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Cleveland Bakers & Teamsters: How a Pension Fund Preserved its Retiree Health Plan

About the Client

Customer name:

Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund




Baking & Transportation


An Ohio-based multi-employer pension fund faced dramatic cost increases for their retiree health plans due to rising healthcare costs and a growing retiree population. With ballooning costs eating over $30 million in pension funds in short order, retiree healthcare benefits needed to be more sustainable for the fund and its members. Canceling benefits was not an option. The fund knew that, by switching coverage from its traditional medical plan to a Medicare supplement, it could cut costs and retain the same benefits. However, making the change would be an administrative burden and still require a hefty out-of-pocket expense for retirees.

“Working with RetireeFirst has completely transformed the funding of our plan as it relates to retiree healthcare. They have been a valuable partner for over eight years, from designing to implementing to managing our Medicare retirement benefits. They do all of this while guaranteeing quality retiree benefits that are still affordable.”

Carl Pecoraro, Fund Chairman, Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund


With these challenges in mind, the fund reached out to RetireeFirst for a solution. RetireeFirst reviewed the fund’s current plan, contacted the carrier directly, and provided an option that would significantly reduce costs, preserve the quality of benefits retirees were promised during their working years, and take the stress out of the process–all before being officially hired.

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50% Cost Reduction

Cut cost for retirees by half in partnership’s first year, and reduced cost to $4/month by 2022 without sacrificing quality of benefit

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0% Increase Negotiated

Negotiated 0% increase for the first year of the partnership

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Record Gain Share in 2020

Increasing gain share in conjunction with reduction of retiree benefits costs, enabling the fund to set aside for profit for future use; the fund saw its highest gain share yet in 2020 and was able to apply it to retiree premiums

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Ensured No Premium Increases

Ensured cost of retiree health plan premium has stayed under what fund was originally paying since taking over the plan in 2014