ALEXANDRIA, Va. (5/27/11)--While the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has said that the maximum corporate stabilization assessment prepayment a credit union may make would be 36 basis points (bp), the agency on Thursday said that it would consider lifting that cap if enough credit unions request that it be raised. The NCUA covered its voluntary prepayment plan, which was proposed at last week’s May board meeting and is designed to help smooth out future corporate credit union stabilization assessment rates, during a Thursday webinar. NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz reiterated that the prepayment plan was in response to several requests by credit unions. Credit unions would need to advance the minimum amount of $10,000 to participate in the plan, and the NCUA said it would not move forward with the plan if credit unions do not commit a combined $300 million in funds to the proposal. The prepayment plan would generate $2.8 billion in funds if all eligible credit unions contributed the maximum amount. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has estimated that voluntary payments by all eligible credit unions at the maximum payment amount could reduce the amount of corporate stabilization-related assessments charged in 2011 from 25 bp to 11 bp. Corporate assessments charged in 2012 could fall to 10 bp from the currently planned 13 bp if maximum advance payments are made. The plan would affect the amount of each year's assessment through time, but not the total amount of assessments. CUNA estimates that the NCUA will need to collect a minimum of $1 billion in funds for credit unions to recognize any benefits. Credit unions that wish to take part in the prepayment program can pledge their desired amount to the NCUA, and the agency would then process a direct debit from those credit union accounts. The agency is accepting credit union comments on the potential effectiveness of its plan, the level of interest in the plan, and any account treatment considerations until June 20. The NCUA said it could implement the plan by mid-August. CUNA is urging all eligible credit unions to consider the benefits of the prepayment program and to suggest revisions as appropriate. CUNA has also compiled its own FAQ on the proposal, and has issued a corresponding comment call. Comments are due to CUNA by June 10. The National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) was also addressed during the webinar, with NCUA Director of Examination and Insurance Melinda Love reiterating that an NCUSIF premium for 2011 is not likely. However, such a premium might be necessary in 2012, she indicated. CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney in last week's NCUA board meeting summary noted that a premium for this year is unlikely. For more on the prepayment plan, and to access CUNA’s FAQ, use the resource links.