Gurranabraher Credit Union to reimburse members following changes to death benefit insurance scheme

Gurranabraher Credit Union to reimburse members following changes to death benefit insurance scheme

The Directors of Gurranabraher Credit Union have decided to return all member contributions on an ex-gratia basis, with payments to be made directly into accounts. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

GURRANABRAHER Credit Union has announced details of a scheme to repay contributions made by members to the annual Death Benefit Insurance scheme operated by the Credit Union between 2003 and 2019.

The Directors of Gurranabraher Credit Union have decided to return all member contributions on an ex-gratia basis, with payments to be made directly into accounts.

The annual Death Benefit Insurance scheme was discontinued following legal changes introduced by the European Payment Services Directive 2.

Gurranabraher Credit Union is one of a number of credit unions nationwide who have reviewed the scheme in question following changes to the law.

The directors of Gurranabraher Credit Union have written to members in recent days to advise them of the reimbursements, which are believed to be in the region of €2.5 million.

Members have also been advised about other alternative schemes.

These include the traditional Life Savings Assurance scheme and the Loan Protection Insurance scheme.

Both these schemes ensure members are protected at the end of life where there are savings in their account and where a member has an outstanding loan at the time of their death.

Commenting, Eamon Kirwan, Chairperson of Gurranabraher Credit Union, said although some members wanted the Death Benefit Insurance scheme to continue this was not possible.

“We pride ourselves on being a well-run organisation with exceptionally strong balance sheet reserves.

“Some members may have wanted the scheme to continue, however the change in regulations meant there was no feasible way to do that.

“A positive outcome of the credit union’s decision is that members who contributed to the scheme will now have funds returned to their account in the weeks ahead.

“Gurranabraher Credit Union offers other valuable insurance supports which remain in place relating to members’ savings and loans,” he said.

No action is required on the part of members as the payment will take place automatically from March 3, 2021 and will equate to the number of deductions made from their account from 2005 and to 2018.

Gurranabraher Credit Union will operate a dedicated support phone line for statement requests on 021 4303394 from 9:30am to 5pm each week day. The credit union can also be contacted by email at memberservice@gcul.ie. 

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