Brent J. Meyer
PORAC Vice President
Benefits: PORAC’s Got Your Back
Take a moment to look at our website, porac.org. At the top of the page above our organization’s name and logo are three weblinks. They direct visitors of the site to PORAC’s Legal Defense Fund, Insurance and Benefits Trust, and Retiree Medical Trust. The location of those links — higher than anything else on the PORAC webpage — is neither an accident nor a coincidence. The benefits provided by PORAC are an essential service of the organization. All three trusts are where your PORAC membership pays real dividends. They belong at the top.
As the Vice President of PORAC, I serve as a trustee for two of our benefit trusts: the Insurance and Benefits Trust, and the Retiree Medical Trust. I also work closely on our recruiting and retention efforts with the trustees who oversee the Legal Defense Fund. My position allows me to understand not just the importance of benefits, but precisely how our trusts work. Along the way, I’ve learned why PORAC benefits provide members with some of the best law enforcement coverage to be found in the entire country.
It’s not bragging to say that PORAC benefits, like those offered by PORAC LDF, are considered the best available to peace officer associations nationally. We hear this all the time. The experience I’ve gained while serving as a trustee has convinced me that, while PORAC provides many important services to members, there is nothing more valuable than taking care of our members through our trusts and the benefits they provide.
I’ve also learned it’s not easy to manage our trusts, which are run for cops by cops. Your independently elected trustees strive to always provide the most coverage and benefits, which can be a complicated task given the various levels and cost of benefit products available to large associations. Another critical part of this work involves making sure the trusts remain financially sound. And a delicate balance is required, as trustees measure benefits against cost, maximizing one while responsibly holding the other under control.
Our Insurance and Benefits Trust delivers exactly what we promote. PORAC members can obtain coverage through our sponsored health plan, plus long-term disability, life, accidental death and long-term care insurance plans. We also provide access to dental and vision care, as well as home and vehicle insurance coverage. Unlike most trusts, ours doesn’t stop working once members sign up and secure insurance for themselves and their families. The IBT trustees, backed up by the incredible benefits staff, stand ready to guide members through coverage questions or unexpected problems, with an emphasis on customer service.
The Retiree Medical Trust is one of the fastest-growing benefits we offer. Funded while you are still working, the goal is to help you address the rising costs of health care before finishing your law enforcement career. The Trust facilitates your ability to make tax-free contributions while still working, then use those benefit dollars to reimburse qualified medical expenses in retirement without being burdened by taxes.
As benefits go, PORAC’s Legal Defense Fund stands in a class by itself. With membership nationwide, the Legal Defense Fund protects more than 120,000 public safety professionals in 42 states and four U.S. territories. In operation now for more than 40 years, it is the oldest and largest legal defense plan for law enforcement in the U.S. To assist you, PORAC LDF maintains a legal panel of attorneys, who bring unmatched authority and credibility to the defense table should you need it. And there is no limit to their advocacy. When a panel attorney needs support for their defense, PORAC LDF can provide it, sparing no expense to ensure that use-of-force experts, investigators and/or technical specialists are there to give the member the very best representation. Together with the trustees, PORAC LDF’s professionals walk members through the entire process, explaining each step and advocating the best possible legal strategy for them.
When I was sworn in as a police officer almost 20 years ago, benefits — and their quality — were the furthest thing from my mind. We all came into this profession excited about the work, thinking little about suffering a major injury or actually having to file an insurance claim. Retirement was some distant concept that the old guys talked about over breakfast. And like you, I felt righteous, believing that Internal Affairs was just a place that the “bad” cops ended up. Today, my rookie naiveté gives me pause to smile. After working patrol and a handful of specialty assignments over the past 19 years, as well as having responded to countless critical incidents and members’ calls to IA, I understand the need for the best benefits. My experience — both as a police officer and as a trustee — has taught me to be thankful that when it comes to benefits, PORAC has our back.
Thank you for your membership. Have fun and stay safe!