Competition Opens for Top Solutions Designed for Credit Union Success

Our annual competition, the Preferred Partner InnovaNAFCU Services Innovation Awards Sealtion Awards, recognizing outstanding innovations that help credit unions thrive in an increasingly saturated financial services market has opened for entries. Entries must be submitted by Tuesday, April 14, 2015.

This year’s solutions will be judged by a committee of industry trade journalists, credit union executives, and marketing professionals. Randy Smith of CUInsights.com, a leading source for connecting the credit union community to vital news and information, will be one of this year’s distinguished judges.

“Recognizing solutions that strengthen credit unions and satisfaction among their members provides incentive for others to innovate within the credit union space,” said Randy Smith, Co-founder and Publisher of CUInsight.com. “I’m excited about helping select this year’s winners to spotlight products and services that ensure the continued success of credit unions.”

Solutions will be evaluated using four major criteria: degree of innovation, impact on credit union (e.g., revenue enhancement, cost reduction), overall contribution to credit union success, and the competitive advantage provided for credit unions. This competition evaluates entries from NAFCU Services Preferred Partners. To earn the distinction of Preferred Partner, providers undergo an extensive qualification process. Last year’s innovation award winners were Allied Solutions; Burns-Fazzi, Brock; DDJ Myers; and Insuritas.

Since their inception, the Preferred Partner Innovation Awards have honored many partners who have leveraged the power of their resources to solve challenges in the credit union industry. Join us at NAFCU’s Annual Conference and Solutions Expo held in Montreal, Canada from June 23 – June 26, 2015 for the announcement of the 2015 award winners.

Credit Unions Get Competitive Compensation Insights from Survey

For the 9th consecutive year, NAFCU and Burns-Fazzi,Woman holding "Pay" sign Brock (BFB) will conduct a comprehensive survey of credit union executive compensation and benefits. The NAFCU-BFB Survey of Executive Compensation and Benefits is the industry’s most comprehensive study of executive compensation.

How can your credit union participate?

  • NAFCU members have been sent an email invitation to complete the online survey.
  • Nonmember credit unions can register to receive the survey by signing up at http://www.nafcu.org/execsurvey.

 Here are the top things you should know about this study:

  • All credit unions are invited to participate.
  • Any participating credit union’s individual responses are completely anonymous.
  • Participating credit unions will receive a complimentary copy of the detailed report about the survey.
  • The deadline for credit unions to complete the survey has been extended to Friday, April 10, 2015. (If you are a NAFCU member and have not received your invitation, please contact Clark Research Associates by email at nafcusurvey@clarkra.com).

Credit union decision-makers use the findings from this annual survey to get a better view into competitive salaries, bonus plan factors, deferred compensation, and health and welfare benefits; all specific and relevant to our industry.

A study like this empowers credit unions to participate and then benefit from the findings.  By using the survey insights, credit unions can more effectively evaluate how their executive compensation program compares with peer institutions,” said NAFCU Services President Randy Salser.”

A credit union’s ability to recruit, reward, and retain leaders depends upon access to trustworthy and relevant data,” said David Frankil, president at Burns-Fazzi, Brock. “This survey helps credit union boards and executives understand current trends in the marketplace and develop a custom compensation philosophy, and we’re thrilled to once again have the opportunity to support it.”

The results of the study will be presented by Burns-Fazzi, Brock at NAFCU’s Annual Conference and Solutions Expo in Montreal, Canada from June 23 – June 26, 2015.

Don’t Wait Until 2015! Do The Following Before The End of 2014

This article originally appeared in the December 2014 issue of VantageScore Solutions’ monthly newsletter, The Score. Subscribe here.

Guest post by John Ulzheimer, Nationally Recognized Credit Expert

John Ulzheimer

New Years resolutions are great, but before you start focusing on them, take a look at this list of personal-credit resolutions to fulfill before New Years.

Claim your free credit reports. For over a decade, everyone in this country has had the right to claim his or her credit reports once every twelve months, for free, from each of the three major credit-reporting companies (CRCs) – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Nevertheless, many free credit reports go unclaimed every year. Don’t let yours for 2014 go unclaimed!

Depending on where you live you may be entitled to additional free credit reports because of your state’s law. You can claim your Federally-guaranteed reports at www.AnnualCreditReport.com and state-guaranteed reports at each national credit reporting company’s website: www.Equifax.com, www.Experian.com, and www.TransUnion.com. Remember, the CRCs have no obligation to proactively send you credit reports.  You have to actually ask for them.

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10 Steps to Better Retirement Planning for the New Year

RICHARD W. RAUSSER, CPC
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, CLIENT SERVICES

Rich RRich Rausserausser is a Certified Pension Consultant (CPC), a Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA), a Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA), and a member of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA). He holds an M.B.A. in Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a B.A. in Economics and Business Administration from Ursinus College. 

Pentegra Retirement Services is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Qualified Retirement Plans for Credit Union Employees. http://www.nafcu.org/pentegra/

The start of every New Year brings the promise of new beginnings; a time to think about setting goals and resolving to do new things, particularly when it comes to finances.

It is important to take a few minutes this month to think about the state of your retirement portfolio and to commit to an annual self-assessment.  This should be more than ‘I will spend less’ in 2015. One of your resolutions should be to find better ways to manage your finances and invest your money.

I encourage everyone to jump-start their efforts with this checklist:

1. Increase Plan Contributions:  Are you contributing as much as you can afford to your retirement plan? The more money you put into your plan now, the bigger your potential retirement nest egg. Adding as little as five or ten extra dollars per paycheck could make a big difference over the long term.

2. Make Catch-up Contributions: Your plan may allow you to make “catch-up” contributions over and above the regular contribution limit if you are age 50 or older. If possible, take advantage of the opportunity to give your retirement savings a boost.

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Defining Your Customer Experience Leads to Loyalty

Originally Posted by David Peterson on Wed., Oct 15, 2014 @ 10:08 am on the https://q2ebanking.com/

Let’s face it, defining a superior Member experience is a tricky prospect. Everyone knows what “Member” means. The confusion arises from the word “experience.” What does that word mean in the context of providing financial services? Is it 24-hour support? Does it mean products work as advertised and your account holders are happy – or just not complaining? What exactly constitutes an “experience”?

A few years ago, Harley Manning at Forrester created a definition of “Customer [Member] Experience.” He noted an experience must come from the perspective of the member and have three components: 1) be useful (deliver value), 2) be usable (make it easy to find and engage with the value), and 3) be enjoyable (emotionally engaging).

This is a pretty good definition; however, I would summarize superior member experience this way: Superior Member experience occurs when a company or an institution consistently exceeds Member expectations, leaving them with a feeling of delight.

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