One of the most important benefits programs provided to YUFA members is our Long Term Disability (LTD) Plan which provides income insurance to cover members during times of extended medical or disability leave. In the last round of bargaining YUFA signed a memorandum of agreement - ratified by members - which gave us the right to determine the LTD Plan provider and our plan design. This is especially important since ours is a fully employee-paid plan. YUFA has has a long-standing commitment to discuss with the employer the introduction of annual indexation of benefits as well as partial LTD benefits to accommodate situations where a disability requires a workload of less than 100%.
We can now confirm that YUFA has successfully negotiated with Sun Life and our employer the introduction of cost of living indexing of LTD benefits to an annual maximum of 3%. This brings us in line with most other LTD plans in our sector. We have achieved this without incurring higher monthly premiums. In fact, last year's rate of 1.531% of insurable salary has now been lowered to 1.36% despite the inclusion of indexation. The lower premium rate will take effect in your take-home pay starting this month. Please note that the new indexing will only apply to new claims, but YUFA will continue to draw on past LTD surplus funds on an annual basis to fund ad hoc cost of living increases for current LTD claimants.
In addition, we have updated the maximum LTD benefit from $7000 to $8000 per month which will allow us to maintain the income-replacement impact of the Plan despite the increase of member salaries over time. These increases to the maximum benefit are funded by premiums going forward and will not apply to current and past claims.
In the meantime, YUFA will continue to discuss with the employer the introduction of a partial LTD benefit.