Mutual Benefit Fund
Mutual Benefit Fund
in the USSR, a voluntary organization of trade union members organized to render mutual fraternal financial aid.
The mutual benefit fund is organized by the trade union committee if the given enterprise (institution or educational institution) has at least 15 trade union members who want to join. The mutual benefit fund must be registered with the higher trade union body: the trade union council or the republic (krai, oblast, raion, city) committee. The fund conducts business according to a charter and is a legal person. A standard charter for the mutual benefit fund of a trade union committee was approved by the decision of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions of Feb. 20, 1959. Every trade union member working in the given enterprise or institution or studying in the educational institution may join the mutual benefit fund. He must pay an entrance fee of 0.5 percent of his monthly wages or scholarship; this is also the amount of the monthly membership dues. A member who has paid his dues for 50 months is released at his request from further payments of membership dues and receives priority when applying for a loan. A member who withdraws from the mutual benefit fund is paid back all his membership dues.
The bodies of the mutual benefit fund are the general assembly (conference) of members of the fund and the board, elected at the general assembly of the mutual benefit fund by open vote for one year. In enterprises or institutions where the membership of the mutual benefit fund reaches 300 union members or more and where each workshop or department has at least 25 members of the fund, branch offices of the mutual benefit fund are established. The general assembly of the fund elects an auditing commission for a one-year term. This body makes an inspection at least twice a year, reviews the activity of the board whenever the chairman of the board, the cashier, or the accountant is replaced, makes a monthly verification of the cash on hand, and makes unannounced inspections.
By the decision of the board or the branch office of the mutual benefit fund, the fund issues long-term and short-term loans and in some cases issues free grants. The funds for these purposes are created by the entrance fees and membership dues, interest on loans, and grants from the trade union budget. Arrears on loans are recovered through certification of a judgment by a notary public office without the right of appeal or through a raion (city) people’s court.
A. L. EPSHTEIN