MADISON, Wis. (8/9/11)--While credit unions assess the impact of this week's unprecedented downgrades in the U.S. government credit and market volatility on their net worth, they also can expect questions from members who will need their credit union even more--and from their staff concerned about their pension plans. Credit unions will need to reassure members and staff that the market volatility is a bump in the recovery, and help educate members so they have the information tools to weather the current environment and make solid money decisions. Expect members to broach several areas of concern with questions about:
* Whether their deposits continue to be safe and sound under the full protection of the U.S. government; * Whether they should stay with their current investments and ride it out for the long term, or make adjustments to "safer" investment vehicles; * Whether the current environment has a significant impact on how much they can borrow or on the cost of borrowing; * Whether they will still be able to buy a home or afford that college tuition; and * Whether they will continue to get good rates on their deposits.
Also, credit unions can expect staff--especially if they're near-retirement baby boomers--to have questions about their pension plans. Expect to provide more education for staffers in the current environment. Education will be a key advantage credit union members will have over bank customer s. Many credit unions offer home buying and refinance seminars as well as seminars on credit and money management topics--often free. This might be a good time to tailor some seminars to the specific questions members are asking.