Saichek Law Firm, APC

decades of experience serving the complex needs of benefit plan fiduciaries

San Diego | Washington, D.C.

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Shana Saichek has become Of Counsel to The Wagner Law Group, and Linda Stuessi has become an associate attorney at The Wagner Law Group. You can reach them at or For more information, please see

The Saichek Law Firm no longer provides legal services.

Retiree Medical Trusts™

The Saichek Law Firm has extensive experience in assisting clients to implement pooled Retiree Medical Trusts™ in the public and private sector. This type of Trust seamlessly integrates federal and state tax and labor law, plus federal and state benefits law, to develop a pre-funding vehicle for retiree health care costs for public sector employees. These Trusts are a cost-effective, flexible and highly tax-favored method to help employees save for future retiree medical expenses, during their active careers.

A Retiree Medical Trust program takes advantage of the power of collective financing to provide medical reimbursement benefit payments on a monthly basis, similar to an annuity, but the benefit is not vested; instead, the benefit level is variable, up or down.

These trust programs obtain tax-exempt status, either as an “Integral part trust” or a “VEBA,” depending on the sponsoring party. They are structured to enable financing with monthly tax deductible employee or employer (or combination of both) contributions. These funds are in turn used to reimburse claim dollars for medical expenses upon retirement. No taxes are due on these reimbursements.

The firm has been active in examining and developing issues concerning these Trusts with the IRS, including:

  • Contribution and eligibility rules
  • Permissible benefits
  • Death benefit issues
  • Application of COBRA
  • Trust expansion possibilities
  • Definition of "definitely determinable" benefits

Our commitment to representing plans and their fiduciaries in these trusts is reflected in our stellar record of accomplishment with the IRS. Our efforts have resulted in nearly three dozen favorable rulings and determination letters from the IRS, approving the plan provisions and funding mechanisms.