Employer will not indemnify me cause I am retired

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sschullo
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Re: Employer will not indemnify me cause I am retired

Post by sschullo » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:56 am

Thanks to all who commented and contributed ideas to get coverage.
Still, the verdict is in! Almost all say that I should resign immediately.

As some of you know, I have been fighting to reform the terrible nonERISA 403(b) plans presented to the 4,000,000 public educators. The sales force is everywhere on district turf, and nobody can stop them because they are protected by ludicrous and wholly outdated state insurance codes.

My involvement on this committee has affected about 70,000 LAUSD employees, 4000 have enrolled in the Award Winning 457(b) plan. But the selling of ripoff annuities to 20 something teachers continues. It will be difficult to resign because I feel that my impact will be lost. Perhaps not, perhaps a younger teacher will come on and do an excellent job of continuing this struggle.

Perhaps my work is completed as the district is now implementing an auto roll plan in the 457b and will be launching a 457b Roth in 2020.

Thanks again. I am thankful that so many of you took the time to comment on this dreadful decision I will have to make.
Steve
Retired LAUSD Elementary teacher
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

beardsworth
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Re: Employer will not indemnify me cause I am retired

Post by beardsworth » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:41 pm

Steve, as in my earlier post above, I honor the public-spirited volunteer work you've been doing, for so many years, for the current employees of your past employer.

But it does seem like the basic facts of the situation, and the choice before you, haven't changed since the thread began:

•There is a small, but non-zero, chance that you could be the object of a lawsuit, whether or not any such legal action could ever be considered justified.

•The school system has made clear that, in the event of such a legal action, you're on your own.

•On this specific point, the relationship between you and them therefore seems like a one-way street: They get whatever benefit they choose to absorb from your volunteer work, but they don't give any protection (and apparently not a lot of explicit respect, either) in return.

•So the question is whether you are so committed to this particular kind of volunteerism that you're willing to take the chance, or whether the time has come for you to completely retire from involvement with this organization.

Also as in my post above, best wishes in whatever you decide.

iamlucky13
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Re: Employer will not indemnify me cause I am retired

Post by iamlucky13 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:02 pm

123 wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:58 pm
As a non-lawyer I would say you have no risk as a member of the committee because you don't decide anything. Your committee makes recommendations and your CFO makes a decision related to those recommendations. The CFO bears the risk of decision making.
As a well-educated person with a properly functioning brain, I 100% agree with you.

Unfortunately we are both wrong. The law intends to gives the benefit of a doubt to everyone, including those who are completely off their rockers. It's not that the OP is responsible. It's that being found responsible is not the only risk.

There was another discussion about this previously that included a counterexample I was having trouble looking up again, but fortunately randomguy provided the link:
randomguy wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:56 am
Not exactly the same but this was talked about a while back: https://www.physicianonfire.com/hospital-board-sued/

And observational, nonvoting role resulted in a 3.5 year lawsuit and tens of thousands of dollars of legal expenses.
He was ultimate able to get the lawsuit dismissed, and with prejudice, but it doesn't sound like he sought reimbursement of his legal fees. I don't know how difficult that is.

In this case the cost was not debilitating, but clearly it was significant and the grave threat of life-ruining costs sounds like it made his life miserable for several years.

I don't see this as a lesson that means automatically reject such positions, but it is something to be aware of.

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beyou
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Re: Employer will not indemnify me cause I am retired

Post by beyou » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:27 pm

Do like me, marry a lawyer and then you get free lifetime legal services.
I fear no frivolous lawsuits (and they should fear my wife, I do :-)

Don't get out of bed and leave your home, someone might sue you....

RetiredArtist
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Re: Employer will not indemnify me cause I am retired

Post by RetiredArtist » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:00 pm

Steve, retired from LAUSD, can you set up a social group, to educate teachers about the specifics of retirement investing? That would allow current, indemnifiable employees to get involved. It's terrible that teachers are underpaid, and worse that their 403b's have such high fees. I had 403b's myself, and could not convince co-workers that their fees were a percentage of total in their accounts, not a yearly percentage of earnings.

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nedsaid
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Re: Employer will not indemnify me cause I am retired

Post by nedsaid » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:57 pm

sschullo wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:54 pm
JoeRetire wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:50 pm
sschullo wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:38 pm
My umbrella insurance agent said that I was not liable because I am a volunteer, nonpaid, and most importantly, our committee has no power to make decisions.

In the meantime, am I missing anything?
Is your insurance agent qualified to make this sort of assessment?
If there is no chance of any liability, why are the working members indemnified?

If it were me, I'd run it past a lawyer first. Your insurance agent wouldn't be defending you in court if you were sued.
All employees are covered. It is a school district.
Yes, you are right that my agent nor my umbrella insurance would defend me, but if I were convicted and had to pay liability, my agent said that the company would cover the fine.
Check the fine print. As Groucho Marx famously said, "The fine print says that you are not covered unless you are run over by a herd of wild elephants at 3 o'clock in the morning." I would do some further checking particularly now that insurance agents are less and less involved in claims. Your agent may not know for certain.
A fool and his money are good for business.

sschullo
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Re: Employer will not indemnify me cause I am retired

Post by sschullo » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:05 pm

RetiredArtist wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:00 pm
Steve, retired from LAUSD, can you set up a social group, to educate teachers about the specifics of retirement investing? That would allow current, indemnifiable employees to get involved. It's terrible that teachers are underpaid, and worse that their 403b's have such high fees. I had 403b's myself, and could not convince co-workers that their fees were a percentage of total in their accounts, not a yearly percentage of earnings.
I have had a blog for 5.5 years and wrote two free PDF books, one on investing and the other about advocacy to improve the corrupted and nonERISA 403b plans. I have the most posts on 403bwise.com. Provided workshops, been on the Retirement Gamble HBO Frontline, in many newspaper articles about the 403b, wrote investment articles in the union newspaper years ago, and part of a group of teachers nationally, and unfortunately, nothing has been reformed so far. The 403b with public k12 school districts is one of the most isolated, strange and protected worlds ever created. The unions NEVER talk to a reporter about a 403b article, and there have been over 30 published articles in the last 20 years. They all say the same thing over and over again, the 403b plan is terrible. Our tiny group needs a media influencer, somebody with money and charisma to carry our message to the 4,000,000 educators. I believe the stage has been set because we have the knowledge and the experience to take this to the 4,000,000 educators but getting access and carrying our message is going to be tough.
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

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