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varying interests of the sexes could be better met by separate institutions.
Honorary members are persons who have contributed one sum of not less than £5 ($24.33) or annual subscriptions of not less than 10s. ($2.43), but so long as they remain honorary members or have any part in the management they can have no beneficial interest in the funds of the society. The officers are elected at the annual general meeting of the honorary members. Trustees manage all funds, and arbitrators (none of whom can have any beneficial interest in the funds) hear and determine all matters of dispute as to rights or claims of members.
Members may receive sick or death benefits only after twelve months' membership, and both are forfeited by allowing dues to fall more than two months in arrears. The amounts of such benefits are determined by the choice of the members on the basis of the following table of rates:
TABLE OF MONTHLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE DUNMOW FRIENDLY SOCIETY TO
SECURE 28. (49 CENTS) PER WEEK SICK PAY, 18. (24 CENTS) PER WEEK ANNUITY AFTER 65, AND £1 (84.87) AT DEATH.
(Source: Rules of the Friendly Society for Dunmow, Essex.)
Insurance may be obtained at the above rates for any sum up to a sick benefit of 16s. ($3.89) weekly. Persons taking a lower benefit than 12s. ($2.92) per week must pay an additional sum of 1s. (24 cents) per quarter to a medical fund, in return for which free medical and surgical attendance and operations are provided, including needed appliances. Insurance may be increased or decreased at any time. Management is provided for by a separate contribution, based on the amount of the sick benefit insured for, being 11d. (3 cents) per month if the insurance is for from 2s. to 8s. (49 cents to $1.95) per week, 3d. (6 cents) per month if the amount is from 10s. to 128. ($2.43 to $2.92) per week, and 5d. (10 cents) per month where the amount is from 14s. to 16s. ($3.41 to $3.89) per week.
In 1875, soon after the passing of the Friendly Societies Act, the condition of the society was investigated by an actuary at the request of the management, with the result of disclosing a large deficit. Prompt action was taken to correct the situation, and in fifteen years the deficit was changed into a surplus, chiefly by investing in other funds than government securities and thus securing advanced rates of interest.
The first annual meeting of the society was held in October, 1832, and showed 164 members, contributions during the year to the amount of £129 ($628), sick benefits paid, 12s. ($2.92), and accumulated capital, £174 ($847). The following table shows the movement as to these items for each decade, 1842 to 1902:
NUMBER OF MEMBERS AND PRINCIPAL FINANCIAL OPERATIONS OF THE DUNMOW
FRIENDLY SOCIETY, BY DECADES, 1842 TO 1902.
Following is a showing of the payments by this society for old age and for sickness for a period of ten years, 1898 to 1907:
SUPERANNUATION AND SICK BENEFITS PAID BY THE DUNMOW FRIENDLY
SOCIETY, 1898 TO 1907.
This table shows the operations of these two important classes of funds under what may be considered as fairly stable conditions. The age of the society and its only slightly fluctuating body of members, varying little from 1,000 in number, form conditions under which a fairly settled and uniform status might reasonably be expected, and such is the testimony of the above table. For the two years for which exact comparisons can be made it appears that in 1902, 15.8 per cent of the members were pensioners and 19.2 per cent were sick; while in 1907, 15.1 per cent were pensioners and 20.2
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per cent were sick. Of the membership in 1907, 4 were females, 626 agricultural laborers, and 344 servants and artisans. The juvenile branch comprised 55 members. Thirty ordinary members were admitted during the year and 5 were transferred from the juvenile branch, while 18 died and a like number left the society. Fifteen entrants were enrolled in the juvenile branch.
Following is a statement of the receipts and expenditures for 1907, and a statement of the condition of the funds at the close of the
INCOME AND EXPENDITURES OF THE DUNMOW FRIENDLY SOCIETY, 1907.
(Source: Seventy-sixth report of the Dunmow Friendly Society, 1908.]
AI her class of societies, known as “dividing societies" or "sharing-out clubs," also called “slate clubs,” “tontines," etc., undertakes to do at fixed periods what the old village clubs do at the termination of their existence. These are of a local character, and partake in a measure of the nature of a savings institution as well as affording insurance. Sick benefits and burial expenses are provided from a fund made up from entrance fees and subscriptions or dues, and any surplus remaining at the close of the year is divided among the members; or the period may be a longer one, as in the so-called "sevenyear clubs;" or again there may be only a partial distribution, a certain part of the surplus going to the formation of a reserve fund, when the institution may become permanent, though retaining the feature of an annual or otherwise periodical division of a portion of the accumulated funds.
The advantage of a club of this sort is that the distribution of the surplus leads the members to make larger payments than would be the case where only less prompt returns are to be anticipate!, thus making of the club a sort of savings bank--a condition that especially recommends itself to groups of migratory laborers, as on dock or railway construction, where the association and local residence are necessarily only transitory. The insurance is obviously of only a temporary nature and no old-age benefits can be expected from such an arrangement. Indeed as any club runs on from year to year it is generally found that older men predominate, with their greater liability to sickness, slower recovery, and increasing death rate, and that younger men stay out to avoid what they feel to be an undue share of the burdens. Or they may remain in and restrict the benefits in cases of prolonged sickness, advancing a sum to the beneficiary from his anticipated death benefit, and thereafter excluding him from the club. In either case, the resort of the aged is to "go on the rates” and end their days in the workhouse, so that it is obvious that such clubs come considerably short of a full accomplishment of the ends attained by other forms of friendly societies. There is no uncertainty in the matter, however, and members of societies of this sort are fully aware of the necessity of securing protection for old age in some other way, if it is to be had at all.
Purely dividing societies afford the simplest form of insurance, as the slate is wiped clean at each period of distribution, and no burdens run over from year to year. Calculations of probabilities and the auditing of accounts are therefore eliminated. In some of the permanent societies the idea of insurance is secondary to that of banking, the receipt of savings deposits and the advancing of loans to members being the major part of the business.
The features of the various societies and the variety of their combination present a wide range of organization and purpose, and to attempt to illustrate all would be out of the question. An interesting example of the dividing society is found in the New Tabernacle Sick and Provident Society, of the county of London. This society was established in 1891, and admits both sexes, married women excepted. Its objects are the assistance of its members in sickness, provision of funeral benefit at the death of a member or member's wife, and the relief of members in distressed circumstances. The age limits for admission, as stated in the rules, are 15 and 40 years, though the annual report for 1908 gives 30 years as the maximum age. Freedom from constitutional disease and a declaration of sober and temperate habits are required. Female members who subsequently marry are entitled to accrued benefits until the end of the current year, after which membership ceases. No benefit is allowed in cases of confinement.
Membership is divided into two classes, Class B paying an entrance fee of ls. (24 cents) and weekly dues of 6d. (12 cents), with allowance of sick benefit of 10s. ($2.43) per week for the first eight weeks, and 5s. ($1.22) for the next eight weeks if sufficient funds are in hand, but not more than £6 ($29.20) in any one calendar year. Female members receive 10s. ($2.43) per week for four weeks and 58. ($1.22) for sixteen weeks additional, payments for such periods to be made but once in any year. Class A is made up of members over 21 and under 40 years of age at time of entry and having an average income of not less than 30s. ($7.30) per week. Applicants for membership in this class must furnish a satisfactory medical certificate from the society's physician and pay an entrance fee of 1s. 6d. (37 cents), and weekly dues of 1s. (24 cents). Benefits in sickness are £1 ($4.87) per week for the first eight weeks and 10s. ($2.43) per week for eight weeks thereafter. Annual benefits are limited to £12 ($58.40) and not more than eight weeks' full pay and eight weeks' half pay. Members are entitled to sick pay only after six months from date of acceptance, unless entering from Class B, when they are entitled from the date of admission. No charge for sickness in Class B can be placed on Class A. Members of both classes may pay an additional penny (2 cents) weekly and thus secure free medical attendance and medicine, if within prescribed distances from the office of a surgeon of the society.
On the death of a member of either class a levy of 1s. (24 cents) per member may be laid, or 6d. (12 cents) in the event of the death of a member's wife. The benefit payable is £20 ($97.33) for a member, and £5 ($24.33) for a member's wife. The rules authorize the substitution of a fixed periodical contribution for a levy on the occurrence of a death. This has been done by adding 1d. (2 cents) to the weekly contributions of each class, with the provision that the annual surplus shall go to form a funeral-benefit reserve fund-a distinction between this society and a strictly dividing society. The funeralbenefit reserve may also be drawn upon in cases of distress or accident. A sick-fund reserve is maintained, and subscriptions are received for funds for hospitals and convalescent homes, so that members who choose these benefits may secure them through the means of this society. A distress fund was raised by separate contributions for a time, but it is supported at the present from the regular dues. The sum of 2s. 6d. (61 cents) is deducted annually from the contributions of each member for management expenses.
Incidental advantages to membership in this society are a free accident-insurance policy for £500 ($2,433) in a prominent British association, covering loss of life, sight, or limb, while a passenger in any public vehicle, including elevators; fire and burglary insurance at reduced rates; membership in a coal society and a supply association, by which many necessaries may be bought at rates considerably below the usual retail rates; and the privilege of a penny bank, paying 5 per cent interest on sums not exceeding £5 ($24.33) and working in conjunction with the post-office savings bank, by which all its funds are held.