Capital Credits – Paid to Co-op Members
The Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative Board of Directors approved refunding capital credit checks in the amounts of more than $15, which are distributed to members at the annual meeting.
As in the past, following the annual meeting the cooperative mailed capital credit checks to those members who were not in attendance.
A list of unclaimed capital credit checks is published and posted here each spring. Please call the co-op between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, at 816-628-3121 to inquire about current listings.
Each year the co-op updates the list after the checks have been mailed and the unclaimed capital credit checks returned. The co-op also publishes the list in the Kansas City Star to help locate co-op members.
The following Q and A section will help explain the capital credit process.
What are capital credits and why do I receive them as a co-op member?
As a nonprofit electric utility, Platte-Clay needs only to cover the cost of yearly operations including good business practices. Any money left over and above those costs, or net profit, is collected and allocated back to our members, who own the cooperative.
As a co-op member, you are an owner and share in the profits of your cooperative.
The longer you use the service, the more monetary equity you accumulate. We call this equity allocations, which is the total sum of annual capital (equity) accrued by the member during their prior year or years of service with Platte-Clay. Allocations are similar to, but not the same as, dividends earned by shareholders of an investor-owned company. The actual total cash amount is determined by the cooperative Board of Directors. The refund each member receives is usually a percentage of the total allocation amount from a previous year or years of service.
Who is eligible to receive a capital credit refund?
If you are currently a member or were formerly a member of Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative, you are entitled to receive a capital credit refund as part of your membership agreement. For that reason, it’s important that everyone involved with the membership have their name on the account and that your address, if you move out of the area, is kept current at Platte-Clay.
When will I receive a capital credit refund?
Capital credit checks for more than $15 are distributed at the annual meeting. Members who do not attend the annual meeting will receive their capital credit check, for amounts more than $15, by mail. Capital credit checks may only be given to the member whose name is on the account.
Why does the co-op hold capital credit allocations?
Platte-Clay holds allocations for the following reasons:
- to maintain adequate cash flow to meet current expenses
- to preserve enough equity in the cooperative to meet banks’ debt-to-equity requirements and lower the co-op cost of borrowing money
- to reinvest millions of dollars in system improvements, new services and the capital budget
Because all members and former members are eligible to receive capital credits, it is necessary to properly budget for this expense. Each year, the co-op Board of Directors approves a percentage of a prior year’s allocations for repayment to the membership. By refunding only a portion at a time, the co-op is able to maintain a stable financial structure.
How much does Platte-Clay actually refund to members?
Each year over the past few years, Platte-Clay has refunded more than $1 million to members. This total refund amount represents 40 percent of Platte-Clay’s operating margins. Platte-Clay will continue to use 40 percent of its annual operating margins (net profit) for capital credit refunds. The remaining 60 percent will be reinvested into the cooperative and returned to members in the normal retirement cycle.
What was the change in policy regarding capital credits and what does it mean to me?
Until the year 2000, all allocations were held by the co-op for a 20-year term in order to maintain adequate cash flow and financial stability. This meant that members had to wait 20 years before they could receive a capital credit refund.
However, in early 2000, the Board of Directors decided that disbursement of capital credits should be more timely for all members and chose to change that policy by refunding a percentage of a current and prior year of service. As a result, most members now are eligible to share in this co-op ownership benefit without having to wait. This policy now is standard operating procedure and will continue in the future.
I received a financial statement from PCEC in the mail, what is it and what does it mean?
Each year, Platte-Clay issues a statement to every member of an allocation year, outlining the total amount of monetary equity their account has accumulated during the prior year of service. This is called an allocation statement and is sent per bylaw, so that the members (owners) are informed of their vested interest in the co-op.
The following terms and definitions will help explain how to read an allocation statement.
Allocations: the total sum of annual capital accrued by the member-owner during their prior year of service with Platte-Clay. Allocations also can also be viewed as your share of equity in the cooperative.
Refund (Retired Amount): the actual percentage of your allocation (accrued amount) approved by the co-op Board of Directors for repayment to the membership.
If I move out of PCEC’s service area, what can I do to ensure I receive a capital credit refund?
If you are currently a member and have plans to move out of the Platte-Clay service area, make sure our finance office has your Social Security number and a forwarding address. This will allow us to send a yearly allocation statement notifying you of your entitled amount and a check when it comes due. For your convenience, send an e-mail to email@example.com
What if I had a joint account and am now divorced or separated? Do I still receive a refund?
If you previously had a joint account with another person through marriage or other living arrangements, you are entitled to make a claim. The first party to make the claim will receive the check. That person is then responsible to give half of that amount to the other member listed on the account if they know their whereabouts. Platte-Clay will not be held responsible or liable for difficulties resulting from the failure of one party to notify the other.
How may I check to see if I have unclaimed capital credits?
Platte-Clay is required by its bylaws to publish a list of all unclaimed capital credit refunds in a newspaper of general circulation. This list will be published in the Platte County, Liberty and Northland editions of the Kansas City Star’s Neighborhood News inserts each year.
Members have 60 days from publication of the current year’s list to make a claim. If no claim is made after the 60 day period, the unclaimed funds are considered donations to the co-op for use in paying future capital credit claims.
If you think you may have unclaimed capital credits with Platte-Clay, please check the online database that will be available in the spring, which will show the current year’s unclaimed capital credits. The list on the website will be available after publication. If your name appears on the list and you would like to claim your refund, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your name, account number, current address (former address if living outside the co-op service area) and telephone number in your correspondence.
If you are a former Platte-Clay member and would like to make a claim, be sure to include your name, telephone number, the address at the residence where you received electric service from Platte-Clay and the years you occupied that residence.
For all other questions or inquiries, please call our offices at (816) 628-3121 during regular business hours.