Credit Union Client Alert – September 2015

    By Dustin H. DeVore, Lender Representation, Credit Union

    As is well known, federal credit unions are not permitted to directly compensate members of their Boards of Directors. However, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has approved a number of methods to assist directors financially through NCUA guidance issued in response to inquiries from many federal credit unions anxious to support the work of their Board members and to encourage volunteers. Some of the expenses NCUA’s guidance has found to be permissible are well known (such as reasonable travel reimbursement), while others less so. NCUA has typically found expenses directly incurred for the benefit of the federal credit union, or in connection with a director’s official business on behalf of the federal credit union, to be permissible. While the rule does have a gray area, the less direct the connection of the expense to the federal credit union or the official business, the less likely that expense is to be permitted by NCUA.

    Below you will find a chart to help you navigate questions related to director compensation with the applicable NCUA document referenced. Federal credit unions can use this chart and the details provided by NCUA in the source letters to prepare or amend policies relating to director expenses. New guidance is issued periodically so, as always, if you have any questions related to director compensation please consult with NCUA or your attorney.



    Action NCUA Source letter Action NCUA Source letter

    $ 250 gift card provided to officials as a 5th year service award

    • sets gift limit at $50/year
    11-0805 Reimbursement of baby-siting expenses while official is engaged in official activity 92-0507

    small gift made to officials share account

    • no set value but must be nominal
    93-0233 Reimbursement for taking vacation time to conduct official activity 92-0507
    Long-term care insurance without coverage limited to associated activity 10-0913 Long term care or cost reimbursements for non-voting officials (modified by 11-0152 which limited this opinion to honorary members) 10-0913
    Training cost and expense reimbursement for non-voting members that are not purely honorary 11-0152 Free banking services 00-0508
    Reimbursement for use/ provision of electronic equipment/internet 03-1053 Annuity 97-1257
    Direct purchase of health insurance or reimbursement of premium 99-0621 Reimbursement of medical expenses not covered by health insurance (i.e. co-payments and deductibles) 02-1203
    Case specific analysis
    Evaluation factors:

    1. Was the meal cost incurred while on official business?
    2. Was the meal reasonable and propriety according to the norms of the Board?

    91-0215 Preferential banking services/terms/conditions 95-1236
    Reimbursement for travel expenses to CU meeting of official and one (1) immediate family member 00-0524 Reimbursement of cost of official’s “friend” accompanying official to CU meeting 00-0524
    Reimbursement of travel expenses via per diem (must be reasonable/proper) 96-0709 Reimbursement of health insurance costs that are not greater than 3rd party benefit received by the official 02-0123
    Reimbursement of cost for attending conference as CU official (includes the cost of one (1) additional family member) 96-1217    
    Provision of Long Term care insurance as long as the official is capable and is actually serving as a CU official 03-0382    
    Participate in self-funded health benefit plans (need to meet conditions set forth in letter) 95-1148    
    Extension of health benefits to immediate family members of official if there is no additional cost to the FCU 00-0849    

    1) Reimbursement of premiums for disease specific health insurance in accordance with written policy outlining reimbursement, documentation requirements, and monitoring

    • Plan must have reasonable coverage and amount,
    • Plan must be within bounds of safety and soundness
    • Coverage must stop with termination of board service


    The contents of this publication are intended for general information only and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts and circumstances. Copyright 2022.