IMPORTANT UPDATE on proposed Credicare Bereavement Fund closure
Posted July 2021
Since the initial announcement of the proposed Credicare closure, we met with a number of impacted members at the scheduled meetings in June, and have had time to reflect and consider the feedback received.
We want to apologise for the distress and concern the proposed closure has caused some members. This was never intended and we want to express my sincere apology for this.
We have listened
Whilst there has been acceptance by some, and a number of members have taken up an alternative funeral plan cover, it is clear that a number of members are still very disappointed at the notice of closure. There are a range of issues that have contributed to the concerns raised, including:
- the time frame provided from receipt of the notice of closure date not being considered long enough;
- members misunderstanding Credicare – a number believed it was a savings account or insurance product (which it is neither of); and
- confusion over the amount payable to a deceased member’s nominated beneficiary.
Unfortunately, adding to this was the unforeseen and disappointing delay (of up to two weeks) in postage, which had some members receiving their communication on the actual day of my scheduled meetings.
Credicare Bereavement Fund extended - to remain available until at least 31 January 2022
Given the concerns raised, in consultation with your board we have agreed to retain Credicare until at least 31 January 2022 in its current form. This means the planned closure on 30 July 2021 will not occur. We believe this will provide enough time to further consult with members as outlined below, to proactively work out a way forward which could see a range of outcomes including either Credicare continuing (in some format to be agreed), or alternatively close on 31 January 2022 (or an alternative date).
This decision means all those NZCU South Credicare members as at the date of our initial notice on 2 June 2021 are entitled to remain part of the Credicare Bereavement Fund, through until 31 January 2022. As such every time a Credicare member passes, a maximum of $4 will be debited from your account and paid to the nominated beneficiary of the deceased Credicare member. This means any future amounts payable will be calculated as $4, being the maximum deduction amount per member, multiplied by the number of remaining members in the fund e.g. 2,000 members x $4 = amount payable of $8,000.
For clarity, any members who have closed their Credicare Bereavement Fund since our notice on 2 June 2021 now have the option to re-open this. A member of Credit Union Baywide will contact these individuals directly to assist with this process, should you choose to take up this offer. Equally, for those who have taken out the separate Funeral Plan insurance product, you are also eligible to re-join Credicare for the period until 31 January 2022.
Member consultation – finding a way forward
What is clear from the feedback received is that in hindsight, we could have approached this differently. An important next step will be to hear from Credicare members, and for us to provide members with a better understanding of Credicare, its challenges and importantly what it does and does not offer.
We will be in touch in coming weeks to outline how we intend to engage further with members of Credicare. This will likely involve a mix of in person meetings, surveys, or workshops with selected representative groups. What is important is that we find a way forward that is fair, reasonable and sustainable for all members of the Credicare Bereavement Fund.
Should you have any queries relating to this please do not hesitate to contact my team on 0800 229 943 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.