A significant improvement is being made to Local 793’s life and health benefits plan.

Business manager Mike Gallagher announced at the union’s general membership meeting March 26 in Oakville that all active and retired members eligible under the plan will soon have a special health spending account.

The change goes into effect April 1, 2017.

A lump sum of $400 will be deposited annually into the health spending accounts of members.

Members will be able to use the funds to top-up their benefits under the current plan.

If a member does not use the funds one year, the amount rolls over to the following year.

Members can accumulate up to a maximum of $800 in the health spending account.

“This is a significant benefit plan improvement that we’ve brought in,” Gallagher said at the general membership meeting. “I hope this is something that will make life just a little bit easier for you.”

Gallagher said funds in the health spending account, for example, could be used to top-up a member’s coverage for chiropractic work or eyeglasses or anything currently covered by the benefits plan.

He said benefit plan trustees decided to add the health spending account for members because the life and health benefits fund is in great shape, with $75 million in reserves.

Gallagher said trustees will continue to look for ways to make the Local 793 plan the leading benefit plan amongst the trades.