Actra Fraternal Benefit Society (AFBS) is a not-for-profit, Member-owned, federally incorporated insurance company operating for over 35 years. Members of AFBS are primarily members of ACTRA and the Writers Guild of Canada.
AFBS provides services to Members through three distinct business segments, Insurance Operations, Fraternal Operations, and Retirement Operations. Each business is distinctly funded and benefits provided to Members are integrated into the Society’s operation. AFBS provides insurance, health care, life and Fraternal Benefits as well as retirement plan programs to Members pursuant to collective bargaining agreements negotiated between the Unions (ACTRA or the Writers Guild of Canada) and Engagers.
Life, Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance, Weekly Income Replacement, Extended Health Care and dental care benefits are all underwritten by Actra Fraternal Benefit Society. All terms and conditions with respect to these benefits are governed by the master policy issued by Actra Fraternal Benefit Society. The Member Insurance Program also includes Basic Critical Illness and access to the Member Assistant Program (MAP). Eligibility for these programs is a function of the earnings a Member generates in the previous calendar year and the insurance reserves a Member has available.
AFBS uses an external Actuary to determine the level of premium required to fund each insurance benefit level provided by AFBS. Factors that affect the price of insurance include health and dental claim costs, investment income earned on the assets of the Society and expenses. Each of these factors affect the net income of the Society.
Subsidy levels play a key role in the net premium levels that Members pay for their insurance coverage. The Guild Subsidy is funded by Equalization Payments received by AFBS after subsidizing the cost of retirement plan administration. A Fraternal Subsidy is provided to Members to reduce the costs of insurance subject to the financial results of AFBS for the previous calendar year.
Member’s Insurance Accounts
Insurance contributions received from engagers on behalf of a Member are held in individual interest bearing accounts for the Members and used to pay for a Members’ cost of insurance. Balances in Members’ accounts after paying insurance premiums are held to pay insurance premiums in future years.
AFBS offers various Fraternal Benefits to eligible Members and their dependants at no cost to the Member. These benefits are paid by the Society from income earned on the assets of AFBS. The most significant of these benefits is the fully subsidized health care benefit for qualifying senior Members. The Society considers this benefit essential in addressing the health care needs of our senior Members.
Other benefits provided on a Fraternal basis by AFBS include a Scholarship Program for Members and their dependants, funeral expenses, disability benefits, basic insurance coverage for all new Members and a Member Assistance Plan (MAP) for qualifying Members.
Fraternal Benefits are subject to review each year and may be amended on an annual basis.
AFBS offers two retirement fund options to Members for both the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and the Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF).
The General Fund is a balanced fund offering a mix of bonds and domestic and foreign equities.
The Bond Fund is a 100% Canadian bond fund providing a more conservative alternative to Members who wish to avoid the volatility of the equity markets.
A summary of the funds follows:
Since June 2004, the Society has allocated the fees paid to Investment Managers directly to the RRSP funds (RRIF’s are not charged). This allocation has resulted in a reduction in the rate of return going forward equal to less than ½ of one percentage point. For example: Before this allocation, if the fund returned 10% for the year, then after this allocation, the fund will return 9.95% for the year). This allocation resulted in additional monies becoming available to provide a Fraternal Subsidy to Members to offset the rising costs of insurance and decreasing Guild Subsidy.
AFBS has a head office in Toronto, Ontario and a branch office in Vancouver, BC.