INDIANAPOLIS – The board of directors of the Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union, a $560 million, single sponsor CU with 31,000 members nationwide, may soon have to consider whether or not so-called `domestic partners' of existing credit union members are eligible to become members themselves. The credit union serves the employees of the Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly & Co., a major U.S. drug manufacturer. On June 9, a policy committee at the drug maker voted to endorse a change in human resource policy that would make domestic partners of Eli Lilly employees eligible for membership in the credit union, along with company facilities, summer camp and other benefits. But Chris Olsen, senior vice president for marketing and human resources for the credit union said the company had not consulted the institution about the change and that the credit union's board would have to take up the idea. "Of course as a single sponsor credit union we have a strong and sensitive tie to our sponsoring institution," Olsen said, "so I expect they will take up the idea seriously." Olsen did not know what NCUA regulations might say about a federal credit union extending membership to the domestic partners of members, but Clifford Northup, director of public and regulatory affairs for NCUA, said the agency's chartering manual permits a credit union to offer membership to domestic partners if it chooses to do so. Northup explained that under NCUA regulations, a credit union can offer credit union membership to people who are part of the credit union member's "household." The agency's chartering manual defines a household as persons living in the same residence maintaining a single economic unit, he said. But Northup added that if a credit union wished to extend membership in a more restrictive manner the regulations allowed that as well. "We have had some questions along these lines," Northup said. [email protected]

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