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From a whisper to a shout: to protect their tax-exempt status, publicity-shy fraternal life groups are speaking out about the good works they do.

In the children's book Horton Hears a Who by Dr Seuss, the residents of the tiny town of Whoville band together to let the world know they exist with a rousing shout of, "We are here, we are here, we are here!"

Much like the Whos in Whoville, not-for-profit fraternal beneficiary societies, which run some 130 fraternal lift insurance groups nationwide, are reaching out to let federal lawmakers know that they, too, exist--and that their century-old history of good works deems them worthy of retaining their tax-exempt status.

The societies and their trade association, the National Fraternal Congress of America in Oak Brook, Ill., are working to attain a higher profile to offset recommendations made in late January by the Joint Committee on Taxation of the House and Senate, to rescind the tax exemption status for such fraternal benefit organizations.

Fraternal life insurers fear that taxation could put an end to their community-minded way of life, so they're off on a never-before-seen marketing venture to increase the awareness of the fraternal life niche and its charitable contributions to small-town America. It's not just to prove their worth to Congress, but also to bring an influx of new membership into the shrinking societies.

Lawmakers hope to raise some $500 million in taxes from fraternal benefit groups over the next 10 years by repealing their tax-exempt status. It's not the first time they've tapped such fraternals to increase the federal tax rolls.

"The last time this issue partly came up was in the mid-1980s, when legislators proposed taking away the tax exemption from just the largest fraternals, not all of them," said Fred Grubbe, president and chief executive officer of the 119-year-old NFCA, which represents 75 fraternal beneficiary societies in the United States and Canada.

What's interesting, Grubbe said, is that the suggested tax change is not coming from senators or representatives, but from their committee staff members.

"Unfortunately our friends in the Congress--our staff friends, who support the members of Congress--don't understand the social safety net that we have provided and continue to provide because government simply can't do everything," Grubbe said.

To date, NFCA member groups have raised more than $16 million toward Gulf Coast disaster relief, in addition to providing "man hours in the thousands." NFCA societies also contributed about $11 million to Sept. 11, 2001, relief, and some $5 million in relief to the victims of the 2004 Florida hurricanes.

"Fraternal benefit societies each year raise some $400 million for charitable fraternal activities around the country," noted Evan Migdail, a partner at DLA Piper Rudnick in Washington, D.C. The NFCA hired Migdail earlier this year to lobby on their behalf. "They also expend some 93 million volunteer hours [per year], which is a very big part of their business," he said.

A standard in charitable organizations known as the "independent sector formula" is used to determine the dollar value of volunteer time, Migdail said; 93 million hours comes out to more than $1.5 billion in volunteer hours.

"You would raise $500 million [by repealing their tax-exempt status], but you probably would destroy a system that's been around 100 years and that over the same 10 years is going to raise upward of $4 billion toward charity," Migdail added. And that doesn't even include the value of volunteer hours.

"Only in Washington do they have that kind of math," Grubbe noted. Without the tax exemption, the largest fraternal groups in the NFCA would likely turn commercial, while the remaining smaller societies, about 68 of them, would probably just shut down.

"You take away the tax exemption, and fraternals are going to close their doors," Grubbe added. "We don't make money; that's not what we do."

Stripping fraternal life insurers of their tax-exempt status would be crippling--not only to the niche industry, but to the small towns it serves nationwide, noted Kenny Massey, president and chief executive officer of Modern Woodmen of America, Rock Island, Ill. A.M. Best Co. ranked Modern Woodmen as the third-largest of the 44 fraternal life societies it tracks, based on 2004 year-end total admitted assets of $6.9 billion.

"I hope that everyone really steps back for a minute and realizes what everyone would pay in taxes," Massey noted. "It would be a catastrophe in so many small communities that have come to rely on us."

Modern Woodmen's pet projects include upgrading fire department equipment in small towns, which not only increases safety and security, but in turn, reduces homeowners insurance for the entire community.

Losing tax-free status would have an "enormous impact" on the Knights of Columbus, said Patrick Korten, vice president of communications for the New Haven, Conn.-based group. "The thing that enables us to operate an organization like that effectively, from the international level to the local council level, is the revenues we are able to derive from the insurance side of the operation," Korten said.

The Knights of Columbus has more than 12,000 local councils across the country and some 1.7 million members worldwide, with 1.2 million in the United States alone. They are the second-largest fraternal, with 2004 year-end total admitted assets of $11.7 billion.

End of a System

Korten spent a week in October on Capitol Hill, having "highly selective discussions" on fraternal benefit societies and their place in the American economy. "Republican members, when we talk to them, we like to remind them that the Republican platform has included a blanket favoring retention for fraternals for decades now," Korten said.

Grubbe said the late October meetings on Capitol Hill were reassuring. "We have every reason to believe that the Congress will not rescind the 501(c)(8) status granted to fraternal benefit societies," he said. Yet, in the "unlikely case" that the exemption is repealed in the future, "It would mark the end of the fraternal benefit system as we know it today."

Prior to 1984 when the tax rules were reformed, commercial insurance companies were not subject to federal income tax on a substantial part of their income. In 1986, Congress eliminated the tax exemption for Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations saying they were providing commercial-type insurance. Congress then asked the Treasury Department to study the tax issues related to fraternal societies, Migdail said.

"The study, which took some eight years, was released in 1993, and was favorable to fraternal [benefit] societies," said Migdail, who lobbied for NFCA the last time around. "And this issue stayed out of the public eye for another 12 years."

At least one elected official has been sympathetic to NFCA's cause. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., told the Senate Finance Committee on Sept. 13 that within 48 hours after Hurricane Katrina, "the nation's fraternal benefit societies were feeding, housing, and providing supplies, clothes, toiletries, cash and beds to those in need in shelters both in Houston and New Orleans."

Yet fraternals received little, if any, recognition of this major undertaking.

"We think fraternals have a tendency to be very modest about what they do, even though they do great things," Migdail said. "Sometimes that hurts because Washington doesn't hear from you for a long time; they don't know what the organizations are up to."

"They need to be a little vocal," he added.

"We've done a very bad job of promoting ourselves. In a media age, we're 'out of sight, out of mind,'" Grubbe said. "We're the best kept secret in America.'"

History of Silence

It's a touchy situation for the usually quiet societies; fraternal benefit groups traditionally don't talk about the good deeds they do.

"The reason the popular media doesn't know about us is that the motto of the fraternal beneficiary societies has always been, 'Let out good deeds speak for themselves.' They're very modest people," Grubbe explained. "'NFCA Immediate Past Chair Michael Stivoric liked to say that we 'hide out light under a bushel basket.'"

Fraternal benefit societies were formed in this country more than 100 years ago, when "modesty was a virtue," he added.

In the early 20th century, more than 50% of all life insurance in the United States was sold through fraternal benefit societies: today, fraternals account for 1.5% of all the life insurance in force nationwide, Grubbe said. The heyday of the societies was during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, when approximately 200 to 250 such groups existed across the country. Today there are some 120 to 130 fraternal beneficiary societies nationwide.

In 1894, fraternal beneficiary societies, such as Modern Woodmen of America, were granted a tax exemption by Congress via IRS Code 501, giving them 501(c)(8) status; in turn, such fraternal societies as the Kiwanis Club and Jaycees were granted 501(c)(10) status. The difference is that while both fraternal groups are based on a lodge system, are service-oriented, and provide a social function, fraternal benefit groups additionally provide financial benefits through life insurance, health insurance, or accidental death and dismemberment insurance. Fraternal societies, like Kiwanis, do not.

The revenue raised from the sale of such insurance gets poured back into the fraternal operational side and supports the lodge system, of which there are some 36,000 groups nationwide, serving 10 million individual fraternalists in the United States today.

According to NFCA, 80% of fraternal benefit society members are policyholders of life, health or annuities plans. The other 20% are "purely social members" who pay nominal membership dues of about $25 or $35.

NFCA's plans for getting fraternals "out from under a bushel basket" and into the public eve include a public awareness campaign, which Grubbe noted "the general public will start seeing over the course of the next few months."

Marketing efforts include:

* Monthly Congressional visits (except for the August recess) with designated taxation staff members;

* Taking "a more proactive role" in issuing press releases to the media;

* Developing and refining the association's Web site (www.nfcanet.org);

* Developing programs allowing individual members to communicate with their local media and the general public;

* Continued support and advertising of the group's six-year-old project, Join Hands Day: a youth-and-adult partnership day set aside to solve local community problems.

It's not too late for fraternal beneficiary societies to adapt and change: many are already moving in that direction, Grubbe said.

"We're a mature industry, we know that. But we also think there is definitely a place in American culture for modern fraternalism," Grubbe said. That includes the use of advancing technology--such as online meetings and conference calls--to better accommodate members' schedules.

Courting New Members

NFCA also is exploring the creation of new organizations nationwide as it looks ahead to its plans to grow the system. Grubbe said the NFCA would work with the groups to help them set up capital funding.

"In the next 10 to 15 years the mortality tables tell us that we will show a dramatic drop-off in fraternal beneficiary society members," Grubbe said. There has been just one new fraternal beneficiary society created in recent times, but the membership was disappointing.

"If the interest is out there, we have to make it easier for groups that are already organized: African American, Latino and Asian American groups," Grubbe said. "We need to do a better job educating them about fraternal beneficiary societies, and what that could do for their membership that already exists through their own original structure."

Woodmen of the World/Omaha Woodmen Life Insurance Society, which has partnered with the American Red Cross on disaster relief efforts for eight years, raised about $542,000 in Hurricane Katrina relief funds to date, also serving 449,000 meals to survivors, spokesperson Scott Darling noted. In-kind donations, including diapers, water and even chainsaws, amounted to $533,000 by late October. Volunteer hours are at 192,000 and rising.

Woodmen of the World has some 2,000 lodges and 800,000 members nationwide, holding some $33.5 billion in insurance policies in force. They are ranked the fourth-largest fraternal life society in a 2004 A.M. Best Co. survey of year-end total admitted assets, with $6.87 billion. Yet, a repeal of the tax exemption could flatten the institution.

"From the fraternal standpoint, it would drastically affect us," said Woodmen of the World Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Mounce. "It would curtail our ability to provide services back to the community ... and even possibly some of the things that we provide for out members as far as fraternal benefits go."

"Government cannot do it all; it takes the efforts of individuals and the efforts of organizations such as the fraternals to do so much of this," Mounce added. "If we were taxed, it would greatly hamper our ability to continue to do what we do so well."

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, the largest fraternal life society overall--A.M. Best rated it first based on 2004 year-end total admitted assets of $49.3 billion--has 2.8 million members and some 1,400 local chapters, representing $156.6 billion in life insurance in force.

Through its alliance, Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity, the group produced a $105 million commitment over four years to build more affordable housing nationwide. Thrivent also raised $6 million for hurricane disaster relief in autumn, and pledged another $5 million through Habitat for Humanity to address long-term housing needs in the Gulf Coast. In 2004, Thrivent Financial donated more than $10 million in relief to aid tsunami survivors.

Fraternal benefit society members don't get rich from such deeds; but what they do get is much more valuable, Grubbe said.

Nowhere is that more apparent than in the stories related by members returning home from weeks in the devastated Gulf Coast region, where numerous fraternal lodges were affected. One lodge member, a nurse by trade, described very matter-of-factly how she had to kill a poisonous snake while helping a Louisiana family evacuate from the knee-deep waters of their flooded home.

"The purpose of the story was to make light of it--we are going to do whatever is necessary to help these folks get back on their feet, because you can't imagine the devastation," Grubbe said. "If it comes down to killing a snake--there but for the grace of God go I."

HELPING OUT: Kenny Massey, president and chief executive officer of Modern Woodmen of America, says the repeal of fraternals' tax exempt status "would be a catastrophe in so many small communities that have come to rely on us." Modern Woodmen's pet projects include upgrading fire department equipment in small towns.

Key Points

* Fraternal life insurers could disappear if Congress rescinds the tax exemption on beneficiary societies.

* The usually media-shy fraternal benefit societies are becoming more vocal to state their case.

* They hope their new marketing campaign also will bring new members into the shrinking societies.

Fading Fraternals

Membership is waning among the 75 fraternal beneficiary societies that comprise the National Fraternal Congress of America, said Fred Grubbe, NFCA president and chief executive officer.

* Only 15% to 20% of the groups are growing membership each year, "not by leaps and bounds, but steady," Grubbe said.

* Some 30% to 40% are stagnant, with membership that is aging, but not dying; membership is not affected.

* Another 20% to 30% are actively losing membership through attrition--mortality---and no one is joining the ranks to replace them.

Learn More

Modern Woodmen of America A.M. Best Company # 06737 Distribution: Licensed producers

Knights of Columbus A.M. Best Company # 06616 Distribution: Captive agents

Woodmen of the World/Omaha Woodmen Life Insurance Society A.M. Best Company # 07259 Distribution: Captive agents

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans A.M. Best Company # 06008 Distribution: Financial representatives and career agents

For ratings and other financial strength information about these companies, visit wwv.ambest.com.
No Taxes, Please

The following insurance-related organizations are granted various tax
exemptions under Section 501 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code.

 Number of
 Entities on
Section of Description of General Nature Master File
1986 Code Organization of Activities in 2004

501(c)(8) Fraternal Fraternal activities 69,798
 Beneficiary and payment of life,
 Societies sick, accident, or
 other benefits to
 members

501(c)(9) Voluntary employees' Provides for payment 12,866
 beneficiary of life, sick,
 associations accident, or other
 benefits to members
 or dependents, etc.

501(c)(12) Benevolent life Activities of a 6,716
 insurance mutually beneficial
 associations, rural nature
 cooperatives, etc.

501(c)(15) Certain small Providing insurance 1,988
 insurance companies to members at cost

501(c)(26) High-risk Coverage of medical 11
 individuals health care to certain
 care coverage high-risk
 organizations individuals

501(c)(27) State-sponsored Established by a 9
 workers' state to reimburse
 compensation members for losses
 insurance arising under the
 organizations workers'
 compensation acts

Source: Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation Staff

Top Fraternal Life Societies, United States--2004

Rank is based on the 2004 year-end total admitted assets.
($ Thousands)

Rank Group/Company AMB #

 1 Thrivent Finl for Lutherans 06008
 2 Knights of Columbus 06616
 3 Modern Woodmen of America 06737
 4 Woodmen of the World Life 07259
 5 Independent Order of Foresters USB 06551
 6 Gleaner Life Ins Society 06459
 7 Catholic Knights 08188
 8 Royal Neighbors of America 07010
 9 Catholic Life Ins 08827
 10 Greek Catholic Union of the USA 09807
 11 Catholic Order of Foresters 06191
 12 First Catholic Slovak Ladies USA 09869
 13 Greater Beneficial of Pittsburgh 08161
 14 Catholic Family Life Ins 06189
 15 Natl Mutual Benefit 06794
 16 United Transportation Union Ins Assn 08272
 17 First Catholic Slovak Union of USA & CA 09804
 18 William Penn Assn 07249
 19 SPJST 09606
 20 Woman's Life Ins Society 06826
 21 Degree of Honor Protective Assn 06304
 22 Order of the Sons of Hermann in TX 68030
 23 Slovene Natl Benefit Society 07046
 24 Polish Roman Catholic Union of America 06940
 25 ACA Assur 60037
 Top 25 Fraternals
 Total U.S. L/N Fraternal Cos

 Total
 Admitted %
Rank Group/Company Assets Chg

 1 Thrivent Finl for Lutherans $49,323,833 8.9
 2 Knights of Columbus 11,735,413 7.2
 3 Modern Woodmen of America 6,928,588 9.4
 4 Woodmen of the World Life 6,873,264 6.8
 5 Independent Order of Foresters USB 2,811,782 1.5
 6 Gleaner Life Ins Society 1,194,074 14.8
 7 Catholic Knights 704,468 7.3
 8 Royal Neighbors of America 619,470 0.1
 9 Catholic Life Ins 587,858 7.5
 10 Greek Catholic Union of the USA 566,435 6.3
 11 Catholic Order of Foresters 536,745 6.4
 12 First Catholic Slovak Ladies USA 457,476 30.1
 13 Greater Beneficial of Pittsburgh 361,484 11.5
 14 Catholic Family Life Ins 280,489 5.7
 15 Natl Mutual Benefit 229,414 3.6
 16 United Transportation Union Ins Assn 227,993 0.4
 17 First Catholic Slovak Union of USA & CA 186,465 7.5
 18 William Penn Assn 181,186 10.4
 19 SPJST 178,958 5.0
 20 Woman's Life Ins Society 175,075 4.1
 21 Degree of Honor Protective Assn 166,595 2.8
 22 Order of the Sons of Hermann in TX 154,975 7.8
 23 Slovene Natl Benefit Society 139,301 8.0
 24 Polish Roman Catholic Union of America 121,302 11.4
 25 ACA Assur 70,671 0.2
 Top 25 Fraternals $84,813,316 8.2
 Total U.S. L/N Fraternal Cos $85,201,332 8.0

 Unassigned %
Rank Group/Company Funds Chg

 1 Thrivent Finl for Lutherans $3,060,175 7.4
 2 Knights of Columbus 1,529,036 7.1
 3 Modern Woodmen of America 902,347 8.2
 4 Woodmen of the World Life 689,998 11.6
 5 Independent Order of Foresters USB 454,759 8.2
 6 Gleaner Life Ins Society 91,699 4.4
 7 Catholic Knights 46,165 6.5
 8 Royal Neighbors of America 179,349 -2.4
 9 Catholic Life Ins 38,625 8.6
 10 Greek Catholic Union of the USA 27,350 15.7
 11 Catholic Order of Foresters 36,197 2.2
 12 First Catholic Slovak Ladies USA 82,421 5.2
 13 Greater Beneficial of Pittsburgh 18,781 22.8
 14 Catholic Family Life Ins 12,289 12.7
 15 Natl Mutual Benefit 23,613 12.6
 16 United Transportation Union Ins Assn 28,896 -16.9
 17 First Catholic Slovak Union of USA & CA 8,578 30.1
 18 William Penn Assn 24,691 0.8
 19 SPJST 24,724 3.5
 20 Woman's Life Ins Society 30,187 4.4
 21 Degree of Honor Protective Assn 4,987 15.4
 22 Order of the Sons of Hermann in TX 17,460 4.2
 23 Slovene Natl Benefit Society 8,820 8.3
 24 Polish Roman Catholic Union of America 15,746 -3.7
 25 ACA Assur 10,502 59.1
 Top 25 Fraternals $7,367,396 7.5
 Total U.S. L/N Fraternal Cos $7,453,258 7.2

 Adjusted
 Unassigned %
Rank Group/Company Funds Chg

 1 Thrivent Finl for Lutherans $3,483,671 8.0
 2 Knights of Columbus 1,660,298 5.8
 3 Modern Woodmen of America 1,036,221 9.1
 4 Woodmen of the World Life 776,741 11.5
 5 Independent Order of Foresters USB 511,700 2.3
 6 Gleaner Life Ins Society 94,705 2.2
 7 Catholic Knights 53,950 9.3
 8 Royal Neighbors of America 192,002 -2.1
 9 Catholic Life Ins 39,220 7.5
 10 Greek Catholic Union of the USA 31,976 15.0
 11 Catholic Order of Foresters 41,101 0.4
 12 First Catholic Slovak Ladies USA 86,280 6.5
 13 Greater Beneficial of Pittsburgh 20,617 19.8
 14 Catholic Family Life Ins 13,586 6.9
 15 Natl Mutual Benefit 26,310 9.3
 16 United Transportation Union Ins Assn 31,353 -11.4
 17 First Catholic Slovak Union of USA & CA 10,543 24.5
 18 William Penn Assn 26,446 2.1
 19 SPJST 26,565 3.3
 20 Woman's Life Ins Society 30,882 3.8
 21 Degree of Honor Protective Assn 6,089 17.9
 22 Order of the Sons of Hermann in TX 20,348 5.4
 23 Slovene Natl Benefit Society 9,948 11.2
 24 Polish Roman Catholic Union of America 18,947 -3.5
 25 ACA Assur 101,387 56.2
 Top 25 Fraternals $8,260,386 7.2
 Total U.S. L/N Fraternal Cos $8,352,209 7.0

 Net
 Premiums %
Rank Group/Company Written Chg

 1 Thrivent Finl for Lutherans $3,670,136 -7.5
 2 Knights of Columbus 835,638 6.6
 3 Modern Woodmen of America 684,124 -10.7
 4 Woodmen of the World Life 646,110 -7.0
 5 Independent Order of Foresters USB 138,622 -7.7
 6 Gleaner Life Ins Society 185,213 18.0
 7 Catholic Knights 57,660 -4.2
 8 Royal Neighbors of America 19,436 -26.7
 9 Catholic Life Ins 45,643 -18.7
 10 Greek Catholic Union of the USA 50,716 -10.1
 11 Catholic Order of Foresters 60,949 -23.2
 12 First Catholic Slovak Ladies USA 22,143 22.4
 13 Greater Beneficial of Pittsburgh 47,565 -23.2
 14 Catholic Family Life Ins 28,094 -26.9
 15 Natl Mutual Benefit 15,992 -36.5
 16 United Transportation Union Ins Assn 16,864 -15.7
 17 First Catholic Slovak Union of USA & CA 11,508 -36.2
 18 William Penn Assn 24,441 17.8
 19 SPJST 10,795 -17.7
 20 Woman's Life Ins Society 11,808 -33.8
 21 Degree of Honor Protective Assn 16,309 5.4
 22 Order of the Sons of Hermann in TX 13,879 16.6
 23 Slovene Natl Benefit Society 11,997 -30.1
 24 Polish Roman Catholic Union of America 15,222 26.5
 25 ACA Assur 21,401 11.9
 Top 25 Fraternals $6,662,266 -6.3
 Total U.S. L/N Fraternal Cos $6,683,950 -6.6

 Net Gain
 From %
Rank Group/Company Operations Chg

 1 Thrivent Finl for Lutherans $220,698 159.6
 2 Knights of Columbus 71,160 7.2
 3 Modern Woodmen of America 43,586 -4.2
 4 Woodmen of the World Life 69,560 85.0
 5 Independent Order of Foresters USB -38,255 -8.4
 6 Gleaner Life Ins Society 4,017 -40.7
 7 Catholic Knights 1,963 360.4
 8 Royal Neighbors of America -3,932 66.2
 9 Catholic Life Ins 3,645 41.3
 10 Greek Catholic Union of the USA 2,918 251.7
 11 Catholic Order of Foresters -277 -99.9
 12 First Catholic Slovak Ladies USA 4,156 43.4
 13 Greater Beneficial of Pittsburgh 3,319 69.5
 14 Catholic Family Life Ins 784 578.2
 15 Natl Mutual Benefit 1,026 660.3
 16 United Transportation Union Ins Assn -6,031 -99.9
 17 First Catholic Slovak Union of USA & CA 2,069 95.7
 18 William Penn Assn 38 -90.2
 19 SPJST 1,097 170.5
 20 Woman's Life Ins Society 841 156.3
 21 Degree of Honor Protective Assn 889 14.5
 22 Order of the Sons of Hermann in TX -172 54.4
 23 Slovene Natl Benefit Society 505 608.2
 24 Polish Roman Catholic Union of America -1,780 -38.4
 25 ACA Assur 1,887 999.9
 Top 25 Fraternals $383,711 89.6
 Total U.S. L/N Fraternal Cos $378,687 92.9

 Realized
 Capital
Rank Group/Company Gains

 1 Thrivent Finl for Lutherans $106,372
 2 Knights of Columbus 89,692
 3 Modern Woodmen of America 34,728
 4 Woodmen of the World Life 7,548
 5 Independent Order of Foresters USB 25,804
 6 Gleaner Life Ins Society 4
 7 Catholic Knights 311
 8 Royal Neighbors of America 1,554
 9 Catholic Life Ins -1,532
 10 Greek Catholic Union of the USA -1,085
 11 Catholic Order of Foresters 465
 12 First Catholic Slovak Ladies USA -1
 13 Greater Beneficial of Pittsburgh -192
 14 Catholic Family Life Ins 5
 15 Natl Mutual Benefit 469
 16 United Transportation Union Ins Assn -39
 17 First Catholic Slovak Union of USA & CA -415
 18 William Penn Assn 36
 19 SPJST 423
 20 Woman's Life Ins Society -87
 21 Degree of Honor Protective Assn 17
 22 Order of the Sons of Hermann in TX 32
 23 Slovene Natl Benefit Society 87
 24 Polish Roman Catholic Union of America 2,384
 25 ACA Assur 3,117
 Top 25 Fraternals $269,699
 Total U.S. L/N Fraternal Cos $268,563

 Net %
Rank Group/Company Income Chg

 1 Thrivent Finl for Lutherans $327,070 999.9
 2 Knights of Columbus 160,852 83.5
 3 Modern Woodmen of America 78,315 54.4
 4 Woodmen of the World Life 77,108 81.1
 5 Independent Order of Foresters USB -12,450 77.1
 6 Gleaner Life Ins Society 4,022 -36.9
 7 Catholic Knights 2,273 999.9
 8 Royal Neighbors of America -2,378 5.1
 9 Catholic Life Ins 2,113 9.7
 10 Greek Catholic Union of the USA 1,833 999.9
 11 Catholic Order of Foresters 188 -45.3
 12 First Catholic Slovak Ladies USA 4,155 95.8
 13 Greater Beneficial of Pittsburgh 3,127 91.9
 14 Catholic Family Life Ins 789 351.5
 15 Natl Mutual Benefit 1,495 999.9
 16 United Transportation Union Ins Assn -6,069 -99.9
 17 First Catholic Slovak Union of USA & CA 1,654 114.7
 18 William Penn Assn 73 140.7
 19 SPJST 1,520 763.6
 20 Woman's Life Ins Society 755 189.1
 21 Degree of Honor Protective Assn 906 13.5
 22 Order of the Sons of Hermann in TX -140 78.5
 23 Slovene Natl Benefit Society 592 186.6
 24 Polish Roman Catholic Union of America 604 -29.8
 25 ACA Assur 5,004 999.9
 Top 25 Fraternals $653,410 417.1
 Total U.S. L/N Fraternal Cos $647,251 447.2

Source: A.M. Best Co.
COPYRIGHT 2005 A.M. Best Company, Inc.
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Article Details
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Comment:From a whisper to a shout: to protect their tax-exempt status, publicity-shy fraternal life groups are speaking out about the good works they do.
Author:Cavanaugh, Bonnie Brewer
Publication:Best's Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2005
Words:4691
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