Monday, November 27, 2017

Cyber Monday Shopping Through NCOFCU

Cyber Monday shopping? Think of those special NCOFCU gifts through our On-Line Store!
Click HERE
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Help support NCOFCU through Amazon Smile while doing your holiday shopping. Shop Amazon Smile, and .05% of you purchase will go to the National Council of Firefighter Credit Unions Inc General Operating Fund. Our direct link is https://smile.amazon.com/ch/27-2387106 

The National Council of Firefighters Credit Unions, Inc. (NCOFCU) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 professional association of credit unions serving firefighter's, first responders and their families, whose mission is to provide its members with the knowledge, skills, tools, and resources necessary to ensure ongoing professional development, and the ability to deliver exceptional value to their credit union members. 




Saturday, November 25, 2017

Boston’s First Responders Come Together to Support the South Boston Neighborhood House in Honor of Joseph "Dodo" Nee

Boston’s First Responders Come Together to Support the South Boston Neighborhood House in Honor of Joseph "Dodo" Nee

In honor of Joseph “Dodo” Nee, a lifelong supporter of the South Boston community and an inspiration to so many, Boston’s First Responders came together last night to present the South Boston Neighborhood House with a check donation of $7,500. The generous donation will provide back to school supplies and clothing to local students in the community.

This donation was made possible by members of the Boston Firefighters Credit Union, Boston Fire Department, Boston Police Department & Massachusetts Fallen Heroes/Veterans Edge to uphold the incredible legacy and efforts in which their friend, veteran, and fellow firefighter, Joseph Nee did for the South Boston community.

“Assisting the South Boston Neighborhood House was a seamless decision between Boston Firefighters Credit Union, Boston Police, Boston Fire, Mass Fallen Heroes and the Nee family to engage in an effort that would make Dodo very proud,” said Bernie Winne, CEO of the Boston Firefighters Credit Union.




PHOTO CAPTION (Left to Right): Mike Brown, Boston Police Officer & Vice President of Massachusetts Fallen Heroes; City of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh; Kathy Lafferty, Executive Director of the South Boston Neighborhood House; Boston Police Commissioner William Evans; Bernie Winne, CEO of the Boston Firefighters Credit Union; and Dan Magoon, Boston Firefighter & Executive Director of Massachusetts Fallen Heroes.
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The National Council of Firefighters Credit Unions, Inc. (NCOFCU) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 professional association of credit unions serving firefighter's, first responders and their families, whose mission is to provide its members with the knowledge, skills, tools, and resources necessary to ensure ongoing professional development, and the ability to deliver exceptional value to their credit union members. 

Help support NCOFCU through Amazon Smile while doing your holiday shopping. 









Friday, November 24, 2017

Charlotte Fire Dept in Thanksgiving Day Parade

Charlotte Fire Dept. is always proud to march in the Thanksgiving Day parade! It was a beautiful morning in uptown Charlotte.





Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Don't be the last to know.


Amazon Smile

Now you can painlessly contribute to the National Council of Firefighter Credit Unions Inc (NCOFCU) through Amazon Smile while you do your holiday shopping online.

What is AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on Amazon.com. The difference is that when you use this link to shop on AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the National Council of Firefighter Credit Unions Inc.

Our direct link is https://smile.amazon.com/ch/27-2387106 

*The National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions, Inc. (NCOFCU) is a non-profit, 501(c) (3) charitable organization. Donors may deduct contributions as provided in IRC 170(c) (3) of the U.S. Tax Code. Employer Identification Number 27-2387106


Don't forget 2018 Pre-Pay ends 12/20/2017

Pay $50 today to save $50 off the Early Bird 2018 registration for Seattle, WA  September 19-22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving




Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Irish Credit Union TV Ad's


Thought we would put a smile on your face!

The ads are the final piece of a new through-the-line brand campaign that Irish credit unions have been building online and in out-of-home over the past week – The Credit ReUnion. The national TVC launched this week and will run for the next three weeks along with out-of-home, digital, radio and social.





San Diego Firefighters Shave Heads in Solidarity With Fellow Firefighter Battling Cancer

San Diego firefighters honored one of their own Monday by shaving their hair off in solidarity with a firefighter battling cancer.

Firefighter Nick Hibbs is going through chemotherapy for cancer.

"We’re happy to do it for him," said one of the firefighters, while sitting in a chair getting his hair cut off.

In addition to the solidarity shave, Hibbs' band of brothers at Fire Station 1 in Downtown San Diego have also taken food to his home and helped complete some of his chores around the house.

"He’s our brother. We wish him the best," said Bennet. "He’s our brother and we wish him the best. We understand the fight he's going through with his family. We care a great deal about him. That’s why we’re here."

Hibbs is a member of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Bomb Squad. He married his high school sweetheart and has two children.

 www.ncofcu.org

Monday, November 13, 2017

Some new competition "Apple Pay Cash"

Apple’s forthcoming Apple Pay Cash will likely become the next in a long line of P2P offerings that are forcing credit unions to think about the future of their noninterest income, industry experts say. 
Apple Pay Cash, which launched in public beta this week, allows users to send and receive money in Apple Messages. They can use money with Apple Pay Cash in stores, on the web or in apps. The feature also works with Siri, and a member can use cards already in their Apple wallets, according to the company. There is no fee to use Apple Pay Cash with a debit card, but there is a 3% fee to send money using a credit card. 
Apple isn’t the first company to launch a P2P product — but it is one of the biggest. And that can be an opportunity for credit unions, according to Mark Ranta, who is head of digital banking solutions at ACI Worldwide in Naples, Florida.
For one thing, Apple Pay Cash could actually push members to use their debit cards more often, he said.
“If you want to look at the positive, there has to be an interchange to get the money into the ecosystem,” Ranta explained. 
“Now, what [credit unions] will miss out on is the money moving back and forth…the money moving from one iMessage to another,” he added. “But they weren't playing in that space today, anyway. So from a credit union perspective, I actually think it's a good situation because you're actually trying to move more of the commerce to a digital arena.” 
P2P is often a substitute for handing over cash, Ranta added.
“The attack isn't necessarily on interchange here, because the real attack is on cash,” he said.
Filene Chief Knowledge Officer George Hofheimer told CU Times it’s too soon to talk about possible negative effects on the interchange. 
“Still, credit unions should monitor this important source of at-risk revenue closely. With the advent of new competition like Apple Pay Cash, Venmo, Zelle and Square Cash, the threat to the interchange business model certainly exists,” he added.
“The question is when or if the new competitors will operate outside the current payment rails and truly disrupt the credit union interchange model,” Hofheimer said. 
Monetizing P2P services has been a challenge throughout the financial services industry. P2P might not generate much revenue for transactions that move money from person to person, Ranta noted, but there may be an opportunity to capitalize on money movements between people and businesses. 
For now, the bigger opportunity may be in using the product to build brand equity for credit unions, he explained. Providing Apple Pay Cash and other popular money-movement tools helps credit unions shows they’re able to keep up with the pace of modern technology.
“Apple has a pretty big marketing engine, and just saying that you have the capability to work with Apple goes a long way,” Ranta said.
CUTimes

Friday, November 10, 2017

Honoring All Who Served


Today we honor those who have taken up the call to duty and served our nation. 

Frivolous ADA lawsuits considered abuse against America's small businesses.

Please note some of our credit unions serving firefighters and first responders have been served with these frivolous lawsuits.


WASHINGTON—The Senate Judiciary Committee took a deep dive into what some are calling lawsuit abuse against America's small businesses during a hearing this week – specifically mentioning frivolous lawsuits filed under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).
Ahead of the hearing, NAFCU informed the committee how these ADA lawsuits are impacting credit unions and asked that it further examine the issue. Numerous credit unions have been named as defendants in lawsuits that allege websites are out of compliance with ADA.
In his opening statement, committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) used an example of a "drive-by" ADA lawsuit as frivolous. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) also made a large example out of the frivolousness of highly technical ADA lawsuits during the hearing, NAFCU reported.
NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler, in a letter to the committee, asked that leaders of the committee take steps to curb the rise in frivolous lawsuits that are occurring under the ADA, specifically in regard to unclear website access requirements.
"A number of lawsuits and dozens of demand letters have been received by credit unions over the accessibility of their websites," Thaler wrote Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
Thaler explained that credit unions want to ensure their members can access the services they need, "however abusive frivolous lawsuits can have a chilling effect forcing an institution to cut services due to litigation risk."  
National Federation of Independent Business Senior Executive Counsel Elizabeth Milito, a witness in the hearing, testified that ADA lawsuits are one of the largest instances of frivolous lawsuits faced by small businesses. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP Partner John Beisner, who testified on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, said that ADA lawsuits are often about a quick payout and not even about actually correcting the violation.
“NAFCU has been incredibly active on ADA, urging members of Congress to take legislative action,” the association said. “A NAFCU-supported bill – the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (HR 620) – would set conditions for filing civil actions over the failure to remove an architectural barrier to an existing public place, among other things. The bill cleared the House Judiciary Committee in September. NAFCU is actively working to expand the bill's protections to also cover website lawsuits. The association also sent a letter to the committee last month urging members to support additional legislation to clarify website access requirements under the ADA in order to curb frivolous lawsuits.”
CUToday

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Credit union expert Tim Harrington will keynote the National Council of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. (NCOFCU) 2018 Annual Conference.



Tim Harrington will keynote the National Council of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. (NCOFCU) 2018 Annual Conference. He will also address Financial Literacy at the volunteer's session Thursday afternoon, which will help attendees build the skills and knowledge they need to strengthen their credit unions’ bottom lines. The conference will be held September 19-22, 2018 at the Seattle Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Seattle, WA.

“Tim Harrington is a dynamic speaker whose knowledge and expertise in this industry will help attendees lead their credit unions to new heights,” “With the continuing challenges facing credit unions, it is imperative that board and supervisory committee members have the specific competencies this conference offers so they can help ensure their institutions’ safe, sound operation and competitive standing in the consumer financial services market.”

Author, consultant and speaker Tim Harrington has worked with credit unions in 48 states, two territories, Canada and Mexico. His progressive ideas and broad knowledge of credit union issues have made Tim a valuable resource for credit unions nationwide. Tim has spoken to tens of thousands of credit union volunteers and staff and continues to inspire them to improve their credit unions.

Since 1996, Tim has been President of TEAM Resources, a firm providing consulting, strategic planning, and training to credit unions from coast-to-coast. TEAM Resources’ clients range from a few million in assets to the billions in assets.

Pay $50 now to SAVE $50 on the Early Bird registration
(offer expires 12/20/2017)


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

FIREFIGHTER OCCUPATIONAL CANCER FORUM ONLINE

For those of you strongly focused on the issues related to FIREFIGHTER OCCUPATIONAL CANCER, whether your active or retired, there is an important NO COST forum that you are invited to attend next week.

You can attend IN PERSON or watch it LIVE via FACEBOOK (so pretty much all of us should watch this important discussion) as shown below:

When: Wednesday, November 15, 1900, to 2100 hours.
Where: Columbus Fire Training Academy in the John Nance Auditorium, 3639 Parsons Ave., Columbus, Ohio
Admission is free and parking is available.

FOR THOSE ATTENDING ONLINE, GO TO THIS PAGE:
ON NOVEMBER 15 AT 1900 Hours Eastern

THE PANELISTS:
Columbus Firefighter Mark Rine, 36, is the father of five children and was diagnosed with terminal cancer about five years ago.
Nora Jaegly of Toledo lost her husband, firefighter Peter Jaegly, to occupational cancer in 2013. Peter was 49 and served as a Toledo firefighter for 20 years, two as battalion chief
.Missy Collier of Plain City watched her husband Jeff die of occupational cancer at 40. 
After his death, Missy spent years trying to get death benefits from Jeff’s pension fund and from the federal government so she could save the house their three boys grew up in.
Cal Holloway is a firefighter with the Dayton FD and has occupational cancer. Holloway has had several surgeries now to remove cancerous spots from his skin after he underwent a free skin cancer screening.
State Sen. Thomas Patton, a Republican from Strongsville Ohio, spearheaded the passing of Ohio's presumptive cancer law that took effect in April.
Chief Dave Bernzweig, a battalion chief with the Columbus Fire Division and director of health and safety for the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters, has spent years trying to get cancer prevention measures implemented into the fire service. Bernzweig is also a special committee member of the National Fire Protection Association, which helps set policy fire departments across the country follow.
...and many others as well.
MORE DETAILS HERE:
http://www.dispatch.com/news/20171101/unmasked--join-us-for-community-forum

Friday, November 3, 2017

President Trump Nominated Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell

WASHINGTON–President Trump nominated Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to become the new Fed Chairman. If approved, Powell will replace current chair Janet Yellen, who was nominated in 2013 and has been the only woman to lead the Fed. Yellen’s term expires in February.
A Fed governor since 2012 and former Treasury official under the George H.W. Bush administration, Powell was among five candidates considered for the job, along with former Fed governor Kevin Warsh, Stanford University economist John Taylor, the president's top economic adviser, Gary Cohn and Yellen. 
The position of Fed chair requires Senate confirmation, and with Republicans currently holding the majority the GOP  would be able to confirm Powell without any Democratic support, if necessary. Powell, 64, has largely been an ally to Yellen on monetary policy. He has also called for the easing of some of the regulations on banks put in place after the 2008 financial crisis. Powell is not an economist, and instead is a lawyer and former partner at private-equity firm, Carlyle Group. In remarks offered in June, Powell said, "The economy is as close to our assigned goals as it has been for many years. Risks to the forecast now seem more balanced than they have been for a some time."
The position of Fed chair requires Senate confirmation, and with Republicans currently holding the majority the GOP  would be able to confirm Powell without any Democratic support, if necessary. Powell, 64, has largely been an ally to Yellen on monetary policy. He has also called for the easing of some of the regulations on banks put in place after the 2008 financial crisis. Powell is not an economist, and instead is a lawyer and former partner at private-equity firm, Carlyle Group. In remarks offered in June, Powell said, "The economy is as close to our assigned goals as it has been for many years. Risks to the forecast now seem more balanced than they have been for a some time." A Fed governor since 2012 and former Treasury official under the George H.W. Bush administration, Powell was among five candidates considered for the job, along with former Fed governor Kevin Warsh, Stanford University economist John Taylor, the president's top economic adviser, Gary Cohn and Yellen. 
The decision by Trump to nominate Powell marks the first time in four decades that a new president hasn't asked the current Fed chair to stay on for a second term.
In a statement released by the Fed, Powell said, "Thank you, Mr. President, for the faith you have shown in me through this nomination. I am both honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve our great country. If I am confirmed by the Senate, I will do everything within my power to achieve the goals assigned to the Federal Reserve by the Congress: stable prices and maximum employment."
NAFCU congratulated Powell on his nomination.
"We appreciate his readiness to hear credit unions’ concerns affecting their members and communities," said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. "We look forward to working with him as we continue our work with the Federal Reserve in seeking to ensure a positive regulatory environment in which credit unions can thrive."
CUToday

Credit Union Tax Status Remains Unchanged for Now

WASHINGTON — The credit union tax exemption appears to have escaped unscathed as Republicans in Congress have released details of a massive rewrite of the U.S. tax code they hope to pass.
"As of now, the credit union tax status remains unchanged in this bill and the bill looks good from a credit union perspective, but this is an ongoing process and change can happen anytime. CUNA will be thoroughly reviewing the bill and remains engaged with both chambers of Congress as this process continues, ensuring policymakers are fully aware of the credit union difference in the financial services marketplace and in the lives of our 110 million members," said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle, who formerly served as chair of the House Budget Committee and director of the Office of Management and Budget under the Bush Administration. “We thank the House for taking this first step in needed tax reform, and like those who are pushing toward reform, CUNA, leagues and credit unions are committed to building and supporting a strong middle class in this country."
NAFCU, too, said it will be working closely with Congress as the bill advances."As of now, the credit union tax status remains unchanged in this bill and the bill looks good from a credit union perspective, but this is an ongoing process and change can happen anytime. CUNA will be thoroughly reviewing the bill and remains engaged with both chambers of Congress as this process continues, ensuring policymakers are fully aware of the credit union difference in the financial services marketplace and in the lives of our 110 million members," said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle, who formerly served as chair of the House Budget Committee and director of the Office of Management and Budget under the Bush Administration. “We thank the House for taking this first step in needed tax reform, and like those who are pushing toward reform, CUNA, leagues and credit unions are committed to building and supporting a strong middle class in this country."
"NAFCU thanks House Republican leaders for continuing to recognize the economic value the credit union tax exemption provides to the U.S. economy and American consumers," said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. "We’re staying in close contact with lawmakers in both the House and Senate – especially those on the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee – to ensure the preservation of credit unions' tax exemption and to look out for credit union interests as this process continues to unfold." 

Changes to Individual Tax Rates 
The plan that may eventually go to the president for his signature will likely undergo a number of changes as it now works its way through Congress and the heavy lobbying begins. But for now, the tax reform plan includes: 
The plan establishes three tax brackets, 12%, 25% and 35%, plus a top-teir rate of 39.6% for the highest incomes. The income levels for those brackets have not yet been disclosed, however.
Changes Affecting the Middle Class
The House proposal would nearly double the standard deduction for middle-class families, expanding it to $24,000 for married couples, from $12,700, and setting it at $12,000 for individuals, from $6,530 today. The plan also calls for increasing the child tax credit to $1,600 from $1,000, plus a $300 credit for each parent and non-child dependent.
No Changes to 401(k) Retirement Plans
After initial reports that the House plan would eliminate tax breaks on 401(k)s, the plan now calls for no changes for both traditional retirement accounts and Roth accounts.
Changes to Mortgage Interest Deduction
Under the proposed plan, existing homeowners can keep the deduction, but future purchases will be capped at $500,000.
Elimination of the Medical Expense Deduction
In the talking points released by the Republicans, the plan calls for eliminating the medical expense deduction, which the Republican backers said will be made up for by an overall reduction in tax rates. Those with high medical expenses, however, could be hit hard.
No Repeal of the Estate Tax–For Now
The proposal will double the estate tax exemption to roughly $11 million, from $5.49 million, but it also calls for the repeal of the estate tax altogether over a six-year phase-in.
Limits to State and Local Tax Deductions
Expected to be a hot issue, the proposed bill calls for limiting the deduction for state and local taxes to property taxes, and then capping that at $10,000.
CUToday

Thursday, November 2, 2017

NAFCU's CEO Dan Berger & Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler named as top Lobbyist

ARLINGTON, Va.–NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger and Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler have been named top association lobbyists for 2017 by The Hill.
This is the 15th consecutive year that Berger was named to the list and the 10th year for Thaler.
Berger said the accomplishment wouldn't be possible without the support of NAFCU's member credit unions and dedicated staff.
“In our 50th year as an association, I'm proud that NAFCU is staying true to its original mission of being the top federal advocacy organization for credit unions," Berger said in a statement. "Our government affairs team does a fantastic job of maintaining relationships with decision makers in D.C., and our members' grassroots efforts ensure lawmakers and regulators are aware of how a new rule or law will impact credit unions' operations."
The Hill recognized Berger and Thaler for “manning NAFCU’s lobbying operation during a critical time, leading a successful effort to keep the industry’s federal regulator away from tighter congressional control."

President Trump signed a joint resolution that nullifies the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) arbitration rule

President Trump signed a  joint resolution that nullifies the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) arbitration rule. Both credit union trade groups supported the repeal. NAFCU was on hand at the White House for the signing.
Released in final form in July, the CFPB's arbitration rule would have prohibited the use of arbitration agreements for the purpose of limiting access to class action litigation.
“The repeal of the CFPB’s arbitration rule is a win for credit unions, as well as a positive sign that Congress is willing to intervene when it comes to ill-tailored rules not narrowly focused on abusers of consumers,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle in a statement. “CUNA, leagues and credit unions will build on this momentum that one-size-fits-all rulemaking from the CFPB does not make sense for smaller financial institutions like credit unions moving forward as we work to achieve additional regulatory relief objectives.” 
NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger and EVP Carrie Hunt were at the White House for the signing.
"NAFCU strongly supports consumer protections, but credit unions were not the bad actors this rule was meant to target," Berger said. "We appreciate President Trump and Congress for their leadership and listening to our concerns and working to ensure consumers and institutions have access to various forms of dispute resolution. NAFCU is honored to have been invited to the White House to watch the undoing of a rule that likely would have had negative effects on the credit union industry."

The Federal Reserve left rates unchanged

WASHINGTON–As expected, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee left rates unchanged when it met yesterday, but analysts continue to anticipate it will make a move when it meets in December.
The Fed left its benchmark interest rate target between 1% and 1.25%.
The FOMC continues to have a rosy interpretation of the direction of the economy. Gross domestic product grew 3% in the third quarter, faster than many had anticipated.
“The labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a solid rate despite hurricane-related disruptions,” the FOMC said in a statement. “Although the hurricanes caused a drop in payroll employment in September, the unemployment rate declined further."
The Fed conceded that inflation is still "running below 2%," which is the Fed’s target rate.
The Fed already has raised rates twice this year. As CUToday.info reported here, economists in the credit union community are also anticipating a year-end rate increase.
When the Fed meets in December it will likely do so with a new chairman. President Trump is not expected to reappoint current Chair Janet Yellen. Analysts are predicting that Fed Governor Jerome "Jay" Powell will instead get the nod.