SOA of NY announces new retirement plan

The Standardbred Owners Association of New York (SOANY) is pleased to announce that its Board of Directors, chaired by SOANY Senior Vice President Peter Venaglia and SOANY’s other directors (Irv Atherton, Tom Ceraso, Joseph Faraldo, Raymond Schnittker, Jordan Stratton, Chris Wittstruck and Peter Younger) awarded more than $ 2.7 million in retirement payments to drivers, coaches and grooms for the 2018-2020 harness racing seasons as part of its launch of an enhanced retirement program.

Of this amount, more than $ 1.4 million has been given to our dedicated grooms, without whom our sport could not survive. SOANY’s retirement payments to our bride and groom, as well as health insurance payments made on behalf of a number of grooms working for eligible coaches, demonstrate SOANY’s strong commitment to our bride and groom.

Drivers and coaches qualified for a full or partial retirement bonus based on their number of starts each year at Yonkers Raceway. During this time, the grooms qualified in two ways, earning up to one total credit per year.

First, grooms who had a sufficient number of paddocks throughout the year earned credits (either full or three-quarters or half) based on the number of nights spent in the paddocks at Yonkers Raceway. Second, coaches who had a required number of starts were able to identify grooms for up to half a credit for each semester over the three years.

A total of 14 drivers got full or partial credits in one year or more, 50 coaches got full or half credits in one or more years and 213 grooms got full, three-quarter or a half credits in one year or more.

The retirement bonuses provided to each participant will be invested by SOANY’s financial advisor, Neuberger Berman, who for many years has also invested other SOANY assets. The appreciation or depreciation of the assets will accumulate for each participant according to their respective share of the plan assets.

“The overnight scholarships at Yonkers Raceway are the highest in the country, which directly benefits the owners, drivers and coaches who participate,” said Joseph Faraldo, President of SOANY. “We have always been committed to all of our racing participants and the new plan allows more of our grooms to receive enhanced benefits that recognize their commitment to the Yonkers racing community,” added Faraldo.

Participants will be informed in the coming weeks of details regarding their 2018-2020 prices. The awards for the 2021 racing season will be awarded by the Board of Directors in 2022.

The new defined contribution plan replaces the SOANY pre-retirement program. Participants in the previous program have been and will receive benefit choices on an ongoing basis, allowing them to choose either lump sum payment or annuity payments. We currently anticipate that this process, which is subject to federal review and approval, will be completed in the third quarter of 2022.

“SOANY’s long-standing retirement program has provided substantial retirement benefits to our members for many years. Due to the hard work of the aforementioned administrators and the investment strategy deployed by Neuberger Berman, the SOANY retirement program has been fully funded to ensure that participants receive all the benefits they have earned through their hard work. Said Venaglia.

From the Standardbred Owners Association of New York

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