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Tax Time, Scam Time

Ceci Markwick, Corporate Communications

The saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” never goes out of style. At this time of year, tax scams are abundant. Being aware helps prevent you from being preyed upon. Don’t be a victim! Last year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published a list of “Dirty Dozen Tax Scams.” Here are three that you may encounter:

Telephone
Criminals call impersonating IRS representatives. They’re great con artists … providing badge numbers and even changing the Caller ID to look like it’s coming from the IRS. If they claim you owe money, they can be very rude and aggressive, and will threaten to have you arrested, deported, your driver’s license revoked, and more. If they claim you are due a refund, they’ll do whatever they can to get your personal information. Don’t be a victim!

Email
The IRS doesn’t send email regarding charges, refunds, or a request to update your personal information. If you receive an email with a link, be on guard! Clicking on it may take you to a fake website designed to look like the real deal. If you end up on one of them and enter your personal information, you’re setting yourself up for identity theft. Don’t be a victim!

Identity Theft
During tax time identity theft increases. If someone uses it to file a fake return, the IRS will do everything it can to go after that individual. Protect your personal information, including your Social Security Number, at all times. Don’t be a victim!

The IRS states they will never call to ask for immediate payment or your credit card number, or email you for personal information. If you owe money, you’ll always receive a letter in the mail. When in doubt … call the IRS directly at 800-366-4484. Forward any suspicious emails to phishing@irs.gov. For more details, go to https://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Fraud-Alerts.


Board of Elections Notice

The Nominating Committee has proposed John Eller, Mike Dunn, and Lois Dupuis for three-year terms to the Board of Directors. Article V, Section I of the by-laws provides that nominations for vacancies may also be made by petition signed by at least 500 members. They must include their names and addresses. Nominations shall be accompanied by a certificate from the nominee(s) stating his/her agreement to the nomination and a willingness to serve if elected.

Such nominations, by petition, shall be filed with the Secretary of the Credit Union at Marine FCU’s Corporate Headquarters at 4180 Western Boulevard in Jacksonville, North Carolina, no later than March 25, 2016. Article V, Section II of the by-laws provides that no nominations will be made from the floor unless sufficient nominations have not been made by the Nominating Committee or by petition.

Election of Board Members will be held at the Annual Meeting at Jacksonville Commons in Jacksonville, North Carolina on Thursday, May 12. Results will also be announced.


Marine FCU Is Awarding Scholarships To Graduating High School Seniors

In 2016, your credit union will award $2,000 scholarships to 5 graduating high school seniors. Since 1986, your credit union has given over $516,500 in scholarships.

If you know someone who qualifies, please encourage him or her to complete the easy application.

To Qualify: High school senior applicants or their parents/guardians must be members of Marine FCU.

• SAT of 900 or higher

• GPA of 3.0 or higher

Complete the application* and drop it off at a branch or mail it by March 15 to:

Attn: Scholarship Committee

Marine FCU

PO Box 1551

Jacksonville NC 28541-1551

*Include a brief essay, high school transcripts, and one letter of recommendation.


 

2016 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits. Tame yearly inflation means very little change.

Provided by Marine Federal Financial Group

Over the past 12 months, consumer prices have increased very little. The latest Consumer Price Index (September) shows 0.0% yearly inflation and only 1.9% core yearly inflation. That means no cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security, and very few IRS adjustments to retirement plan contribution limits.1

Roth IRA & traditional IRA contribution limits stay the same for 2016. Those 49 and younger in 2016 can contribute up to $5,500 to their IRAs, while those 50 and older will be able to contribute $6,500.2

401(k), 403(b), 457 & TSP annual contribution limits are also unchanged. Savers will be able to defer up to $18,000 into these plans in 2016 with an additional catch-up contribution of up to $6,000 permitted for those 50 or older.3

SIMPLE IRAs? No COLA for those accounts either. The base contribution limit for a SIMPLE IRA stays at $12,500 next year, the catch-up contribution limit at $3,000.2

The same goes for SEP-IRAs & Solo 401(k)s. Small business owners have a maximum deferral amount of $53,000 for 2016. As for the compensation limit factored into the savings calculation, that limit will remain at $265,000. The compensation threshold for an employee to be included in a SEP plan stays at $600 (i.e., that worker has to receive $600 or more in compensation from your business in 2016).2,3

The phase-out range for Roth IRA contributions has been adjusted a bit. In 2016, you will be unable to make a Roth IRA contribution if your AGI exceeds $194,000 as a married couple filing jointly, or $132,000 should you be a single filer or head of household. Those figures are $1,000 higher than in 2015. Joint filers with AGI of $184,001-194,000 and singles and heads of household with AGI of $117,001-132,000 will be able to make a partial rather than full Roth IRA contribution next year. If you really want a Roth IRA but your AGI is too high, you can always open a traditional IRA and then convert it to a Roth.2

As for deducting regular IRA contributions, one phase-out range change has been made. The change is slight. If you contribute to a traditional IRA and your employer doesn’t sponsor a retirement plan, yet your spouse contributes to a workplace retirement plan, the AGI phase-out on deductions of traditional IRA contributions strikes when your combined AGI ranges from $184,001-194,000. That is a $1,000 increase from the 2015 phase-out range.2

If you are a single filer or file as a head of household contributing to a traditional IRA and you are also covered by a workplace retirement plan, the AGI phase-out range for you remains at $61,001-71,000. If you file jointly, contribute to a traditional IRA and are also covered by a workplace retirement plan, your AGI phase-out range is the same in 2016 – $98,001-118,000. Above the high end of those phase-out ranges, you can’t claim a deduction for traditional IRA contributions.2 If you are married, filing separately and covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range on deductions of traditional IRA contributions is $0-$10,000 (this never gets a COLA).2

AGI limits for the Saver’s Credit will rise slightly. Americans saving for retirement on modest incomes will be eligible for the credit next year if their AGI falls underneath certain thresholds: single filers and marrieds filing separately, adjusted gross income of $30,750 or less; heads of household, AGI of $46,125 or less; joint filers, $61,500 or less.2

ESOP dollar amounts are unchanged next year. The dollar amount used to figure out the maximum account balance in an ESOP subject to a 5-year distribution period will still be $1,070,000 in 2016, while the dollar amount used to determine the lengthening of the 5‑year distribution period will remain at $210,000.3

Contribution limits for profit-sharing plans rise as per limits for 401(k)s. A participant in such a plan is looking at a 2016 elective deferral limit of $18,000 ($24,000 if she or he is old enough to make catch-up contributions). The yearly compensation limit on such plans stays at $265,000.4

Lastly, maximum yearly benefits for a defined benefit plan will remain at $210,000. The dollar limitation defining key employees within a top-heavy plan again stays at $170,000.3

Gale Gourley and Don Swingler are Financial Advisors with Marine Federal Financial Group located at Marine Federal Credit Union. If you have any questions, or would like to provide feedback, regarding the information presented in this article, you may contact Gale or Don at 910-577-7333, Ext 5284.

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Citations.

1 - usatoday.com/story/money/2015/10/15/cpi-for-september/73957022/ [10/15/15]

2 - forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2015/10/21/irs-announces-2016-retirement-plans-contribution-limits-for-401ks-and-more/ [10/21/15]

3 - irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Announces-2016-Pension-Plan-Limitations%3B-401%28k%29-Contribution-Limit-Remains-Unchanged-at-$18,000-for-2016 [10/21/15]

4 - shrm.org/hrdisciplines/benefits/articles/pages/2016-irs-401k-contribution-limits.aspx [10/22/15]


What’s Your Money Personality?

Have you ever wondered why you use money in a particular way? Many forces impact the development of your money personality. You make purchases to fulfill desires and to make yourself feel a certain way. Some spending influences include: advertising, media, society, friends, family, and easy credit. In addition, shopping is an “experience” to enjoy and there are so many goods that are so affordable. 

One way to evaluate your approach to money is to identify your attitudes about money. Where do you fit?

• Hoarder – The hoarder likes to save, budget, and prioritize

• Spender – The spender likes to spend

• Planner – The planner is the nitty-gritty, take-it-one-step-at-a-time type

• Dreamer – The dreamer hatches passionate schemes, but has no idea how to make them come true

• Merger – The merger wants to pull all of the couple’s money together

• Separatist – The separatist wants at least some of his/her own money

• Risk-taker – The risk-taker loves adventurous investing

• Risk-avoider – The risk-avoider goes for the sure thing

Need a financial counselor? As a (member/customer/resident/consumer/client) of (Organization), you can take advantage of the GreenPath Financial Wellness program, a free financial education and counseling program. GreenPath counselors are available Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (EST), Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. To use this new service, simply call 1-877-337-3399 or visit them on the web at www.greenpathref.com


2015 Rainbow Saver Christmas Card Contest Winners

Congratulations to the 2015 Rainbow Saver Christmas card contest winners!


Online Financial Solutions

By Dawn Jones, Chief Information Officer

It’s been a progressive year for providing new and improved Marine FCU online products.

  • New members can open an account online.
  • The online loan application process was streamlined with a quicker approval time for qualified members.
  • There is now a Principle Only payment option for most consumer loans.
  • eCheck Deposit is now available on all Marine FCU apps, including iPads and other tablets.
  • A calculator has been added to Bill Payment.
  • Built-in fingerprint-sensor technology with Touch ID is available on select iOS devices.

Included below are new online solutions we are currently working on, some of which may be available by the time you receive this Success Newsletter:

  • Request a Skip-A-Payment.
  • Make a payment to your Marine FCU loan from an outside source.
  • Apple Pay
  • Eyeprint ID™ technology on mobile devices … takes an image and pattern-matches the blood vessels in the whites of the eye, eliminating the need to remember and manually type a password.
  • Set up a Funds Transfer request via a mobile device.
  • Apply for online account access via a mobile device.

As always, your security is our number one priority. Marine FCU works diligently to ensure that these solutions are safe and secure, while also providing you with convenient access to your finances.


Protecting Chip Technology While It Protects You

Robert Dickerson, Executive Vice President

Marine FCU will soon be issuing Visa® Debit Cards with the EMV chip. While this technology will help reduce in-store purchasing fraud, the chip needs protection against Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) scanners, which can steal your card information off of the EMV chip.

RFID technology has been in use in a variety of industries … healthcare, passports, driver’s licenses, toll collection, inventory control, animal tracking, and more.

Help protect your chip card. Ask a Marine FCU representative for a RFID-blocking card holder when you receive your new chip card. RFID-blocking wallets and passport holders are also available through major retailers such as Amazon and Walmart.

Having protection on both sides helps prevent your card information from being stolen.


"It's Been My Pleasure"

Craig Chamberlin, President/CEO

I don’t believe there’s ever been a truer saying than “time flies when you’re having fun” and in my last 30 years here at Marine FCU I’ve had a blast. I’ve been with credit unions for 45 years, starting out in Charleston, South Carolina at Shipyard Credit Union, and then moving to Virginia for 10 years. Looking back over these 45 years I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. The last 30 years at Marine FCU have been the absolute best for a wide variety of reasons … let me just tell you a few:

Board of Directors–Marine FCU is blessed to have a Board of Directors made up entirely of volunteers who are extremely dedicated to the organization and to the members, and have been since the inception of the Credit Union in 1959. Their constant message to me over the years has been to give back to the communities that we are in, ensure that the members always come first, and be extremely reasonable with the fees we charge and fiscally protective of our members’ money. To show their dedication, many such as Mr. Hemmingway, Mr. Eller, and Mr. Yadlowsky, have each served on the Board over 30 years, expending countless hours of voluntary service to a now $730 million dollar organization. Their dedication is second-to-none.

Management & Staff–I’ve been associated with quite a few organizations, professionally, in both Virginia and North Carolina, and be assured the management and staff of Marine FCU are the yardstick of which others should measure themselves. I have never been around a finer group of individuals who live and breathe the credit union philosophy 24/7. They go out of their way time and again for the membership, and more importantly for each other, in creating a family atmosphere here … much like the Marine Corps’ “taking care of our own.” Trust me when I say there is a genuine caring among the staff for one another and that is seen very rarely in other organizations. I would tell any member that although assets are measured in dollars, the true assets of this organization are the people who serve the membership and Marine FCU is indeed blessed to have each and every one, individually and collectively.

So, as of 31 December, I’ll bring my career to an end after 45 years; but I’m very, very pleased to inform you that our Chief Operations Officer, Jeff Clark, will take over as the new President/CEO. Going forward, the Credit Union will be in the best of hands.

In this, my last message to the membership, I wish you well and as a great man once said, “It’s time to call the dogs and throw water on the fire ‘cause the hunt is over.”

I’m going home to be with the love of my life … Miss Debby.


Rainbow Saver Gift Card Program Change-In-Terms

Effective November 1, the amount of Rainbow Bucks required to redeem gift cards has increased by five. The new amounts are:

  • 15 Rainbow Bucks = $5 Gift Card
  • 25 Rainbow Bucks = $10 Gift Card
  • 35 Rainbow Bucks = $20 Gift Card

Click here for more information on the Rainbow Saver Gift Card Program.


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 "I enjoy going to my credit union, where I know most of the employees and they know me. I trust them and they are always willing to help!"
-Cape Carteret, NC

Marine FCU will never ask for personal information such as your online credentials, account numbers,
or card numbers via unsolicited telephone calls, emails, or text messaging. Security Center