MEMBERS of a northside credit union will lose insurance cover for funeral expenses from the end of this week.
Gurranabraher Credit Union customers who had bought into the Death Grant Scheme will no longer be covered for €3,250 worth of funeral costs after the insurance scheme failed to reach a 50% member sign up minimum.
The Echo understands that there are members of the credit union who had opted into the annually paid scheme for up to 50 years.
Members were informed earlier this month that new Central Bank rules stipulate that 50% of members must pay a premium to avail of the Death Grant Scheme in order for the service to be continued to be offered.
However, not enough of the credit unions 13,500 membership responded, meaning the scheme will be closed on November 30.
Previously, members who paid €20 premium per annum would receive €4,000 towards the cost of their funeral if they died within a year.
Adjustments to the scheme saw the figure paid out reduced to €3250 and the annual premium paid by members rise to €30.
The Echo has contacted Gurranabraher Credit Union on several occasions but has not received a response to requests for comment.
The credit union will hold its AGM on December 9 and councillor Thomas Gould said the funeral grant is set to be the main discussion point.
Mr Gould had asked the credit union’s board of management to extend the deadline for the scheme so more could be done to reach 50% membership cover but this will not happen.
“The credit union has told me that they may have a new death grant in the new year but come the first of December, no adult members will have funeral cover at Gurranabraher credit union.
“I think it’s going to be a huge issue at the AGM. It has been the single biggest issue in my constituency and the Knocknaheeny, Churchfield, Blarney Street and Gurranabraher area.
“I’m disappointed that more wasn’t done with publicity to advertise to encourage people to sign up and retain the death grant.
“Members feel very let down. This grant has always been in place and for many, it’s their only life insurance. Thousands of people will be affected,” Mr Gould added.
The service is not offered by all credit unions and is not under the control of the Irish League of Credit Unions - meaning individual credit unions can decide whether to offer the scheme or not.