In an apparent effort to streamline the process of merging SAG-AFTRA’s divergent health and retirement plans, the performers union has named national executive director David White to the AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds board of trustees, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Despite the merger of SAG and AFTRA last year, the two plans – SAG’s Pension & Health Plan and AFTRA’s Health & Retirement fund – remain separate entities, affiliated neither with each other nor with SAG-AFTRA. This has been a disappointment to performers who hoped the merger of the unions would likewise bring a merger of the plans; indeed, it was one of the key selling points of the merger. Actors who hope to qualify for benefits still must do so via one fund or the other, rather than an amalgamation of both… making it difficult when their work is spread across film and TV jobs.
In becoming a trustee for the Health & Retirement Fund, White becomes a member of both trustee boards, as he is a sitting member on the board for SAG’s Pension & Health Plan. SAG-AFTRA membership and leaders hope his dual role will help bring the two plans together and put in place the final piece of the merger, which was made official last March.
Read the article from Jonathan Handel at the Hollywood Reporter.