New Yorkers save big with statewide prize-linked savings program
ALBANY, NY (readMedia)– In just half a year, New Yorkers have saved more than $6.5 million with the statewide Lucky Savers program. More than 4,000 members at 38 New York credit unions have saved an average of nearly $1,625 through the program since it launched last October.
A Lucky Savers account is a 12-month share certificate-the credit union equivalent of a bank certificate of deposit-with unlimited deposit capabilities, and members can open the account with just $25. For every $25 in month-over-month balance increases, accountholders earn one entry into the monthly and quarterly prize drawings. Unlike a lottery, where individuals pay for a chance to win a prize, Lucky Savers accountholders retain the money as savings, even if they aren’t selected as a prize winner. Interest rates and account value caps are set by each participating credit union, with a maximum of 10 prize-drawing entries per member, per month.
The prize-linked savings program has awarded savers with thousands of dollars in prize winnings. Quarterly prizes were recently drawn, with $5,000, $1,000 and $500 grand prizes awarded to individual savers. An additional $1,000 was awarded in smaller increments to monthly prize winners.
The program is being administered by Save to Win, a product developed by credit union think tank Filene Research Institute and the D2D Fund, a nonprofit organization that tests financial products and builds awareness about the needs and potential of low-income communities.
In 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law that allows financial institutions in New York to offer prize-linked savings accounts. The New York Credit Union Association strongly supported the legislation and worked closely with regulators, the Legislature and Cuomo’s office to ensure its passage. To date, credit unions are the only type of financial institution in New York offering the program.
“The success of Lucky Savers speaks to the success of the credit union social mission: putting people over profits,” said NYCUA President and CEO William J. Mellin. “When we were aggressively advocating for the passage of the legislation that makes this program possible, we knew it would be a tremendous saving tool for New Yorkers. However, it’s safe to say Lucky Savers has far exceeded any initial expectations we had. It is astonishing and unprecedented that credit union members from every corner of the state have collectively managed to save $6.5 million in just six months.”
To learn more about Lucky Savers, visit the NYCUA website.
The New York Credit Union Association serves as the trade association for the state’s credit unions, which collectively hold more than $71 billion in assets and serve more than 5.2 million members. To learn more about NYCUA, visit www.nycua.org. To find a credit union or learn more about the credit union movement, visit www.asmarterchoice.org.