GR8 Savers Week encourages parents to talk to children about importance of money management.
A new initiative is urging parents to talk to their children about the value of money and the importance of saving for the future.
The annual GR8 Savers Week campaign, run by credit unions across Ireland from May 8-14, aims to assist parents in teaching young people how to manage money responsibly.
The initiative will be supported with a social media information campaign on the Irish League of Credit Unions’ Twitter and Facebook pages. Information leaflets, containing tips and guidelines for parents, and activity sheets will also be available in local credit unions.
Credit Union Youth Ambassadors and Olympic rowing medallists Gary and Paul O’Donovan officially launched Gr8 Savers Week for 2017.
Also speaking about the youth savings initiative, Credit Union Youth Ambassador Paul O’Donovan said: “Gary and myself learned a lot about managing our finances through saving with our local credit union over the years. Being financially responsible was important for us and really helped us along the way and we think this is an important message to communicate to young people.”
Gary O’Donovan added: “Financial independence is a great skill to have in life, and especially when you are working towards achieving a goal that you have set yourself. We would encourage all young people to learn about managing their money responsibly.”
The campaign comes at a time when there is a clear trend towards saving among Irish consumers. 2016 ESRI figures show that 70% of Irish people are now saving, with the majority of these saving €200 a month. This is up from a 2013 ESRI report which found that 40% of the population were not saving at all.
Speaking about the GR8 Savers campaign, ILCU Director of Communications and Marketing, Emmet Oliver said; “The skills necessary for financial independence and responsibility need to be learned from an early age, and this can sometimes be overlooked.
“There is never too young an age to teach children and teenagers how to spend wisely, and GR8 Savers Week is all about giving parents the tools necessary to show their children and teens how to develop a healthy relationship with money.
“Financial responsibility is an essential life skill and can be developed through simple approaches, such as helping a young person to save towards a goal of their choice.”
Mr Oliver added “It’s important that Irish consumers who are saving each month have the necessary skills to manage these savings wisely – and that they pass these financial skills and lessons on to their children and teenagers.”
You may be aware that the credit union has reluctantly imposed an upper limit of €20,000 on the amount of savings that we can accept from an individual member. Just to explain, the reasons for introducing this limit are as follows:
- Savings in our credit union are increasing by around 10% per annum. By contrast, our loans have been growing at a much slower pace, resulting in our surplus funds increasing steadily to over €13.5 million.
- These surplus funds have to be invested, mainly in deposit accounts with local banks, but the banks are currently paying interest at less than 0.25% per annum and in some cases are charging us for holding deposits with them.
- Under Central Bank regulations, we must maintain our reserves at a minimum of 10% of our assets. While our reserves are well in excess of this requirement, we have to allocate €10,000 to them for every additional €100,000 of savings we receive in order to maintain our reserves at this prudent level.
- This €10,000 has to come from our surplus / profits, thereby reducing the amount we have available to pay dividends or interest rebates. It also reduces the amount we can afford to invest in new services and new technology options that can benefit all of our members.
- To reduce the impact of this savings growth, we reluctantly decided to limit the inflow of savings in order to benefit the greater number of our members.
What does this mean for me?
Members who already have savings of more than €20,000 can leave their savings in place but cannot increase them. Dividends on these accounts are posted out by cheque following payment. Members with less than €20,000 can increase their savings to €20,000 but to no more than that amount.
We thank you for your understanding in this matter and hope you understand the rationale for our decision, but if you have any queries please talk to a member of our staff. This was not a decision we took lightly and we will keep this €20,000 limit under constant review. Please be assured that we continue to innovate and work hard to ensure that Malahide Credit Union remains strong and continues to thrive.
Malahide Credit Union provides a Death Benefit Insurance benefit at no extra cost to all adult members with more than €250 in savings and to all members aged 16 or under irrespective of their savings balance. This valuable benefit provides €1,300 to the next of kin of an eligible member in the event of his or her death.
It is intended to alleviate the considerable costs incurred by a member’s family at a time of bereavement. In addition to the savings requirement already mentioned, to be eligible a member must have joined the credit union before his or her 70th birthday.
The Board of Directors reserves the right to amend the eligibility requirements and payment amount at any time.