In 1960, employers and local unions formed a trust fund for the benefit of employees and their families. The fund was named Carpenters Health and Security Trust of Western Washington.
The fund had a purpose. It would receive benefit contributions from employers while paying medical claims on behalf of participants and their families.
When someone was sick, injured or needed a procedure, the bill would be forwarded to the trust fund and payment would be sent to the medical provider.
Ideally, there would be a surplus. Money left in the fund after paying claims would be invested to generate income and ensure the longevity of the fund.
A formal plan was drafted with rules and procedures. Enforcement would be the responsibility of a 16-member board of trustees, comprised of an equal number of representatives from both sides of the table.
Today, nearly 60 years later, the fund continues to pay benefits on behalf of eligible participants and dependents enrolled in the Carpenters Health and Security Plan of Western Washington.
Along the way, similar trust funds were created to pay for other fringe-benefit plans, namely the Carpenters Retirement Plan of Western Washington, the Carpenters of Western Washington Individual Account Pension Plan, and the Carpenters-Employers Vacation Plan of Western Washington.