Christian Credit Union
Personal BankingBusiness BankingFinancial PlanningInsurance PlanningNext Steps for Young AdultsYouth Banking Program

Winter 2014

$322,796.88 Shared With
our Members

Christian Credit Union has been blessed richly by the Lord and has experienced increased profits this year. We would like to pass on these blessings to our members and thank you for continuing to support our organization. We pray that 2014 may be another year filled with opportunity to serve our Reformed Christian community.

 

The Board of Directors has approved Profit Sharing and dividends as follows:

  • 3.00% Dividend on Common Shares
  • 4.00% Rebate on interest paid by members
  • 4.00% Bonus on interest paid to members

In December, one half of the Profit Sharing was deposited to your account. The other half was deposited to your common share account. Since 1990, Christian Credit Union has shared over $7.7 million with the members and organizations it serves.

 

Annual Meetings

Spend an evening out with friends and fellow members as we celebrate the Lord’s blessings. The food is always excellent and it’s great to hear performances by members of our Reformed Christian community. Tickets will be available at your branch beginning on Monday, January 13, 2014.

Lethbridge

Thursday, March 6
Coaldale Christian School
2008-8 Street
Coaldale, Alberta
6:30pm Banquet
8:00pm Business Meeting

Edmonton

Thursday, March 13
The King’s
  University College
9125-50 Street
Edmonton, AB
6:30pm Banquet
8:00pm Business Meeting

 

Don’t have money to contribute to an RRSP?  We have the solution…you are automatically pre-approved for a $5,000 RRSP CreditLine to purchase an RRSP.  Some terms and conditions apply.  Larger RRSP CreditLines are available subject to approval.
•  Staff Profile: Janeanne Aikema
•  Hawaiian BBQ and Shred Event
•  Travel Notification
•  CALM Presentations
•  Board of Director Nominations 
•  Lethbridge Advisory Committee 
•  Get to Know the Board
•  Planner’s Corner: Answers to Common Questions
Serving members of our Reformed Christian community since 1952
John Veldkamp, CEO

Message from the CEO

By the time you read this, the busyness of the Christmas season will be past. I hope that each of you has been able to take the time to reflect on what an amazing gift we have received from our heavenly Father.  God gave up his only Son to die for our sins and then raised Jesus from the dead to heaven where that same Jesus is preparing a place for us. “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.”  1 Cor. 4:15

 

We have many reasons to give thanks again this year. We are thankful for the participation of our members in our online member survey this past summer. 98% of the respondents rate their overall satisfaction with our Credit Union as excellent.  The other responses showed that members are generally satisfied with our products and services but there is still room for us to improve, especially in the area of ensuring member awareness of what the Credit Union has to offer. The written responses included comments about extended banking hours as well as requests for more locations in either Calgary, Barrhead/Neerlandia, Central Alberta, B.C. or Ontario. We are working with all of the feedback and considering how best to use our resources in a stewardly manner.

 

We are always very thankful for our talented and dedicated staff.  On December 2, 2013, we celebrated with Jackie Rudyk on the completion of 25 years at our Credit Union! Jackie started as a teller and gradually took on more responsibilities to the point where she now provides leadership to the Edmonton branch and is a member of our management team. Congratulations!  We also welcome Stacey Bell to add some much needed depth to our Support Services Team. Stacey will be working in the loan support, risk management and regulatory compliance areas.  Finally we say farewell to Teri Skepple and welcome to Stephen Slomp as a new Financial Advisor. We are truly blessed with a fantastic group of people dedicated to serving our members.
 

You can read elsewhere in this newsletter about three new Directors-elect and the reappointment of two Lethbridge Advisory Committee members. One key factor in the strength of our Credit Union is the willingness of gifted members to serve in volunteer positions of leadership.

 

Last but certainly not least we are thankful for another year of successful financial results. As you may recall, last year we had a spike in deposits and significant excess liquidity resulting in assets at an all-time high of $217 million. During the past year we worked hard to manage this situation and we were able to reduce our liquidity, improve our capital ratio and improve our profitability all while maintaining our average assets at the same level as last year. Our profit before profit sharing and taxes was just under $1.5 million, a significant increase over last year but this was partly because of unexpected one-time patronage payments from Credit Union Central of Alberta totaling $350,000. Even without these payments we finished our year well ahead of budget and for that all thanks belong to God. Due to these excellent results the Board has decided to increase our Common Share dividends from 2.5% to 3% and our Profit Sharing from 3.75% to 4%.

 

With persistently low interest rates and no prospect for an increase possibly until 2015 it will continue to be challenging to maintain our profitability but with the blessing of God, the support of new and existing members and the dedication of our staff, we are confident that we will continue to successfully promote biblical stewardship in our Reformed Christian community. To hear more about our results and future plans, come join us for an enjoyable time at our AGM in Edmonton or our Lethbridge Annual Meeting, both happening in March.

 

God’s Blessings in 2014!
 

From BC to Newfoundland, Credit Union members have access to over 1,800 surcharge-free ATMs. Added up, that’s a bigger ATM network than most banks. And it’s all ding free®.

 

Put an end to ATM surcharges. Get the ding free locator app.
ding-free.ca

 

Staff Notables

Congratulations to Susanna Kleefman who celebrated 15 years of service in November. Susanna is an Administration Assistant and a member of the Support
Services Team.

 

Jackie Rudyk, Edmonton Branch Manager, celebrated 25 years of service in December. Jackie has performed many roles over the course of her career and is a valuable member of our team.

 

Welcome to Stacey Bell, Credit Support Manager. Stacey has 23 years of experience in the legal industry. She also worked with Children’s Services and performed missionary work in the Dominican Republic.

 

Welcome to Stephen Slomp, Financial Advisor. Stephen recently earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in Accounting and Finance. He also has previous experience in the customer service industry.

We say farewell to Teri Skepple who has moved on to other opportunities. May God bless you in your future endeavours.

 

Staff Profile

Janeanne Aikema

Janeanne Aikema is a Member Service Representative at our Edmonton branch. She began working in April 2013 and has previous experience in the customer service industry. She attends Immanuel Canadian Reformed church.

 

Janeanne enjoys playing indoor soccer with her church team, shopping and hanging out with her friends. She is especially fond of animals and recently started volunteering at Edmonton Humane Society.

 

Janeanne loves helping members and ensuring that they are happy. She also enjoys having the opportunity to meet new people. I’m sure the members are happy to meet you too Janeanne!

Community Donations

November 1, 2012 - October 31, 2013

We were pleased to provide cash donations or promotional items for the following organizations and groups:

Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA)
A-T Children’s Project Canada
BFM Foundation (Canada) Ltd.
Bethel Community Church Young Life
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Calgary Christian School
Calvin Christian School
Canadian Foodgrains Bank
Cardus
Coaldale Christian School
CLAC Annual Golf Classic
Community Safety Net
Conservatory of Music University of Lethbridge
Cornerstone Counselling Centre
Covenant Canadian Reformed School
Christian Legal Fellowship
Crossroads Counselling Centre
Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church
Edmonton Society for Christian Education
Embrace Charity
Emmanuel Home
Family Men
Foothills SNAPS
Gospel for Asia
Immanuel Christian School
Iron Springs CRC Young Peoples
Mosaic House
Manna Mufu Home
NADC - Day of Encouragement
Parkland Immanuel Christian School
Promise Keepers Canada
Providence Christian School Society
Teen Challenge
The King’s University College
The King’s University College Foundation
The Salvation Army
Trinity Christian School
Reformed Women’s Retreat
Rehoboth Christian Ministries
Ruth Mission Guild
Witness Praise Group
Women of Hope
Word & Deed Ministries
World Renew CRWRC
Young Life Edmonton
 
 

Christian Credit Union is launching a new service that provides added protection on your CHIP-enabled debit card. Travel Notification works by placing transaction blocks on foreign countries where debit card fraud is occurring.

 

Simply inform Christian Credit Union 5 business days in advance when and where you will be traveling.  That way we can ensure that Travel Notification service is in place when you travel.

 

We strongly encourage you to take advantage of this new, free service, and help put a stop to debit card fraud. For more information, please contact a branch.

 

Hockey and Saving Challenge

Make it your goal to save money and enter the Christian Credit Union Hockey and Saving Challenge! Visit a Youth Banking Display at your school and enter to WIN 2 tickets to a hockey game or a gift certificate! Members can also enter online at www.christiancu.ca. If you open a new account, Christian Credit Union will pass on $5 to your school.

 

Contest runs from Dec. 1/2013 to Jan. 17/2014.  Limit of one entry per member.
 

Youth Banking CALM Presentations

After recognizing a growing need, we created a presentation to help improve students’ financial literacy. During the past year we presented it to CALM classes at a number of high schools and at The King’s University College. The presentation uses Biblical Stewardship to talk about tithing, cost of education, moving out, credit card debt and more. Students are encouraged to save money for the future and are taught about RESP’s, RRSP’s, and The Homebuyer’s Plan. The presentations have been very well received by students, teachers and parents.
 

 

Board of Director Nominees

As communicated on our website and in your October statement, the Board nominated three individuals to fill three upcoming vacancies on the Board. Since the membership did not submit any additional nominations, there will be no need for an election and the Board nominees will be declared elected by acclamation at our Annual General Meeting on March 13, 2014.

Ed Spronk

Edward Spronk is a General Contractor and part owner of Spronk & Sons Construction Ltd. He is a NAIT graduate and has been a Journeyman Carpenter since 1980. Ed and his wife Johanna have five adult children and attend Orthodox Reformed Church of Edmonton (URCNA). He has served as an elder, deacon and other various roles at his church.

 

Ed has been a Christian Credit Union member since 1966 and previously served on the board from 1998 to 2004. He also served on the Emmanuel Home Board for 6 years. Ed would be committed to faithfully perform his duties on the board. In his words, “it is always a pleasure to serve in God’s great kingdom wherever one might be called and experience His faithfulness displayed for our benefit and His glory.”

 

Mike Vos

Prior to retiring in 2008, Mike had a diversified 40 year career as a banker – a Branch Manager, Commercial Loan Manager, Auditor, Loan Adjudicator, and lastly as Chief Technology Officer (Vice-President) with Canadian Western Bank.  He was a founding board member of the Exchange® ABM network, and was the bank’s Interac® representative. He also worked extensively with Credit Unions and Credit Union Centrals in joint banking system development, internet banking, ABM networking and cheque imaging.

 

Mike and his wife Pat are members of Covenant Christian Reformed Church in Edmonton. Mike currently serves as Church Treasurer, on the Board of Edmonton Bibles for Missions Thrift Store, and on the Board of the Rehoboth Christian Ministries Foundation. He also participates in the Friendship program. In the past he has served as Church Elder and Clerk, on the Finance Committee and Board of Emmanuel Home. He also served on the Board and Executive of Rehoboth Christian Ministries and as a volunteer at Camp Rehoboth.

 

Bruce Adema

Bruce is a retired Chartered Accountant who spent 35 years in public practice, most recently as a Partner with BDO Canada LLP. He graduated with a Bachelor of Education in 1970 and became a Chartered Accountant in 1982. Bruce and his wife Elsie have 3 adult children and attend Bethel Community Church. He currently serves as the community representative on the Finance Committee of The King’s University College. 

 

Bruce has been a member of Christian Credit Union since 1971. He appreciates the significant role that the Christian Credit Union plays in providing financial services to our Reformed Christian community. Bruce’s career focused on providing accounting, taxation and financial services to small and medium-sized business. He would like to use his skills and experience to serve our Credit Union and
its members.

 

Lethbridge Advisory Committee

The purpose of the Lethbridge Advisory Committee is to act as an advisory body to the Chief Executive Officer and to the Board and as a liaison with the members of the Credit Union in the Lethbridge area.

 

Their duties are:

  • To liaise with Credit Union members in the Lethbridge area and bring any concerns, complaints or suggestions to the Management and/or Board for resolution or action.
  • To promote the Credit Union to members and prospective members and to refer them to the staff for assistance regarding their specific needs.
  • To bring to the attention of the Lethbridge Branch Manager those individuals, businesses, organizations and churches who could benefit from switching their banking to the Credit Union.
  • To carry out responsibilities delegated by the Board in policies or at meetings of the Board
 

 The following two individuals have served one term on the Lethbridge Advisory Committee and have agreed to serve another 3 year term.

Theo Van Ee

Theo Van Ee is the Sales Manager and owner of Westco group where he has been employed since 1989. He and his wife Alie have 14 children and attend the Bethel Reformed Church in Monarch, AB. He is a member of the building committee at his church and volunteers for the
Cancer Society.

 

Theo is a Journeyman Ironworker and metal building systems erector. He is also trained in structural Engineering. Theo offers years of business experience as an asset to the committee. He has enjoyed his time on the committee and looks forward to serving for another term. He hopes that Christian Credit Union will continue to grow and help more Christian people with their
financing needs.

Casey Slingerland

Casey Slingerland is a Shipper/Receiver and works in customer service at Lethbridge Dairy Mart where he has been employed since 1995. Casey and his wife Rose have 5 married children and 22 grandchildren. They attend the Netherlands Reformed Church of Lethbridge.

 

Casey and Rose spent one month in Malawai in 2010 where they delivered Bibles to a local school. They are leaders of the Wild and Wooly 4-H club and Rose volunteers for the Christian Credit Union Youth Banking Program at Calvin Christian School.

 

Casey has been a member of Christian Credit Union since it opened in Lethbridge and was previously a member of the Dutch Canadian Credit Union. He brings his experience of being a local farmer to the committee and understands the financial needs of that sector. He is happy to promote Christian Credit Union as a win-win situation for all involved.

Get to Know the Board

Recently, via a special Newsletter as well as postings on the website, the Board through its Election Committee sent out a call for Nominations. The Election Committee had already done a considerable amount of work and selected Bruce Adema, Ed Spronk and Mike Vos as the board slate to fill the vacancies left by the retiring board members, John Oort, Norman Spronk and Hans Van Ginhoven.

 

Policy 2102 outlines the Qualifications of Directors. Besides
the basic requirement that the nominees are in agreement with the Basis and Purpose of the Credit Union, are in agreement with the Statement of Faith, are members of the Credit Union etc, there is also a requirement that the nominee “Must have
the skills necessary to complement the Board’s
current requirements”.

 

A Board Candidate Information Kit was developed about two years ago. The kit starts with the role of the Election Committee, namely:

  • To consider the desired skills and capabilities of candidates and of the board as a whole
  • To recruit qualified candidates.

The kit then goes on to state what the required skills and capabilities are for the board as a whole. These are:

  • Financial literacy
  • Experience serving on boards or committees or councils that make complex decisions

Demonstrated competence in one or more of the following:

  • Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Strategic planning and direction setting
  • Governance
  • Quality, risk management performance measurement
  • Community leadership
  • Regulatory environment

The kit goes on to inform the candidate of the time commitment required to carry out the functions of a Board member and emphasizes a commitment to continued training and development and finally mentions some obvious requirements such as not being in Conflict of Interest and being able to maintain confidentiality.
The Board is confident that the three men on the Board slate are very capable and will complement the current board’s skill set.

 

Peter Van Bostelen 

 
Jim Hummel, CFP®

Planner’s Corner

Answers to Common Questions

 

As we turn the calendar into 2014, I thought it would be a good idea to answer some of the most common questions I have received over the past year. Also included are some rules of thumbs and musings.

 

On saving and investing...
Is there an easy way to increase wealth? Yes and no. Most wealth is built over the long-term such as paying down debt and contributing to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) on a regular basis. Setting up a monthly contribution is easy but being patient and sticking with it over a long period of time is difficult.

 

I want to earn 5% guaranteed? You can’t. With today’s low interest rates, any investment which pays more than 3% has some degree of risk. Rule of thumb: the higher the return/potential return, the higher the risk.

 

“If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” If you cannot understand the investment you are buying you should not invest in it. A test is that if you cannot at least in general terms, explain what you are investing in, you should not invest in it.

 

“Don’t place all your eggs in one basket.” Agreed. For investors who want a higher rate of return than a term deposit or GIC, it’s important to diversify among asset classes. However it does not mean that you need to deal with more than one Financial Institution/Advisor. You may end up with the same investments with both Financial Institutions or be too aggressive with one and not aggressive with another. It’s also a lot easier from a planning perspective to have your investments with one Financial Institution. So pick a Financial Institution/Advisor you trust and stick with him/her.

 

How much should I save for retirement? A good rule of thumb is 10% of gross income during your working years. If you do this, you should have no problem funding retirement.

 

Registered Retirement Savings Plans or Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA)?  In an ideal world, both.  RRSP, primarily used to replace income in retirement, provide you with the benefit of an immediate tax deduction with tax to be paid upon withdrawal on both the contribution and growth at possibly a lower tax rate than today. TFSA, which can be used for any savings goal, provide you with no immediate tax deduction however income is not taxable. 

If I have to make a choice between RRSP or TFSA to fund retirement, which should I choose? If gross income is greater than $44,000, you should contribute to an RRSP first. If income is below $44,000, you should contribute to a
TFSA first.

 

Can I just hold a savings account in a Tax Free Savings Account? No, similar to RRSP, you can hold investments ranging from savings accounts to stocks.

 

On retirement...
Will retirement be a 365 day weekend? Successful retirees use paid and unpaid work/volunteer as a break from leisure.  Without structure, retirees can lack a sense of satisfaction. 

 

If you didn’t travel, read books, etc. prior to retirement you likely will not do so in retirement. Your life does not change the moment you stop working.

 

Will government benefits such as Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security be there when I retire? Yes. A recent actuarial study indicates that CPP is fully funded for 75 years. Changes that are being implemented and will likely continue to be contemplated are an increase in the age to receive these benefits and a reduction and/or elimination of benefits if your income is considered high in retirement.

 

On leveraging...
Should I take out a loan/line of credit to buy a financial investment? No, unless the investment can be paid off within 1 year such as an RRSP loan. Leverage has the potential to increase the gain and on the flip side, amplify the loss.  Generally, there are no short cuts to building wealth.

 

On housing...
When should I buy a house? When you are ready.  Factors include stability, down payment and family situation.

 

How big a mortgage should I have? Maximum should be 3– 3.5 x your gross annual income.

 

On Estate Planning...
Why should I pay $500 - $1,000 to get documents completed by a lawyer when I can buy a Will Kit for under a $100 and do it myself? In life, generally you get what you pay for. Consider the effects of ill-prepared documents on your family such as the stress, time and cost to fix vs. getting it done right.

May you have a blessed 2014!


Financial Planning

Six Transcendent Principles
Fall is always a special time in the year; it is a time when everything seems to be new again. The kids go back to...

Read More ›

In the Community

Immanuel Christian High School Trades Building
Immanuel Christian High School has been improving its vocational training program over the years. They have been renting an off-site facility to teach wood working...

Read More ›

Fraud Prevention

Be Fraud Smart
Identity theft and financial scams are among the fastest growing crimes in North America. It can happen to anyone. Criminals are becoming more sophisticated, using...

Read More ›