ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The NCUA Board this morning approved a $14.5 million spending increase for next year, almost all of it to fund proposed 7.5% increases in compensation for the agency’s 1,200 employees.

The 7.5% includes increases in pay and benefits and would make up for no raises this year because of President Obama’s freeze on government salaries and are contingent on whether the Congress approves the President’s proposal to lift the freeze this year. The increase in employee compensation, which includes salaries and other benefits connected to salaries, accounts for $12.8 million of the $14.5 million spending increase.

The$251.4 million budget represents a 6.1% increase over this year’s spending and compares to spending increases of 5.1% last year, 12% the year before and 13% the year before that, as NCUA beefed up to deal with the resolution of the corporate credit union crisis and numerous big failures.

For the first time in four years NCUA does not plan to expand its workforce and plans on funding a fulltime equivalent of 1,261 staff.

Because of expected growth in credit union assets of 6.5%, NCUA will increase the operating fee rates it charges federally chartered credit unions by just 0.24% for next year.

The budget will require an overhead transfer rate—the amount transferred from the National CU Share Insurance Fund to pay the agency’s overhead—of 59.1%, down slightly from this year’s 59.3%.

Besides salaries, the biggest increase in next year’s budget is $1 million to fund capital expenditures, including an upgrade and increase data back-up storage plan and a replacement of network switches. NCUA will also set aside $400,000 for capital improvements on the agency's 20-year-old headquarters.

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