Strategic Link Question of the Week

We recently concluded another employee benefits renewal. Each year this process seems to be more challenging—we pay substantially more to get less, administration requirements have quadrupled under Health Care Reform, and the entire process is under tight time constraints. Considering the amount of effort and dollars spent, each year the end result is less than desirable. I’m not sure we are exploring our options to the fullest. How are other companies successfully maintaining a competitive benefits package and managing compliance as well?

Thank you for your question. We have had a few submissions similar to yours, so this is clearly an issue for a number of credit unions. 

The good news is that the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) has a partnership that addresses your concerns! Through your affiliation with the NWCUA, your credit union is eligible to participate in the Northwest Financial Associations’ Employee Benefit Trust (the Trust), managed by Brown & Brown Insurance. Many Northwest credit unions—and the Asosciation itself—turn to the Trust for their employee benefits. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Over the past 10 years, the Trust has generated a 7 percent annualized premium increase during a time when the carrier market trend has been almost twice that number. 
  • The Trust renewal information is provided more than 90 days prior to the renewal date, giving employers plenty of time for strategic planning, thoughtful and well-planned open enrollment periods, and solid Employee education and training, which is included by Brown & Brown and the Trust.
  • Trust members receive monthly benefit information, including healthcare reform updates, legislative alerts and a wellness newsletter. In addition, the Trust completes 90 percent of the required compliance on the Association’s behalf, and it spells out exactly what to do to cover the remaining 10 percent. This significantly eases the compliance burden and increases employer confidence by ensuring that nothing is being missed.
  • The Trust has a dedicated and experienced team of benefit professionals who make client service a priority—not just to the employer, but to their employees as well. The Trust is always willing and available to help with any need that arises.

We could go on and on, but you should find out first-hand! For information about The Trust, please contact Donna Losch, senior benefit consultant for B&B and The Trust, at 253.396.5544 or


Strategic Link is the NWCUA’s wholly-owned service corporation, using the power of aggregation to provide the Association’s member credit unions with exclusive high-quality, competitively-priced products and discounted services. Is your credit union planning to upgrade its ATM services? Are you looking for new sources of non-interest income or a new card processing system? Whatever your needs, contact Director of Strategic Partnerships Craig Reed today to find out how Strategic Link can help your credit union save money while meeting its goals in 2013 and beyond: 206.340.4789,

Posted in Compliance News.