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<p>WASHINGTON – A new online credit union member survey conducted by Callahan & Associates for 15 credit unions demonstrates that many consumers are not aware that their credit unions offer Individual Retirement Accounts. They were also unaware that Congress increased the contribution levels this year. Nearly 40% of more than 13,000 credit union members responding to the recent survey done in February said they were completely unaware that their credit union offered IRAs. Additionally, more than half (51%) did not know about IRA contribution level increases. Congress expanded the levels this year between 50% and 75% depending on age, up from the previous $2,000 annual limit. Contribution limits will continue to rise through 2008. “Once survey respondents were informed of the increasing limits, 40% expressed strong interest in contributing to an IRA,” Callahan’s E-commerce Manager Scott Patterson said. Twenty-one percent of respondents said they would like to be contacted by someone from their credit union about opening an IRA. Only 21% said they were not likely to consider an IRA through their credit union. The survey also showed that 71% of the respondents who already have IRA accounts hold them primarily with stock brokerage and mutual fund companies. Callahan recommended that credit unions look to these companies for their strategies in developing these long-term relationships.</p>

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