Credit Unions

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Credit unions must provide meaningful benefits and employee retention programs in order to compete with other non-profit and for-profit financial institutions when attracting and retaining top talent. Many existing benefit plans, however, are not sufficiently funded, tax efficient, or are unnecessarily risky.

Our Unique Credit Union Services

Grant Hinkle & Jacobs designs, implements, and maintains customized non-qualified benefit plans to help credit unions meet employee retention. These include institutionally-designed supplemental retirement and death benefit plans, and management succession arrangements. Many of our plans are designed so that the credit union may recover the costs associated with providing non-qualified benefits to its key executives.

Benefit Plan Design and Funding

In addition to designing new plans, we can help improve existing plans, both in offerings and efficiency. In many cases, existing executive benefit plans, including 457(f) and split-dollar, can be modified and funded more efficiently. This can produce better economics for the credit union and a smaller tax burden for the key executive.

Increasing Yields

Like many other businesses, credit unions are also challenged to find yield on their safest and most liquid assets in today’s low-yielding interest rate environment.  Our credit union services include a cash alternative strategy that helps credit unions earn a higher current yield without sacrificing safety or liquidity. It also offers potential benefits from owning life insurance on key people.

Our firm is a nationally-recognized leader in the design, implementation, and servicing of innovative non-qualified programs to meet the long-term goals of financial institutions, key executives, and successful businesses. We are fiercely independent and not affiliated with any particular carrier or program.  With more than 60 years of combined experience, and clients in over 40 states, Grant Hinkle & Jacobs has the expertise to provide superior credit union services. Contact us to see how we can help.


Contact us to see how we can help.

Download PDFs:

 – Credit Unions and 457(f) Plans
 – Credit Union FASB Alert 2017
 – Credit Union 457(f) and Split-Dollar Plans
 – SERPs for Credit Unions
 – Continuing Service for Credit Unions




Case Study #1

GHJ was engaged to review a credit union’s existing 457(f) SERP.  By updating the plan to our unique 457(f) design, GHJ was able to offer the credit union a choice between (1) reducing its benefit costs by 20 to 40% or (2) increasing the projected retirement benefit for each participant by 20 to 40%. Our client chose to use our approach to increase the projected retirement incomes for the executive team in addition to providing a pre- and post-retirement death benefit and long term care/chronic illness coverage.

Case Study #2

A $2 billion credit union was considering a split-dollar life insurance SERP for its CEO and key employees.  By designing the plan as efficiently as possible, GHJ reduced the size of the loan to the executive from $7.2M to $5.4M or 25% using the same plan assumptions.

Case Study #3

Credit Union-Owned Life Insurance (CUOLI) are policies purchased and owned by the credit union, insuring its key executives, using a single premium approach.  All CUOLI policies are not created equal and the marketplace continues to evolve.  A $1.5 billion credit union engaged GHJ to review its existing $20M CUOLI portfolio.  Our more efficient approach is projected to increase the total return of the life insurance by $36M or over 60% at the actuarial life expectancies of the insured pool using the same assumptions and without subjecting the credit union to additional levels of risk.

Case Study #4

The Financial Accountancy Standards Board (FASB) released an update in 2016 to further explain proper reporting of “financial instruments” for credit unions.  Price changes in equity securities will now be recorded against the organizations’ net income.  In terms of investments, an equity security now includes any mutual fund or ETF, even if the mutual fund or ETF invests in bonds or other fixed income securities.  To meet this new standard, GHJ has developed and successfully implemented a special Credit Union-Owned Life Insurance (CUOLI) program where the cash value growth competes favorably with stock or bond mutual funds and ETFs, but with principal protection and a death benefit to further improve yield.

© 2017 Grant, Hinkle & Jacobs