Credit Union Client Alert – September 2015
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
|11-0805||Reimbursement of baby-siting expenses while official is engaged in official activity||92-0507|
small gift made to officials share account
|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
1. Was the meal cost incurred while on official business?
|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
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 2019.