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sschullo

To indemnify or not?

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I posted this on Bogleheads too.  Micheal, I know you can offer some assistance here. 

As some of you know, I serve on an advisory committee as a retired teacher and volunteer. This committee recommends to the CFO of our district with regards to the 457b plan. Our committee has mostly working employees and two retired members. We were told that the district will not indemnify retired members. The other member resigned immediately. 

I am not quitting. My umbrella insurance agent said that I was not liable because I am a volunteer, nonpaid, and most importantly, our committee has no power to make decisions. The CFO has that power. My agent also said that no liability insurance exists that would cover somebody in my position because I have no power. She said it like this: if I make a restaurant recommendation to a friend and the friend gets food poisoning, the restaurant owner is liable not me. 

Of course, anybody can be sued for anything and if my employer were sued and I was dragged into this, the judge would most likely dismiss me and the committee members. However, I would have to hire an attorney to make sure that happens, and that would be costly. 

I am attempting to get this in writing and find out why. The legal counsel said he didn't remember why the district is not covering retirees but he will find out. 

In the meantime, am I missing anything? 
Thanks in advance,
Steve

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The Bogleheads have spoken, resign immediately. 

One Boglehead, "Beardsworth" summed my situation quite nicely: 

  1. •There is a small, but non-zero, chance that you could be the object of a lawsuit, whether or not any such legal action could ever be considered justified.
  2. •The school system has made clear that, in the event of such a legal action, you're on your own.
  3. •On this specific point, the relationship between you and them therefore seems like a one-way street: They get whatever benefit they choose to absorb from your volunteer work, but they don't give any protection (and apparently not a lot of explicit respect, either) in return.
  4. •So the question is whether you are so committed to this particular kind of volunteerism that you're willing to take the chance, or whether the time has come for you to completely retire from involvement with this organization.

Point number 4 is not quite accurate. I might resign from LAUSD but never from the movement as long as there is a need. This website, a few educators, friends and relatives of educators (who want to help), and some ethical FAs across the country are all that exists between the hideous 403b/TSA sales force and the next generation of naive teachers.  

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