Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
WHERE YOU PUT YOUR MONEY MATTERS.
Is your money supporting your values? At Clean Energy Credit Union, when you open Individual Retirement Account (IRA), your federally insured deposits are used to help other members afford to use clean energy. This, in turn, will help to protect our environment and improve our economy. No other financial institution puts your money to work quite like that.
An IRA offers a tax-advantaged* way to save money for retirement. Whether invested in a savings account or a CD, your IRA dollars are federally insured up to $250,000 (separate from your other non-IRA deposit accounts), which makes Clean Energy Credit Union IRAs a great place for the lower-risk portion of your portfolio. Up until April 15th of each year, your contributions may be included in your previous year’s tax returns.*
* Consult your tax advisor for details.
Terms and Features
- Traditional or Roth IRAs are available
- A minimum deposit of $100 is required to open an IRA savings (or $1,000 for an IRA CD)
- Higher dividends: 0.05% above standard savings account rates (or 0.10% above standard CD rates)
- No setup fees
- No monthly or annual maintenance fees
- Free e-statements available via online banking
- $5,500 contribution limit for tax year 2018, $6,000 for tax year 2019
- Additional $1,000 "catch-up" contribution allowed for ages 50+
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
First, you need to ensure that you’re eligible to join Clean Energy Credit Union by being in its “field of membership,” which currently includes being one of the following:
- A member of one of the following eight organizations:
- African-American Credit Union Coalition
- American Solar Energy Society
- Association of Energy Service Professionals
- Colorado Renewable Energy Society
- Electric Auto Association
- Engineers for a Sustainable World
- Georgia Solar Energy Association
- Green America
- GreenHome Institute
- Midwest Renewable Energy Association
- Northeast Sustainable Energy Association
- RENEW Wisconsin
- Renewable Energy Owners Coalition of America
- Solar United Neighbors
- Texas Solar Energy Society
- An employee or volunteer of Clean Energy Credit Union
- A member of the immediate family or household of someone who is eligible via one of the above options or of someone who is already a member of Clean Energy Credit Union
If you’re not already eligible to join Clean Energy Credit Union, you can consider joining one of the above organizations. An individual membership in American Solar Energy Society, for example, currently costs as little as $10 (NOTE: you must enter the discount code and select a Digital-Only Basic membership). Click here to learn more about the field of membership partner organizations listed above.
After confirming your eligibility, you would then open a "share account" (i.e. savings account) with a $5 minimum deposit which would serve as your ownership share in Clean Energy Credit Union. Once someone becomes a member of the Credit Union, they are a member for life. Click here to join Clean Energy Credit Union.
In case it helps, here’s some background on what a credit union “field of membership” is: although credit unions provide similar services as banks, they are different from banks in many ways. For example, a credit union is a not-for-profit, financial services cooperative that exists solely to serve its members and to fulfill its mission, whereas a bank exists to maximize financial returns for its stockholders. Another difference is that a bank can serve the general public whereas a credit union can only serve its “field of membership,” which is defined by regulators as the people and entities that are legally eligible to join the credit union. Ultimately, a credit union’s field of membership is comprised of one or more groups of people and entities that all have something in common that binds them together in some way. Many credit unions have a field of membership that includes people who work for a certain employer, or who live in a certain geographic area, or who are members of the same professional association or religious organization.
Are my deposits federally insured?
Because we are a federally chartered credit union, all deposits will be federally insured up to the allowable limits (e.g. up to $250k per person or per organization). This makes opening a deposit account or buying a "clean energy CD" far less risky than any other kind of investment in the clean energy sector. Furthermore, with low minimum investment thresholds, regular people—not just big financiers—will be able to leverage their dollars to support clean energy through safe, sound investments.
All deposits in Clean Energy Credit Union are insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). According to Wikipedia: “[The NCUSIF] is administered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for the purpose of providing deposit insurance to protect deposits of credit union members at insured institutions in the United States. It was created in 1970 shortly after the creation of the NCUA as an independent regulator of credit unions. The NCUSIF is funded completely by participating credit unions, and no taxpayer dollars have ever been used to bail out a credit union. The NCUSIF is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.”
Am I required to maintain a minimum balance in my account?
Savings accounts require a $5 minimum balance to maintain the account (and to maintain your membership in the Credit Union). Checking accounts require a $25 minimum deposit to open the account, but no ongoing minimum monthly balance is required. Money market accounts require a $2,500 minimum balance to maintain the account.
What is the minimum amount required to open a CD?
Do you offer any Clean Energy CDs with terms shorter than 2 years?
No, not currently, but in the future we are considering the possibility of offering shorter terms on our Clean Energy CDs. Our current term are 2, 5, and 10 years for the following reasons: (a) we want to lock in sufficient deposits at longer terms that approach those of clean energy loans (as clean energy projects tend to require interest rates that are fixed over a longer period of time); and (b) we wanted to offer longer-term clean energy investment products that could pay a higher yield than short-term products.
How are interest payments made on Clean Energy CDs?
Interest payments are made on a monthly basis and are automatically deposited into your Clean Energy Credit Union savings account.
How often are account statements sent out?
If you only have a savings account, money market account, or Clean Energy CD, account statements are sent out at the beginning of each quarter. If you also have a checking account, any loan activity, or a CD that is maturing, statements will be sent out at the beginning of each month.
What is the Credit Union’s policy for paper vs electronic account statements?
We strongly discourage paper account statements for two reasons: (1) protecting the environment is an important part of our mission, so wherever possible we try to reduce the use of paper as well as the need for shipping and transportation; and (2) Clean Energy Credit Union emphasizes a lean business model so that we can pass through the savings to our members in the form of better interest rates.
That being said, if you absolutely must have paper account statements, you can still sign up for them at the cost of $7 per statement.
If I need help with my accounts, can I get in touch with a real, live person?
Yes, you can either click on the “Chat” button at the top and bottom of each page on our website, or you can call us at 720-479-7900.
How are online/mobile banking transactions kept secure?
Our vendors and software for online/mobile banking functionality are among the best in the credit union industry, and they work with hundreds of credit unions throughout the U.S. In addition to providing us with secure software platform, they also host our servers and keep them secure. In addition, regardless of which vendors and software we use for our online/mobile banking activities, all deposits in Clean Energy Credit Union are federally insured up to $250k per person and per organization.