdiocese. Administration varies from plan to plan. The lay employee and the priest pension plans, as well as the 403(b) plan are administered by a board of trustees. The AMBP is also administered by a board of trustees.