In this issue:

Turn Tax Season into Saving Season for Your Members

The “Whole Story” of Retirement: Making Retirement Planning a Year-Round Commitment

CO-OP Adds More Keynote Speakers as “Opportunity Never Rests” for THINK 19

CUMoney Visa Gift Cards

The Future of Credit Union Vitality in Three Little Words

How About Some Post-Election Peace of Mind?

Working Together to Help People Achieve Financial Security

Upcoming Webinars


       

Turn Tax Season into Saving Season for Your Members

It's hard to believe that tax season is just around the corner. Love My Credit Union Rewards has teamed up with TurboTax to save your members up to $15 on TurboTax. 

Tax Reform

Tax Reform will be top of mind this tax season and many of your members will be wondering how the new tax reform legislation may affect them. TurboTax has your members covered and is up-to-date with the latest laws and guarantees 100% accurate calculations so your members can be confident that their taxes are done right. Your members can even get live, on-screen assistance to help with questions or walk them through the filing process, all while saving up to $15.

Enroll today and provide your members' savings on TurboTax and a secure, easy way to get their taxes done right with the maximum refund, guaranteed.

Member Benefits:

  • 100% accurate calculations and maximum refund guaranteed!
  • W-2 Snap – Members take a snapshot of their form and TurboTax auto-fills the information into their TurboTax account.
  • TurboTax Live – One-on-one expert CPA advice offered via live video.
  • Smart Check™ – This software checks for missing or incomplete information and guides members through error correction before filing.

Plus, returning this season, your members will be eligible to enter the TurboTax $25,000 Sweepstakes! Entry is simple — members just need to start their taxes from your TurboTax microsite and provide a valid email address by February 15.

When they start their taxes, they will automatically be entered into the Sweepstakes. Prizes include one grand prize of $25,000 and 12 first place prizes of $1,000 each.

Don't miss out on providing your members with savings on TurboTax, and your credit union with a variety of benefits! Click here to enroll now.

If you have any questions, contact Client Support at [email protected]or by phone at 866-348-2887.

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The “Whole Story” of Retirement: Making Retirement Planning a Year-Round Commitment

By now, you’ve probably heard the shocking numbers behind the retirement crisis. One-third of Americans have $1,000 or less saved for retirement1, and nearly one in two Americans anticipate they will not have enough money to retire2.  Luckily, retirement education and planning are now receiving much stronger government support. The National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) announced in October that the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a bipartisan resolution, S. Res. 654, supporting the goals and ideals of National Retirement Security Week (NRSW).

NRSW is a national effort to raise public awareness about the importance of saving for retirement. It is held annually during the third week of October. The Senate first passed a resolution for NRSW in 2006 at NAGDCA’s request and has supported the initiative every year since. Securing passage of the NRSW resolution by the Senate was one of NAGDCA’s top legislative priorities for 2018.

In the resolution, the Senate calls on states, local governments, school districts, universities, nonprofit organizations, businesses and others to observe NRSW, “with appropriate programs and activities, with the goal of increasing the retirement savings and personal financial literacy of all people in the United States, thereby enhancing the retirement security of the people of the United States.”

Why is this important?

Traditional pension plan and Social Security benefits have long been the backbone of most workers' incomes in retirement. However, many financial experts agree that pensions and Social Security may not provide enough post-retirement income.  Longer life spans and rising costs, especially for health care, have changed the retirement outlook for many workers. NRSW provides an opportunity for plan sponsors to share resources with participants about their retirement options.

To this end, NAGDCA continues to develop and promote free, ready-to-use communication materials for plan sponsors to use with their employees, and employees can share with their family and friends. This year, NAGDCA’s “Your Whole Story” NRSW campaign and new Retirement Garden Edition video series applied “behaviorally effective” communication techniques to engage participants in becoming aware of their role in preparing for retirement.

Take advantage of this award-winning campaign!

If you missed 2018’s NRSW campaign, you can still utilize its resources as a channel to promote strong retirement saving strategies with your employees year-round.

“Your Whole Story” materials can be accessed any time, used generically or customized, and implemented in digital or printed form. Additionally, the Retirement Garden Edition video series addresses retirement savings considerations for employees early-, mid- and late-career.

According to Cindy Rehmeier, CFP, NAGDCA Executive Board President3, “Communication directed specifically at individual needs can be a huge lever for change. The ‘Your Whole Story’ campaign and Retirement Garden Edition video series engage employees in the many facets of saving for retirement without using fear tactics, which have been proven to turn off employees from taking the actions necessary to secure their financial future.”

There is no question that retirement security is good for Americans, employers, and our nation as a whole. By supporting this initiative, you can provide employees with the information they need to become adequately prepared for a secure retirement.

SOURCES

  1. The Balance, Make Sure the Retirement Crisis Doesn’t Happen to You, February 19, 2018
  2. Gallup, Update: Americans’ Concerns About Retirement Persist, May 9, 2018
  3. GlobeNewswire, Bipartisan Senate Resolution for Continuation of NAGDCA-initiated National Retirement Security Week Receives Unanimous Approval, October 4, 2018

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CO-OP Adds More Keynote Speakers as “Opportunity Never Rests” for THINK 19

CO-OP Financial Services is announcing two new headliners as keynote speakers for the THINK 19 conference, brand guru Omar Johnson and Amy Purdy, Paralympic snowboarding champion and New York Times best-selling author, who embody the idea that opportunity never rests.

“Our theme for THINK 19 is ‘Opportunity Never Rests,’ which encapsulates both a sense of urgency and a belief in the possibilities, two sentiments we believe will drive the credit union industry forward,” said Samantha Paxson, Chief Experience Officer for CO-OP. “THINK 19 will connect our credit union partners with some of the world’s brightest, boldest thinkers, while at the same time giving them practical tips for growth and transformation. Attendees will return home with strategies they can implement immediately.”

Purdy and Johnson Added to THINK 19 Line-up

Building on the theme and the idea that changes at any level can lead to transformation, attendees will hear from a diverse group of speakers, which now include Amy Purdy and marketing executive Omar Johnson.

Purdy, a three-time Paralympic medalist is the most decorated adaptive snowboarder in U.S. history. She credits her creativity, positive outlook and what she refers to as “The Power of Intent”  for opening countless doors in her life including, acting and modeling projects, partnering with Oprah Winfrey on a national speaking tour, appearing on CBS’s “The Amazing Race” and ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” and being featured in a Super Bowl commercial. Purdy is co-founder of Adaptive Action Sports, a non-profit organization that helps those with permanent physical disabilities get involved in action sports. She is the author of “On My Own Two Feet,” published in 10 different languages around the world.

Johnson, former CMO at Beats by Dre, and former VP Marketing at Apple, has an extensive marketing and branding career that includes work with brands like Nike, Campbell Soup and Coca-Cola. Johnson was named a “Brand Genius” by Adweek in 2013, and Business Insider named him one of the “Most Innovative CMOs” in 2016. At Beats Electronics – acquired by Apple in 2014 for $3 billion, the largest acquisition in Apple’s history – Johnson was responsible for brand development, advertising, retail experience, entertainment/sports marketing and digital marketing for all global brand marketing and advertising efforts.

The two new keynotes will join the previous announced author/entrepreneur Seth Godin and Chef Jose Andres on the THINK 19 main stage, with more speakers to be announced in the coming months.

THINK 19 will be held May 6-9, 2019, at the Lowes Miami Beach Hotel. Online registration is available at co-opthink.org/events.  

Now in its 12th year, THINK is a year-round platform for credit union collaboration, innovation and evolution. Visit co-opthink.org to access the wide variety of learning opportunities, including THINK Review magazine, THINK blog, videos from THINK conferences and a library of leading business and innovation book reviews.

For more information on THINK, visit at www.co-opthink.org.

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CUMoney Visa Gift Cards

One Source. Many Designs. Every Occasion.

CUMONEY Visa Gift Cards offer your members a variety of attractive designs that fit all recipients and every occasion. They’re easy for you to administer and convenient for the recipient to track their balance and purchases. Give your Credit Union the gift of cards that attract and retain new members, with designs that appeal to everyone—all at your single source for payment solutions: LSC®.

Member Benefits

  • More Functions than a Gift Certificate
  • Members can track their balance and purchases free online
  • Free voice response unit calls and live customer service rep calls
  • Worry-free Gifts—Easy to Use and Safer than Cash
  • Widely accepted in the United States
  • Signature and PIN transactions

Credit Union Benefits with LSC

  • Instant Issue
  • Over 60 contemporary designs with CU branding available
  • Bulk card shipment available
  • Complimentary Marketing Materials
  • Secure credit union website to order and sell cards
  • LSC Prepaid Access
  • Cross Selling Opportunities to other programs, such as credit or debit programs 

For more information, call (800) 942-7124 or email [email protected] or contact Laura Parrish at [email protected].

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The Future of Credit Union Vitality in Three Little Words

Build. Buy. Partner.

Digital transformation is a journey, and with today’s competitive and disruptive environment, it can seem like a race. Every runner knows a great race-day depends on confronting limitations and developing a series of strengths. How an athlete goes about assessing and acquiring those strengths is often the difference between success and failure.

The runner may ask:

  • Does my exercise routine still make sense, or will a change build important, injury-resistant muscles?
  • Can I muddle through with last year’s running shoes, or should I buy high-tech footwear?
  • Do I go it alone or partner with a coach?

Credit unions have similar options as they push for greater distance between them and a wide swath of competitors: Build. Buy. Partner. Each of these strategies has the potential to lengthen a credit union’s stride, getting them to various checkpoints throughout the digital transformation race more quickly.

So, how does a credit union determine when it’s right to build, buy, or partner?

The first option is likely the most challenging. That said, there are plenty of credit unions today building their own digital products, services and platforms. If the money and talent are in place, and building the solution will not draw those resources away from the credit union’s core competencies, build away.

Buying a ready-made solution makes the most sense when what is already available “as is” on the market is well-suited to the credit union’s goal. At that point, allocating financial and human resources to developing that which already exists doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Partnering can be a beautiful, best-of-both-worlds solution. Collaborating with an entity that supplements the credit union’s strengths delivers in a couple of ways. First, the credit union is able to realize many of the benefits of building but without the reallocation of resources. Speed is another factor. Often, a partner has done the heavy-lifting on the development side, so the credit union can assist in the creation of a few market-appropriate tweaks. Then, it’s off to the races.

What are the first steps to making the right choice?

When choosing between the options, start with what you know about your credit union:

  • How savvy are you to take on a build-out of a particular digital solution?
  • How gung-ho is your leadership to allocate resources to its development? What about the rest of the organization?
  • From the front-line to the board room, are the right people willing to adopt this as an enterprise-wide initiative, or will you face roadblocks at every turn?

To find some of these answers, socialize the concept. See if everyone agrees with your assessment of the product, service or platform’s worth. You may be surprised at the different definitions of value within your credit union.

We talk about this a lot with credit unions that are strategically investing in analytics. Culture is a big piece of the digital transformation pie. For a credit union to achieve success with data analytics, for instance, everyone must benefit from the data insights they deliver, not just one department or set of stakeholders.

Even if consensus around value does not exist in your organization today, your innovation need not be doomed. Educating your internal audience on the ways in which the solution will improve their day-to-day lives can have a significant impact on their perceptions. And when you show them how the innovation will ultimately improve the financial health of your members, you’ll be on your way to building not only consensus – but excitement – for the next phase of your digital transformation.

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How About Some Post-Election Peace of Mind?

Now that the mid-term election is behind us, consumers await the outcome of promises made by both sides of the political spectrum regarding the economy, healthcare and other big picture issues that impact their quality of life and financial stability. 

According to a 2018 Bankrate midterm election survey, just 38 percent of Americans report their finances have improved since 2016. The majority of those polled said they were doing about the same financially or were worse off.

Consider the following:

  • Fifteen percent of homeowners borrow against home equity just to meet monthly bills, such as rent or mortgage, food and utility payments.
  • Eighty percent of U.S. consumers live paycheck to paycheck.2  
  • U. S. household debt, which declined between 2008 and 2013, has rebounded sharply to an all -time high of $13.2 trillion at the end of first quarter 2018.3
  • After a mini-peak in 2015 that saw the U.S. personal savings rate increase to six percent, nearly half of consumers no longer have one month’s savings set aside for emergencies. In August 2018, the savings rate dropped to three percent, just above levels recorded on the eve of the housing bubble collapse.
  • Forty percent of U.S. adults would not be able to cover a $400 emergency expense without selling something or borrowing the money.5

In the back of their minds, many consumers know that one unforeseen obstacle — a job loss, an illness or accident, or an emergency expense could result in a temporary personal financial crisis. In these volatile situations, community banks and credit unions are positioned to outpace politicians when it comes to making a positive impact in their account holders’ lives and financial stability.

A grassroots solution to financial peace of mind

If you want to make a difference and provide greater value for your account holders, consider the following ways you can stabilize their financial situation as you finalize key initiatives going into 2019:

  1. Review your loan products to ensure plans to help account holders buy their first home or replace a car that provides needed transportation for their family.
  2. Examine your service fee structure. Consumers are not averse to paying a fee for a service they value, if it is transparent and reasonable. 
  3. Offer a fair, fully disclosed and appropriate service for account holders who may need a place to turn when they experience occasional financial shortfalls. 

Set the stage for a more stable financial outlook

When was the last time you reviewed your current overdraft strategy?  If you haven’t evaluated your program and fees in a while, you are missing out on an opportunity to make a difference in your community. As we head into a new year, now is a great time to make that a priority. 

Offer a fair and fully disclosed solution. While there is speculation that a divided Congress will stall any new financial legislation, a Democrat-led House may signal renewed efforts to protect consumers against predatory financial services. A fully disclosed overdraft program, that is guaranteed compliant and utilizes the industry’s best practices is the safest, most reliable way to provide account holders with a valuable service, while protecting your institution against regulatory and legal scrutiny.

Proactively educate your account holders about your program. This includes how it works and what it means to them if they have a shortfall in funds and overdraw their account. Don’t wait for them to ask about getting a limit — or worst-case scenario — experience an unexpected situation that causes them to miss an important payment or have an emergency expense denied due to a shortage of funds.

Share your fee. When account holders know the cost of a service, they can make an informed decision about whether to use it. More reasonable fees will engage more account holders in your program. High fees will drive them to outside solutions that include paying high late fees, or using a payday lender, which are more risky and costlier alternatives.

Track your overdraft activity. Comprehensive program analytics will help you determine who is using your program, how well it is working and where you can make improvements to impact your results. This information also can benefit your efforts to proactively reach out to account holders to help them with budgeting and better account management.

Communicate the benefits of your program. It is important to establish an outreach program to communicate with account holders about your overdraft service. It costs them nothing to participate if they never overdraft. But if they find themselves in a financial crunch, your overdraft fee may be the least of their concerns. Most consumers would prefer their mortgage payment honored or to be able to buy what they need at the time and pay an overdraft fee to remain in good standing, rather than have an important transaction denied.  

A consistent, reliable solution wins the race 

Political priorities change every election cycle. But the need for dependable, reasonably priced services that help consumers safely address a financial shortfall has no term limits. Providing a fully disclosed overdraft program and educating your account holders about how to use it wisely can stabilize their financial situation — before they need it — and make your financial institution the front runner when they elect where to conduct their banking business.

SOURCES:

1Bankrate survey.

2CareerBuilder survey.

3American Banker, Consumer debt is at an all-time high. Should banks be worried? July 30, 2018. 

4MarketWatch, Once again Americans are not saving enough. August 28, 2018.

5Federal Reserve Board of Governors Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2017, May 2018.

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Working Together to Help People Achieve Financial Security

We were reminded by recent efforts of bank lobbyists in Iowa that adversity only strengthens our partnership. We – as in members, credit unions, leagues, CUNA, and CUNA Mutual Group – don’t march alone. We join together to secure the future of the credit union movement. And, as this year’s events in Iowa demonstrate, our industry partnerships remain more vital today than ever before.

Our partnership with the Iowa Credit Union League and Iowa credit unions resulted in a swift, concerted defense of the credit union movement. Together, credit unions, members and hundreds of CUNA Mutual Group employees in Waverly, Iowa, worked to defeat the proposed franchise tax through advocacy and grassroots efforts. But, as many of you know, this wasn’t just about the 600,000 members in Iowa. These efforts had nationwide implications.

Across the country, the banking industry watched the aggressive state legislative battle unfold, eyeing any weaknesses and refining their messaging. During the legislative session, bankers were able to push the bill through the Senate. Yet, our unity and cooperation to protect the credit union movement helped to blunt bank attacks and we achieved a major victory.

Of course, we can’t rest. Leveraging legislative efforts, large technology platforms and excess capital, banks will attempt to claim an even larger market share – with the largest 100 banks already claiming a 75 percent market share nationwide. Thankfully, our industry partnerships help level the playing field. From there, credit unions – large and small – are empowered to combat the macro trends we’ve witnessed across the nation.

When we work together, we not only live out our cooperative principles, we help credit unions secure the financial futures of hundreds of millions of people.  Whether members are getting better rates on their savings and loans or protecting their financial achievements with one of our protection solutions, their financial security depends on our collaborative efforts to help credit unions and the credit union movement thrive.

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To register for any of these webinars, please go to https://www.cunamutual.com/resource-library/webinars

Risk & Compliance Office Hours – Emerging Risks

12/5/2018 1:00 PM (CST)
This is your opportunity to ASK anything…well, within reason! We'll briefly cover some latest trends and we’ll devote 60-90 minutes for your questions - live! Join us and ask our experienced consultants your most burning risk & compliance questions related to the office hours topics. We’ll do our best to ensure you’re ready by addressing those lingering questions keeping you awake at night!

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