News, events, and useful financial information from APCO Employees Credit Union.

Archive for category: Blog

apco-news-in-brief

  • Mark your calendar now for Thursday, April 7, 2016. That is the date of your Credit Union’s 62nd Annual Membership Meeting. The meeting will be held at the Corporate Headquarters Building of the Alabama Power Company in Birmingham. See you there.
  • Expecting a tax refund? Get it fast by clicking here and filing your return online with Turbo Tax.
  • APCO Checking – It all adds up! Free checking + Free debit card + Free online access. Plus, you get great rewards. Earn rewards points any time you use your APCO debit card. SWIPE. EARN. REDEEM.
  • Please keep in mind that if you mail in a deposit with a self-addressed envelope for a receipt, it should have a stamp instead of being metered.
  • Follow APCO on Facebook! You can receive Credit Union news, rates, updates, and events. “Liking” us on Facebook will also make you eligible to enter contests to win gift cards.
  • Give our online bill payer service a try. It’s easy, it’s accurate, and it’s free.
  • We’d like to help put you afloat. With our low rates on boat loans, now’s the time to finance your choice for fun in the sun.

ENDING MARCH 31 – ACT NOW!

APCO Web Banner (Visa CC Jan 16) V2

Are you overwhelmed with credit card bills? Let your Credit Union help with a low interest rate APCO Platinum VISA Credit Card.

For a limited time, your Credit Union is giving you the opportunity to transfer your credit card balance to your APCO Platinum VISA Credit Card for a special, low 2.99% APR. The rate is good for six months, giving you the opportunity to pay off debt at a MUCH lower interest rate than your current credit card offers.

Paying off debt at 2.99% APR versus your current interest rate could save you hundreds of dollars in interest.

 

Did You Know?

We know other financial institutions offer balance transfer promotions, but ours is better. Here’s why:

  • No balance transfer fee.
  • Your monthly payment the next six months will be applied to the balance transfer first.
  • Everyone gets the same balance transfer rate option.

At the end of the six months, our low 10.9% APR will be applied to any remaining balance.

Can your current credit card company do that? We don’t think so.

 

New and Existing Accounts

The balance transfer option is available to all qualified APCO Employees Credit Union members. If you already have an APCO Platinum VISA account, simply contact us to setup the balance transfer from a non-APCO Credit Union card.

If you do not have an APCO Platinum VISA Credit Card, visit apcocu.org/visa to begin the application process. Once your account is approved, we will help you setup your balance transfer.

*APR-Annual Percentage Rate. Must meet membership and credit requirements. The promotional rate will convert to the standard rate of 10.90% at the end of the six (6) month promotional period. Offer good on balance transfers only. Offer applies to non-APCO CU card balance transfers only. Offer valid 1/4/16 thru 3/31/16. For terms and conditions, see an APCO CU loan officer.

(l-r) V. Merrill Mann, Danna Horne, Cayleigh Cummings, and Derrick Ragland (photo source APCO Employees CU)

(l-r) V. Merrill Mann, Danna Horne, Cayleigh Cummings, and Derrick Ragland (photo source APCO Employees CU)

Your Credit Union recently presented a check for $26,000 to Children’s of Alabama. The funds were raised at our eleventh annual APCO Credit Union for Kids Charity Golf Tournament held at Grayson Valley Country Club in Birmingham.

We would like to thank the golfers that played, those who contributed, and over 30 of our wonderful sponsors that were involved in making the tournament a success. We are already making plans for the twelfth annual charity tournament later this year. We hope you will join us in helping this worthy cause.

apco-news-in-brief

  • Important — Your December 31, 2015 statement contains all the information necessary for you or your tax preparer to file your 2015 income tax return. Please save this important end of year statement for your records.
  • All Credit Union offices will be closed January 18, 2016 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
  • In an effort to better protect you, your Credit Union has added new security features to its online banking. You can now set up email alerts to notify you of account transactions. To learn more click here.
  • Expecting a tax refund? Get it fast by clicking here and file your return online.
  • Be ready for next year’s holiday shopping by opening a 2016 APCO Christmas Club account today.
  • Credit Union membership is the gift that keeps on giving. Let your family in on a good thing. Have your relatives stop by or call and join today. We’ll treat them like family.

apco-retirement-plan

You already know there are many retirement options available and risk associated with each. Because you’re a member of APCO, you have an additional opportunity, an APCO Lifetime IRA. An APCO IRA does not expose your principal to losses, is fully insured to $250,000 and earns rates in excess of other safe investment options.

People invest in IRAs for the purpose of lowering their current taxable income. As an example, if your income is $50,000 annually, you’re not covered by a retirement plan at work and you invest the full $5,500 allowed in an IRA, your taxable income is reduced by the amount of your contribution, $5,500. If you are covered by a retirement plan at work, and depending on your income level, partial deductions of your contribution may be allowed. Whatever your situation, some portion of your retirement savings belongs in an APCO IRA.

Only 10% of today’s private sector workers can count on retiring with defined benefit plans. These employer funded plans are all but non-existent today. There is also uncertainty about how much “benefit” Social Security will provide. That means you have to take charge of your own money if you want to retire well.

Take Control

APCO’s IRA can only improve your retirement outlook. Almost anyone can contribute to a traditional IRA, provided you (or your spouse) receives earned income and you are under the age of 70 1⁄2. It’s generally a good idea to put as much in an IRA as the government allows you to. That’s because the more you save in a tax-deferred account, the more tax-deferred gains you can rack up.

APCO Offers You A Choice

You have until April 15 to make contributions for the tax year 2015. The annual contribution limit for someone age 50 or older is $6,500. This is the IRS’s way of encouraging you to save more in the final years before retirement.

The contributions are fully deductible for singles earning less than $60,000 per year, and married couples filing jointly earning less than $96,000. Those earning more can still make contributions, but the allowed deductible amount is gradually reduced. Withdrawals from traditional IRAs are taxed as regular income, based on your tax bracket for the year in which you make the withdrawal.

The IRS also charges a 10% penalty on withdrawals for those under age 59 1⁄2. That’s because the government wants to discourage you from raiding your IRA until you’re retired. Roth IRAs are another option. However, you cannot exceed certain income limitations in order to make contributions. Contribution limits also apply to Roth IRAs. Roth IRAs are available to singles making less than $114,000 or married couples filing jointly making less than $181,000. Those earning more may make reduced contributions, however, when income exceeds $129,000 for single filers or $191,000 for joint filers, a regular Roth IRA contribution cannot be made for that year.

Roth IRA contributions are not tax deductible. Generally, you may withdraw your contributions from a Roth, penalty and tax free, at any time for any reason. However, you can only withdraw earnings from a Roth IRA, penalty and tax free, after 5 years and age 59 1⁄2. Money converted from a traditional IRA must remain in the Roth for 5 years or you’ll incur a 10% penalty.

Start Building Your IRA Today

Don’t put off planning for retirement. We have the answers to your questions. If you want to build something that lasts, ask about the APCO Lifetime IRA. Call or stop by and talk with one of our IRA experts today.

Derrick Ragland (photo source APCO Employees CU)

Derrick Ragland (photo source APCO Employees CU)

On January 1, 2016, Derrick Ragland became only the fourth CEO in the 62 year history of APCO Employees Credit Union.

“It’s an honor to be selected to lead APCO Employees Credit Union. I have always related to our industry’s motto of ‘People helping people.’ Each day when we come to work we have the opportunity to make a positive impact on someone’s life,” Ragland said. “I look forward to working alongside the dedicated and talented team at APCO Employees Credit Union in carrying out that motto.”

Mr. Ragland has been employed by the Credit Union for over 30 years, serving as a branch manager, collections manager, branch and facilities manager, and vice president and chief operating officer. He is currently serving as the Birmingham – Jefferson Chapter of Credit Union’s President.

Apple_Pay_logo.svg
Your Credit Union is now integrated with Apple Pay!

Use Apple Pay(TM) and your APCO Platinum Visa to pay the easy, secure and private way. Rest easy, Apple Pay transactions are authorized with TouchID(TM) thumbprint security or your passcode, and transactions never use your Card number. See a complete list of Apple Pay merchants at visa.com/apple-pay.

In participating stores, Apple Pay will work with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch. Within Apps, Apple Pay is compatible with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.

For more information on making mobile payments with your Credit Union’s cards, visit us online at apcocu.org/visa.

apco-identity-theft-security

You work hard for your money and your Credit Union is here to help you protect it. We believe the best way to avoid risk to your wallet is to be informed.

Identity theft can derail the best-laid plans and have long-lasting effects on a victim’s finances and credit. You can take an active role in protecting yourself from identity theft with some basic steps.

1) Look at your credit report annually for unfamiliar items. You can get a free copy of your consumer report every 12 months from the three consumer credit reporting agencies at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228.

2) Use caution when giving out personal information such as account numbers over the phone, and never provide such information if you didn’t initiate the call. Don’t provide online IDs and passwords in response to unsolicited calls, texts or emails. Your Credit Union won’t request information this way.

3) Protect your passwords and PINS. Don’t use obvious passwords and change them regularly. Memorize your PIN, don’t share it with anyone and don’t write it down.

4) If you believe you’ve been a victim of identity theft, contact the Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Response Center at 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338).

5) The Number 1 money scam of 2014 was tax return fraud. Filing your tax return early and electronically enables the IRS to scan for duplicate returns and prevent tax return fraud using your identity.

Protecting financial information… it’s just one way of showing we value our relationship with you.

2015 Annual Meeting

Calling all members: It’s Annual Meeting time and your chance to be in the know. You can review the Credit Union’s progress and achievements over the past year. You’ll also be able to find out what’s planned for the future success of the Credit Union.

Mark your calendar now for Thursday, April 7, 2016. That is the date of your Credit Union’s 62nd Annual Membership Meeting. The meeting will be held at the Corporate Headquarters Building of the Alabama Power Company in Birmingham. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be held in the first floor auditorium. Free, secure parking will be available for members in the parking deck. Please enter the deck on the Sixth Avenue North side and use the second level or above.

The Nominating Committee has met and is using this newsletter to place and distribute its list of nominees before the membership. The Committee’s nominees are:

Board of Directors
(All 3 year terms)

  • Melinda Lopez – Employed by the City of Hoover for 18 years. Her current position is Budget and Financial Manager. Ms. Lopez has served as an official of the Credit Union for 11 years.
  • Greg Shipp – Employed by Alabama Power Company for 37 years. His current position is Delivery-Distribution Engineer. Mr. Shipp has served as an official of the Credit Union for 15 years.
  • Mark Wilkinson – Employed by Alabama Power Company for 41 years. His current position is Internal Controls Manager. Mr. Wilkinson has served as an official of the Credit Union for 31 years.

Credit Committee
(All 3 year terms)

  • Jim Moore – Now retired, he was employed by Alabama Power Company for 41 years. Mr. Moore has served 7 years as a Credit Union official.
  • Vicki Page – Employed by Alabama Power Company for 20 years. Her current position is Senior Accountant.
  • Joe Shannon – Employed by Alabama Power Company for 39 years. His current position is Contract Analyst. Mr. Shannon has served as an official of the Credit Union for 14 years.

Supervisory Committee
(3 year terms)

  • Ann Wilkinson – Employed by Alabama Power Company for 38 years. Her current position is Accountant. Ms. Wilkinson has served 31 years as a Credit Union official.

The Nominating Committee will accept additional nominees for each vacancy on the Board of Directors, Credit Committee, and Supervisory Committee from the membership until February 15, 2016. At that time, nominations will be closed. Any person nominated by the membership must present a written nomination signed by at least 500 members to:

Chairman of the Nominating Committee
750 17th Street North
Birmingham, AL 35203

Everyone is invited to attend and participate in the Annual Meeting. The event is a great time for the members to come together. You are encouraged to come and meet the people who care for your finances behind the scenes, and learn about the Credit Union’s plans for 2016 and the coming years.

As in past years, a small gift will be given to those members in attendance and there will be a drawing for door prizes. Your Credit Union had an excellent year in 2015 and we hope you have a chance to attend and hear the reports. We appreciate your support of the Credit Union and we look forward to seeing you there.

apco-bauerYour Credit Union is rated 5 stars (superior) by Bauer Financial, the highest possible rating by this well-respected bank and credit union rating service. APCO Credit Union received a five star rating in strength, safety and performance. Let’s review why your Credit Union is the right place for your money.

First, your account – including regular shares, certificates of deposit, and checking accounts – is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration up to $250,000.

Second, the Credit Union is expressly prohibited from making investments in stock, speculative real estate, foreign countries or other risky investments. Credit unions are simply not allowed to gamble with their members’ money in this way. Our investment policy is conservative.

Third, your Credit Union operates with a safety net of capital – undivided earnings and other reserves. Your Credit Union is strong and your funds are safe and secure with us. It’s where you belong.