Chair Talk

May 2015


I recently received an e-mail from Gary Supanich (attorney representing Tom Okrie in Okrie v Michigan pension case) that he is working on an appeal brief that he intends to file in May. I will invite him to a future meeting to get an update.


By now, Hantz Group representatives have visited most SERA Chapters to introduce themselves and have given information as to their office locations and an overview of what their thoughts/plans are for the SERA-Plus program. As part of the Hantz Group’s plans are to host Identity Theft Seminars in June and July at various locations/times around the state. A seminar schedule will be distributed at the May CC meeting. I will also have the schedule posted on the mi-sera website. Not only does the SERA-PLUS program offer a free one year membership to non-SERA member retirees but they will be offering a myriad of insurance and financial products for current SERA members. They will also be working with us on ways to retain members. The program is important to us as the more dues paying members we have may give us more influence with the Legislature.


The current VBS/SERA agreement will have to be amended to indicate that the Hantz Group will be the administrators of the SERA-PLUS program. Language in the amended agreement will indicate there will no longer be a call-center that had caused so many issues in the past. Also, in the agreement that included APSA as the administrator—VBS was paid an amount by APSA based on the products they sold. In the amended agreement VBS does not receive compensation from the Hantz Group. We may be utilizing the agreement with VBS as a resource in our talks with the State about future changes in Health Care also.

I believe that the new administrators (Hantz Group) of the SERA-PLUS program will be a better fit for our organization and be helpful in raising/maintaining our members. In the few short weeks that Hantz has been visiting Chapters, I am hearing more positive feedback that I had heard about APSA. As a matter of fact I have heard more complaints about APSA since we have changed administrators.

Editor’s note: Bob Kopasz is Chair of the Michigan SERA Council. He may be reached at P.O. Box 692, Mt. Morris, MI 48458; phone 810/240-8380.