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Tuesday, 23 December 2014 00:00

AAAS Bids Adieu to 2014, Prepares for New Year

With the 2014 calendar year coming to a close and 2015 right around the corner, the Automotive Aftermarket Association Southeast (AAAS) has been busy planning for next year. President Randal Ward has met with three of the association’s boards this fall in order to prepare the association’s agenda for 2015.

On September 13, Ward met with the association’s Board of Directors in Panama City, FL. In addition to approving nine new members and establishing their budget for 2015, the group discussed their plans for next year’s annual conference. The date and location have been confirmed for June 11-14, 2015 at the Sandestin resort where it was held last year. Ward also announced the keynote speaker at the conference will be Larry Pavey, President of Federated Auto Parts Distributors. Pavey has nearly four decades of experience in the automotive industry, and the association is very excited to hear his contributions at their conference next spring.

AAAS’s Board of Directors also agreed to invite tax attorney Jeff Patterson to present a program at their 2015 conference. For over 20 years, Patterson has practiced tax law, and his expertise with third-party audits will be beneficial to conference attendees since, as Ward notes, “third-party audits are a big issue in the southeastern part of the country. These auditors receive a portion of what is recovered, and they’re also mining shops’ customer lists for potential future targets. These audits are expensive, and our members do not want their customers to be bothered, so Patterson is going to explain how to avoid this. Our Board of Directors also agreed to recommend Patterson’s services.”

Additionally, the Board approved a new program for their members which will provide the opportunity for members to offer a 401K program, through Principle Financial in Birmingham, AL, to their employees at a discounted administrative cost. Finally, the Board of Directors heard reports on the association’s Political Action Committee (PAC) fund balances and activity thus far in the election year, and they approved contributions to several candidates in GA, AL and FL.

Ward met with the Automotive Aftermarket Fund Board of Trustees at the association’s headquarters in Montgomery, AL on September 18 to discuss the worker’s compensation program. The Trustees reviewed claims, participation and reserves. They also approved rates for 2015. The big news from this meeting was that participants in AAAS’s workers comp program will receive an average dividend of 22% in 2015.This follows a15% dividend in 2014 and 10% in 2013. This means a $2,200 credit for a member shop contributing $10,000 in work comp premiums to the Fund in 2015.

The next meeting was for the AAAS Employee Benefit Fund board of trustees held on October 8 at the association’s headquarters. The board discussed the health, dental, life and vision program reviewing claims experience, Obamacare mandates, benefit change recommendations and heard a report on the Fund’s reserves. The big news to come out of this meeting was that AAAS members who are enrolled in the association’s Blue Cross administered employee health benefit plan will see an average increase of only 2.47% in 2015. The board also voted to approve a 2% multi-policy discount for those who participate in both the employee benefit plan and either the Automotive Aftermarket Fund or Meadowbrook workers’ compensation programs. Ward noted that most members participate in both thus their health rate increase will be negligible at approximately 0.47%. Additionally, members will see no increases in deductibles, copays or out of pocket costs and their plans will now cover three wellness visit lab benefits amazingly not included or required by Obamacare.

Ward believes that all three meetings were very successful. He stated that; “The decisions made in regards to the member programs will make us more efficient in administering both. The AAAS employee health benefit plan and the AAF workers’ compensation program are owned by our members. The association staff manages these and the Meadowbrook program exclusively for the members’ benefit. Currently, our staff is working on implementing the changes and we will be hosting area meetings this fall in order to help the membership better understand the unique programs available to them as well as discuss Obamacare compliance and any other issues that the membership might wish for us to address."


11245 Chantilly Parkway Court

Montgomery, AL 36117


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