Dear Fellow PRCUA Members,
Another year has passed, and it is that time of the year to share with our membership how well the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America fared last year. Did the ever-fluctuating economy hurt or help the finances of the PRCUA? What are the plans for 2023?
Last year was an exciting year for the PRCUA. We were named the fasting growing Fraternal Benefits Society in June because of our record year of sales in 2021. As explained last year, 2021 was a record year for the PRCUA with our premium income dwarfing our previous by over 200%. It was a great honor to be recognized by the insurance industry for this feat.
In August, the PRCUA conducted the 63rd Convention in our history. If you are not aware, the PRCUA convenes delegates from all of our societies across the USA to approve changes to our Constitution and By-laws, approve a four-year budget and elect the National Officers and Board of Directors for the next four years. Many changes were discussed and made to the way we govern our organization – close to seventy suggested amendments were made to the Constitution and By-laws. The changes that were presented and accepted at the Convention were made to help streamline and modernize the governing process of our beloved fraternal.
The most significant are the changes to the structure of the Board of Directors. In 2026, the PRCUA Board will be downsized to nine members and all directors will have “at-large” status. This means that the directors will not be limited by geographical area if they choose to run for a position on our board.
I am also happy to say that, coming out of the Convention, the Executive Committee remained intact. I look forward to another term as your President and being allowed to continue working with the other two officers, Vice President Micheline Jaminski and Secretary – Treasurer Agnieszka Bastrzyk. There were a few changes to the Board of Directors due to term limits and retirements, but we are going forward with both experience and new ideas to guide us. Reviewing our financial statement on page 5, you will see that our asset base grew over seven percent this year to last year. Even with the increase in assets, the PRCUA suffered a loss of $129,764 and a decrease in surplus of $975,798, leaving us with a surplus of $10,070,692. This was caused by the rapid increase in short term interest rates which created an environment in which we had to reevaluate our position and entry into the market. This delay caused policy lapse (or surrender)
which, in turn, created strain on the income statement and balance sheet, negatively impacting surplus.
We are always examining our product line to come up with new and innovated ways to give back to the community and add value for our membership either through revamping our current products or engineering something new.
The most important thing to remember is that your investments are safe with the PRCUA. Over 90 percent of our assets are invested in long term bonds that assure a steady income in the coming years. While we live in uncertain times, it is comforting to know that PRCUA, as most other fraternal benefit societies, has conservatively and cautiously invested in the past and, as a result, has fared economic downturns quite well. Not only have we invested in bonds, we continue to invest in short term, first lien mortgages, commonly known as bridge loans. This “thinking out of the box” has continued to allow for a healthy reinvestment yield and spread between our financial obligations and income.
It has been a long and winding road, but the new platform for life insurance (OIPA) is approaching its long-awaited landing this March. This product will ultimately assist us in providing more efficient service to our members, including allowing PRCUA to be another step closer to providing online access to certificate information.
The focus on professional and educated personnel in our boardroom, executive offices and headquarters building continues. The organization continues to proactively provide formal on-line training through various courses provided by LOMA (Life Office Management Association), LIC (Life Insurers Counsel) and American Fraternal Alliance (AFA). Cybersecurity continues to be a top concern. Monthly cybersecurity training
through KnowBe4 assures our staff is equipped to face today’s threats.
The PRCUA is celebrating its sesquicentennial or 150th Anniversary on October 3, 2023. It is hard to believe that when the Polish leaders in the United States gathered at St. Albertus Church in Detroit, MI, they had the foresight to develop this organization which has touched the lives of so many generations. We thank them for bringing together the Polish people and we, as their successors, continuously strive to unite all of Polonia. An anniversary gala is being planning for October 1st at the Drury Lane in Oak Brook, IL. There are also different events planned around the country throughout this anniversary year. If you are interested in information, please contact our home office.
The PRCUA looks forward to the future and is bravely embracing the changes to come. We will continue to grow and spread the news that we are healthy and vibrant in the 21st century. Remember to tell your friends about our great fraternal and “Get Involved, Stay Involved, and Get Others Involved.”
James J. Robaczewski