It's Beginning To Sound A Lot Like--Bonus Dividends

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Those robust numbers credit union shave been reporting are paying off in the form of early Christmas presents, as some CUs have begun paying out year-end bonuses.

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The Golden 1 Credit Union here said it will be returning more than $18-million to its 500,000 members. According to The Golden 1, those eligible for “Member Giveback Distributions” will receive amounts ranging from $5 to $1,000 per loan or savings account. As a result, individual members who have both deposit and loan accounts could receive up to $2,000.

“We’re doing this for our members following a series of very successful years,” said Golden 1 President and CEO Donna Bland.

Funds are being deposited directly into member accounts this week. The amount paid out is calculated as 10% of the loan interest paid and 10% of interest earned on savings accounts between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 this year.

The $8.2-billion Golden 1 said net income in 2014 is up nearly 24% over 2013.

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  • In Ogden Utah, Goldenwest CU is returning $1 million in the form of a bonus dividend. It is paying the funds out as a b0nus 4% APY to members (and to members of subsidiary brand USU Credit Union), bringing the overall yield to 4.10% on shares. Over the past 11 years Goldenwest has returned $6.87 million to members in the form of bonuses.
  • And in Canada, Edmonton, Alberta-based Servus Credit Union is returning $50 million to members, up from the $47.6-million returned in 2013 and the largest amount ever paid out to its members.EDMONTON, Dec. 8, 2014 "We are extremely happy to reach the $50 million mark with our Profit Share program," said President/CEO Garth Warner. "It's an incredible amount to share with our members and proof that when Albertans bank with us, they get more than just great service and expert advice."

Servus' Profit Share program pays out according to the amount of business a member does with the credit union. The 2014 program pays cash as well as a dividend on common shares and investment shares. Commercial and agricultural members receive a cash rebate on their service charges.

Since Servus' amalgamation in 2008, more than $270 million has been paid out through the Profit Share program.

Other U.S.-based CUs that have recently announced bonus dividends include:

* The $1-billion Workers Credit Union in Fitchburg, Mass. said it will pay a $2.5-million bonus dividend to members in early 2015, the first bonus dividend paid in its 100-year history.

Amounts paid in the “GiveBack Program” will be based on the average balance for the year in all eligible deposit and loan accounts.

* In Lancaster, S.C., Founders FCU paid a special “Loyalty Dividend” to some of its members this week. In all, the credit union returned $5.7-million to members. Members qualified for the dividend in two ways: by receiving a percentage of year-to-date interest paid and dividends earned if they meet the minimum Loyalty Dividend payout of $10, or if they have an active Founders Checking Account and Direct Deposit, they were paid a percentage of year-to-date interest paid and dividends earned or a minimum of $10 as long as their Checking Account has had activity during the month of November 2014.

The credit union also paid a longevity bonus, paying out an extra $20 to members who had an account for 20 years or longer providing they had an active checking account and direct deposit.

Founders FCU has created an online calculator that allows consumers to determine their loyalty dividend, including if they have accounts at another institution and want to determine how much they would have earned at Founders.

Since 1992 Founders FCU has returned $45-million to members in the form of special dividends. 

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