Tag Archive for: Credit Union

Employee on a Zoom call with colleagues

Using CUOLI to Fund Section 20 and 21: A Webinar Overview

Today’s current investment environment isn’t promising and is characterized by:

  • Investment return volatility
  • Low interest rates
  • Declining loan demand
  • Concerns about an economic recession

So, what’s the solution for credit unions that are trying to maximize returns? Credit unions must look to investments that minimize volatility, maximize predictability, and maximize flexibility. The solution is using credit union-owned life insurance (“CUOLI” or “COLI”) to fund Sections 20 and 21.

Under Sections 20 and 21 of the call report required by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), credit unions are permitted to allocate funds to “otherwise impermissible investments.” This includes credit union-owned life insurance for certain specialized and important purposes.

Let’s talk more about using CUOLI to fund Sections 20 and 21 below.

Section 20

Section 20 of your quarterly call report addresses the types of assets a credit union may use to pre-fund employee benefits (i.e. health insurance and executive compensation plans).

With costs of employee benefits rising, however, using these safe and higher-yielding investment options to offset them allows more of the credit union’s assets to go to member initiatives.

Most state regulators allow credit unions to allocate up to 25% of net worth to pre-fund employee benefit expenses in Section 20.*

Section 21

Charitable giving is at the core of most credit union missions. 

Section 21 addresses the types of assets a credit union may use to fund its charitable donation account (CDA). In most states, credit unions can pre-fund CDAs with up to 5% of net worth under Section 21.*

Therefore, charitable donation accounts give your credit union the ability to give more efficiently.

Using Credit Union-Owned Life Insurance to Fund Section 20 and 21

When looking at these assets, credit union-owned life insurance can offer marked benefits, enhance stability, and provide higher yields when compared to the types of assets that regulators consider “otherwise impermissible,” which include:

  • Life insurance
  • Securities (mutual funds, stocks, ETFs, bonds)
  • Annuities

What is Credit Union-Owned Life Insurance?

For those who are not familiar with credit union-owned life insurance, it’s very similar to what has been used by commercial banks for over 40 years. In fact, 86% of the top 50 banks in the United States use bank-owned life insurance (BOLI) as an asset to offset employee benefit costs.

In addition to pre-funding benefit expenses and mitigating key-person risks, commercial banks have used these types of assets as an investment tool that offers a very competitive rate with strong levels of safety and liquidity.

Funding Section 20 and 21 Using Credit Union-Owned Life Insurance

Most state regulators* allow credit unions to place up to 25% of their net worths in Section 20 assets and up to 5% in Section 21 assets, with a number of specific caveats. One, for example, is that no more than 15% can be allocated to a single life insurance carrier when using CUOLI.

Interested in learning more? We’ve just recently conducted a webinar where we:

  • Compared CUOLI vs. Other Alternatives
  • Walked through FASB ASU 2016-01 and Mark-to-Market accounting impacts
  • Discovered how to restructure existing CUOLI policies to increase yields
  • Discussed the flexibility options and liquidity benefits of institutional life insurance policies

Fill out this contact form for more information on the full “Using CUOLI to Fund Section 20 and 21” webinar. Or, check out this blog post, “Section 20 vs. Section 21: What’s the Difference?

*Check your state’s regulations to verify the CUOLI capacity percentages.

Person protecting growing leaves coming from a stack of money

Why Should a Credit Union Invest in Credit Union-Owned Life Insurance?

There are many advantages to implementing a credit union-owned life insurance (COLI/CUOLI) program. Here, Scott B. Hinkle, J.D., CFP, and Principal at Acumen Insurance Solutions, talks about why a credit union should invest in credit union-owned life insurance. 

Let’s get started.

What is Credit Union-Owned Life Insurance?

Credit union-owned life insurance (COLI/CUOLI) is an “otherwise impermissible investment” that credit unions often use to pre-fund employee benefit expenses under Section 20. Policies insure the lives of individual executives or groups of key people and are designed to generate competitive current yields on cash values. 

invest in credit union owned life insurance

Why Should Your Credit Union Invest in Credit Union-Owned Life Insurance?

So, why should your credit union consider investing in credit union-owned life insurance (COLI/CUOLI) as opposed to the other options that are available?

  1. It’s Safe: Credit union-owned life insurance policies are issued by life insurance carriers that have been around 100 to 150 years.
  2. It’s Liquid: In the event that you choose to redeploy your capital elsewhere, you have the ability to do so with a credit union-owned life insurance policy.
  3. It Provides Meaningful Rates of Return: These policies are currently earning very meaningful rates of return. In fact, they are currently yielding between 2.5% and 5.0%, depending upon the class of policy selected.*

For all of these reasons, credit union-owned life insurance should be something that all credit unions consider in today’s challenging investment and interest rate environment.

Interested in learning more about why you need to periodically review your existing COLI plans? Read on in “Auditing Existing COLI Plans for Credit Unions.”

*Disclaimer: These policies are not considered securities. Guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the underlying insurance carrier. Policies are not FDIC-insured. Pricing can be based on many factors, including the insured’s age, gender, and health. Please refer to a current policy illustration for details.