PORAC TRUSTEES PROFILE: RMT REGION II
Want to learn more about the people who guide PORAC’s trusts? In this series of profiles, we focus on the dedicated trustees who strive to put the needs of our members first by providing the best benefits possible.
As the Region II trustee of PORAC’s Retiree Medical Trust (RMT) for the past 12 years, Terry Moore has realized that not everyone knows the immense benefits the trust provides to those in retirement. When members come to him for information about the RMT, he is eager and excited to share what makes the trust so great.
“People often ask what exactly the RMT does — the simplest description boils it down to three components,” says Moore, who also serves as the trust’s Chairman. “Contributions are made on a tax-free basis, the money is then invested by our professional investment advisors and benefits are paid out tax-free to participants when they retire and become age-eligible.”
Moore also notes that the plan is “designed to reimburse insurance premiums and medical expenses, including health, dental, vision, chiropractic, prescription and long-term care premiums.”
Moore’s loyalty to the profession and passion for helping PORAC members have been evident for decades. Moore, who retired in 2016, spent nine years as a Chico Police Department reserve officer before being hired full-time by the agency in 1984. He joined PORAC that same year, stating the Association “is the premier and predominant agency in the nation when it comes to helping public safety employees.” Moore served as a chapter director for the North Valley Chapter, spent more than two decades as the Chico Police Officers’ Association president and has seen the RMT grow from its infancy.
During Moore’s tenure leading Chico POA, the local association started a retiree medical trust for its members. “Within a few years of the trust’s creation, we merged our trust with the Novato POA Trust,” he shares. “One of our trustees assisted PORAC in 2008 when they decided to put together the RMT. Shortly after that, we merged our trust into the RMT. It just made sense from so many perspectives.”
Because joining the RMT comes through collective bargaining by a member’s association, Moore says it’s crucial for association leaders to know that it’s never too early to plan for retirement.
“Every year at our booth at the annual Conference, we have the opportunity to speak with many PORAC members,” he says. “Over the years, it has become obvious that there are many members who will face having to finance their health insurance in retirement out of their own pocket. The reality is, you have to plan for that. It’s not possible to wait and expect a miracle.”
One of the best parts about Moore’s job is watching it “click” with association leaders once they understand the magnitude of the RMT. “It takes an educated and inspired association leader to take the first step, and it’s always very rewarding to watch when that happens,” he says. “Once an association is in, they get it. We have never had an association leave. There is a reason for that — the plan works well.”
Today, the RMT has grown to represent more than 5,600 participants in 55 associations across California, Oregon and Washington. Part of the reason for the trust’s growth comes from the dedicated trustees, including Moore, who volunteer countless hours to ensure the needs of PORAC members are met.
“It really takes a special person who is willing to give up some of their personal time in order to help others,” Moore says. “Minimally, we meet on a quarterly basis. It’s not difficult to spot folks who are excited about that type of opportunity.”
Moore’s responsibilities as a trustee and Chairman include conducting in-person presentations for associations wanting to know more about the trust and serving as a sounding board when an issue may arise. “Sometimes, things don’t always go as planned, but in 14 years, we have only had a total of two appeals related to a denial of a claim. That track record speaks for itself.”
While balancing the role of trustee and Chairman can come with its fair share of challenges, Moore credits “the tremendous folks who help us make it all happen,” he says. “Two of our service providers have been with us since inception in 2008. Also, our trustees have a long history of working together in a collective manner to accomplish our primary goal — helping our brothers and sisters in public safety as they plan for their retirement days.”
Moore has also learned several valuable lessons along the way that he believes have helped him throughout his time with the RMT. “For years, I have watched the PORAC leadership, and I’ve always been impressed with how they continue to provide a quality product,” he says. “I’m hoping that I can apply some of those lessons to the ongoing success of the RMT. Cops can spot a bad apple, and when they do, it’s not long before they ask questions and demand some accountability. The RMT is not immune to that. I’ve learned that honesty clearly is the best policy.”