What are Capital Credits?
Do I have unclaimed capital credits?
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How to Donate Capital Credits?
Article VIII, Section 4 of Trico’s Bylaws permits members to voluntarily assign their patronage capital to the Trico Foundation, an educational and charitable foundation which supports education programs within the Trico service area.
Capital Credit FAQs
What are Capital Credits?
In a nonprofit cooperative like Trico, the amount of revenue each year over and above expenses is the Cooperative’s annual margin. As a member-owned cooperative, Trico allocates its annual margin to the equity account of its members, based on the amount of electric service taken by the member that year. Those allocations are called capital credits.
What is the difference between allocated and retired capital credits?
Allocated capital credits appear as an entry on Trico’s permanent financial records and reflect your equity in the Cooperative. Allocated capital credits are account entries and have no cash value until they are retired. Each year, the Trico Board considers whether the Cooperative is in a financial position to retire a portion of its allocated capital credits. When capital credits are retired, they are paid out to you in cash or as a credit to your monthly electric bill. Your equity account is reduced by the amount of capital credits retired. Capital credits are typically retired over approximately a 25-year period.
Note, that if you have a delinquent bill outstanding to the Cooperative, your capital credit retirement is first applied to your delinquent balance. Any remaining retirement amount is paid to you.
What if I don’t want to wait 25 years to get my capital credits?
Trico does not have a provision for retirement of capital credits to members in advance of the normal retirement schedule and process. However, you can donate your capital credits to the Trico Foundation, and the Trico Foundation will receive the capital credits on a normal retirement schedule. The Trico Foundation uses unclaimed and donated capital credits to help fund education programs and scholarships for college students.
Why can’t I have my capital credits now?
Capital credits are not cash, they represent your share of the Cooperative’s equity (created through margins) during the time of your membership. The Cooperative’s allocated equity is currently more than $40 million. Like any business, Trico needs to maintain enough equity to operate the business, in our case to provide reliable service for current and future members. Capital credit retirements are like dividends, in that they represent a return of a portion of equity over and above what is necessary to operate the Cooperative properly. They are paid in the form of cash or bill credits when the Board determines the financial condition and business needs of the Cooperative warrants it.
What happens to my capital credits if I move out of Trico Service area?
Your capital credits remain on Trico’s financial records in your name until they are retired. Capital credit retirements to your account will continue to be made until the balance is fully paid out, typically over a period of up to 25 years.
It is your responsibility to notify Trico of any changes in address, so you can be located when it is time to retire capital credits. If capital credit checks are returned and no forwarding address information is available to Trico within three years of the capital credit retirement date, the funds are transferred to the Trico Foundation to fund educational programs and scholarships.
What happens to a member’s capital credits if the member dies?
If the membership is a joint membership, the surviving spouse becomes the sole member, and the capital credit account remains in the name of the surviving spouse. Allocated capital credits will continue to be retired to the surviving spouse on a normal retirement schedule.
If the membership is a single membership, the estate of the member may assign the capital credit account in accordance with the Last Will and Testament of the deceased member, or the Personal Representative of the decease member’s estate may apply for a retirement of the member’s capital account on a discounted basis. The Board has full discretion with respect to the discounted retirement of capital credit balances to estates. The estate must submit a request for a discounted retirement with acceptable documentation for consideration by the Board.
Why are estate retirements calculated at a discounted rate?
Capital credits are typically retired over approximately a 25-year period. When approved by the Board, capital credit retirements to an estate are discounted in in recognition of the time value of money (funds received today are worth more than the same amount of funds over time). The alternative is for the estate to distribute the capital credit account in accordance with the Last Will and Testament of the deceased member, and the capital credits will be retired in the ordinary course.
How can I speak to someone about capital credits?