The Santa Monica Police Officers' Association was established as a benefit trust for the purpose of funding a retiree medical reimbursement plan.

The Santa Monica Police Officer's Association's (SMPOA) fraternal beginnings were expanded in 1968 into the Recognition Bargaining Unit for all Santa Monica Police Officers, excepting the Chief of Police, when collective bargaining was approved for California public employees. Thus the SMPOA’s mission now included "securing, maintaining, and advancing the pay, benefits, representation and rights of its members through Collective Bargaining, and Political involvement." In 1995, as a new vision for its members, the SMPOA established the SMPOA Retiree Medical Reimbursement Trust as a means to aid subsequent retired members’ financial needs incurred for medical, dental and vision coverage costs. Funding for the Trust was developed in partnership with the City of Santa Monica and SMPOA members.

The Plan is a welfare benefit plan, providing reimbursements for health insurance premiums and certain qualifying expenses (as defined in the plan). Premiums shall also include health coverage (or a Qualified Health Plan) for excepted benefits only (such as standalone dental or vision coverage) purchased through a state or federal insurance Exchange as set out in the Patient and Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Premiums do not include any other type of individual health coverage (or a Qualified Health Plan) purchased through an Exchange as set out in PPACA.