June 24, 2019 12:00 AM
Montgomery Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick today ordered PEEHIP to issue refunds to over 90% of affected plan participants by the end of July 2019. Funds will be transmitted from PEEHIP to each employer with the refunds to be included in employees’ July payroll check. Active employees whose status changed during the course of litigation – employees who retired or otherwise left active service or changed school systems – will be delayed. Retired educators will receive their refunds in their July retirement check.
Each PEEHIP member entitled to a refund will receive a letter from PEEHIP along with a detailed accounting of the amounts involved. Judge Hardwick ordered PEEHIP to take full responsibility for the distribution of each and every individual refund. Therefore, all questions and concerns regarding individual refunds should go directly to PEEHIP at 1.877.517.0020.
Because the refunds will be processed through payroll, each employing school system will have an unexpected payroll tax obligation. AEA was victorious in forcing PEEHIP to reimburse all employers those unexpected charges. Finally, because this was their error, PEEHIP also committed to reimbursing school systems $5 per individual refund for local processing costs. Local systems will now be able to compensate staff for the additional work of processing refunds.
AEA President Sherry Tucker said, “AEA is pleased the court ruled the return of all refunds plus the interest earned by July 31, 2019. Alabama educators have waited patiently for nearly three years to have this money returned to them. If it weren’t for AEA’s actions, this would not have been possible.”
AEA Associate Executive Director Theron Stokes added, “Today was another great day for AEA, its’ members, and all educators in Alabama. AEA is pleased PEEHIP is taking responsibility for promptly correcting any and all mistakes made in the process of issuing refunds. PEEHIP also committed to having the staff and resources available to answer participant questions and address concerns over refund amounts. AEA is proud to be the state’s only education organization unafraid to stand up for open and transparent government and the fair treatment of educators – no matter how large the opponent.”
If you do not receive your refund or have questions about the amount of your refund, or other general concerns, please contact PEEHIP directly at 1.877.517.0020.