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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29

New Rates of Contributions

New Rates of Contributions.

This vital matter was left in the hands of the Standing Committee to report upon. From repeated investigations we found that to promulgate rates which would be equitable to all members, the matter wanted going into on actuarial principles. This basis involves calculations of considerable magnitude, which very few can do except trained actuaries, therefore as it would take up more time than was at our disposal, and wanting to bring something tangible before this session, we engaged the services of Messrs. Leslie and Black (two gentlemen well qualified) to prepare four tables, copies of which have been distributed.

page 7

Table A represents what subscription should be paid, with present initiation, fees, for present benefits, and enables us at a glance to perceive that our present contributions are sufficient only up to age 25. Table B shows the initiation fees necessary for the usual benefits, with a uniform weekly contribution of 7d. per week to the Sick and Funeral Fund. Both these tables prove the fallacy of our present rates in vogue. Table C shows contributions necessary for the usual benefits without initiation fees. Table D represents subscriptions necessary during life for the usual benefits and an annuity of 10s. per week after age 65. The rates in these tables are only calculated for the Sick and Funeral Fund, and no provision is made for management; but for purposes of comparison 7½d. per week per member can be taken, as it is the general average of cost for general expenses in Lodges. After mature deliberation, Table C is suggested by the Standing Committee for adoption, and a uniform rate of 7½d. per week per member is to be added for working expenses, and an initiation fee of £1 at all ages. If at any time the expenses of a Lodge exceed the rate of 7½d. per week, the difference must be met by a levy, so as to keep the Sick and Funeral Funds intact. Present members of the order to be charged according to the age they were admitted. So as to give an idea of how Table C, including contribution of 7½d. per week in addition for Management Fund, would generally affect us, I have prepared the annexed Table (see p. 9).

The facts in these tables prove that not alone our own Society, but every other Friendly Society here are working upon insufficient rates of subscriptions and unsound financial systems. Our Order, however, has been working on better financial principles in these respects than any of the other Orders in Dunedin. There is not the slightest vestige of doubt in my mind but that the adoption of Table C is the only sure means of our being able to realise the benefits we promise to ourselves in the future, and it will be much easier to valuate the Lodges under this table, which the Government requires now every five years from registered Lodges. Let us anticipate our future permanency, and show that as soon as we knew our position was not secure we adjusted the difficulty at once, like men and Oddfellows, without being compelled, by any outside pressure, which the operations of the new