Cork credit union to scrap death benefit insurance

Cork credit union to scrap death benefit insurance

Many vulnerable, elderly people will be left with no life cover when a credit union scraps its death benefit insurance next month.

Gurranabraher Credit Union may be the first in Ireland to stop the scheme, providing €4,000 to fund end of life expenses to members, paid for by all adult members via a €30 annual fee.

New Central Bank regulations require credit unions to get 50% of members to sign up to the scheme, or abolish it. Only 36% of the Cork credit union’s members signed up, so it is due to end on December 30.

Sinn Féin councillor Thomas Gould said that many members were unaware of the new rules and are now “distraught” that the benefit is ending.

Cllr Gould said: “It’s having serious ramifications on families. The worry it’s causing people is terrible. People are distraught, especially the elderly.

“From December 31, 3,500 people will be left with no cover. Many of these people are elderly or retired, they’ve paid into the scheme for 40 or 50 years and they cannot now afford to take out new insurance.

“It’s a brilliant initiative. A lot of elderly people used it as their life insurance policy.

“I’ve asked the Credit Union to extend the deadline by two weeks. They did extend it once but there wasn’t enough publicity about it so people didn’t know.

“Many people don’t open letters from the credit union, thinking they’re about car loans or advertising. So sending a letter or two asking people to sign up to something is not enough. There needs to be a public awareness campaign. A lot of members are really upset.

“The Central Bank is over regulating. It let the banks and financial institutions get away with murder before and now it puts barriers in the way when there’s an initiative which actually helps people. It’s a crazy decision and it has national implications for all credit unions.”

A spokesperson for the Irish League of Credit Unions said that the scheme did not fall under central control and that decisions on it would be taken at a local level.

Gurranabraher Credit Union was contacted for comment but had not replied at the time of publication.

More on this topic

Current accounts in credit unions: Do they add up?Current accounts in credit unions: Do they add up?

Credit Unions to introduce current accounts with contactless debit cardsCredit Unions to introduce current accounts with contactless debit cards

Credit unions hail start of rollout of current accountsCredit unions hail start of rollout of current accounts

Credit union chief in dismissal payout cutCredit union chief in dismissal payout cut


More in this Section

95-year-old woman targeted in Cork car park by 'non-national travelling criminals'95-year-old woman targeted in Cork car park by 'non-national travelling criminals'

Man arrested following CAB searches across eight countiesMan arrested following CAB searches across eight counties

Baby girl died after being struck by car in driveway, inquest hearsBaby girl died after being struck by car in driveway, inquest hears

Man died from multiple gunshot wounds in CoolockMan died from multiple gunshot wounds in Coolock


Lifestyle

I’d always promised myself a day off school when Gay Bryne died.Secret diary of an Irish teacher: I’ve been thinking about my students, wondering who their ‘Gay Byrne’ will be

In an industry where women battle ageism and sexism, Meryl Streep has managed to decide her own destiny – and roles, writes Suzanne HarringtonJeepers Streepers: Hollywood royalty, all hail queen Meryl

'Ask Audrey' has been the newspaper's hysterical agony aunt “for ages, like”.Ask Audrey: Guten tag. Vot the f**k is the story with your cycle lanes?

Daphne Wright’s major new exhibition at the Crawford addresses such subjects as ageing and consumerism, writes Colette SheridanFinding inspiration in domestic situations

More From The Irish Examiner