Did you know that as a member of Lincoln Electric Cooperative, you get certain benefits? One of the primary benefits of membership is receiving capital credits. Lincoln Electric is a cooperative, which means we are a non-profit organization. So instead of profit, we have margins. Margins are simply any revenue we have in excess of our costs each year. The total yearly margins are allocated to all members who financially contributed (i.e. paid their bill) during the year. Allocations are based on the dollar amount each member contributed for the year. So if you contributed one half of a percent of our total revenue, you would be allocated one half of a percent of the total margins for that year.
The By-Laws regulate how capital credits are managed. They provide for a rotation of not more than twenty (20) years on a first in, first out basis. So the oldest capital credits get paid out first. In 2018, for the 38th consecutive year, the Board of Trustees approved the retirement, or refund, of capital credits. They authorized approximately five percent (5%) of our outstanding capital credits to be retired again this year. This equals over $449,000 refunded in 2018 to our current and past members. In March, we mailed out checks to members who were active in 1999 and/or 2000.
Since our incorporation in 1948, Lincoln Electric has returned more than $12 million to members in the form of capital credits as shown on the chart below.
Unclaimed Capital Credits