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ACTRA / UDA dual member insurance & retirement FAQs

November 26, 2012

Attention ACTRA/UDA dual members:

If you are a full member in good standing of both ACTRA and Union des artistes, you can now select the union of your choice to administer your fringe benefits (I&R). Once your selection has been made, all of your fringe benefit contributions and deductions, regardless of which union’s jurisdiction the work occurs under, will be directed to your selected plan.

Dual card members can refer to the FAQ section below or contact your union of choice with any questions.

ACTRA and UDA have come together to make this offer to dual carded members to help improve your health and welfare as it pertains to insurance coverage and retirement planning.

ACTRA /UDA dual member insurance and retirement FAQs:

Why is this choice being offered?
UDA and ACTRA believe that the life of the professional performer is challenging enough. And so both unions decided to place the interest of the performer above all other considerations. The objective was to provide the performer with better insurance coverage and easier retirement planning. And so by pooling all of your earnings into one insurance plan, you will likely qualify for a better coverage. And by combining your RRSP contributions into one plan, you will have an easier time keeping track of your retirement planning.

How was the decision to make this offer made?
Both unions agreed to sit down to see how these objectives could be met. Once this was figured out and an agreement was reached, both UDA and ACTRA took this agreement to their respective decision-making bodies. In both cases, the agreement was approved unanimously.

Do I have to choose between the two plans?
No. You have the option of sticking with the status quo by simply not completing the form you just received in the mail. Your fringe benefits will then continue to go to one of your two plans, depending on which jurisdiction you work in.

I’m not sure what to do. Do I have to decide now?
No. Those who decide now will see their fringe benefits flow to the plan of their choice beginning January 1, 2013. But you can decide later. If that’s what you do, then the two unions will simply need a bit of time – say, 30 days – to process your request before your fringe benefits flow to the plan that you choose.

If I do make a choice, is it forever?
Yes. Your selection is irrevocable.

Which plan is better?
That’s a very personal decision. You need to look at what each offers and then make that decision. What the two unions want to make clear is that this isn’t a competition between the plans. It’s really up to you, the individual performer, to decide what’s best for you.

If I choose one plan, will my existing retirement funds be automatically merged into one?
No. Combining your existing retirement accounts is a completely different transaction that you would need to initiate if you want. Each RSP administrator has rules to do this that you would have to adhere to. This current proposal only covers retirement contributions on a go-forward basis.

What level of insurance coverage will I get if I choose one plan or the other?
The way in which your insurance classification is determined won’t change. In both plans, your classification is based on your previous earnings in that jurisdiction. The benefit of choosing one plan is that in the future, your earnings in both jurisdictions will be taken into account when it comes to your classification for subsequent years.

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