perpetual membership

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by JustinScott, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. JustinScott

    JustinScott Premium Member

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    What is perpetual membership?
     
  2. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    I've never heard of any such thing, at least not in my jurisdiction. Maybe another brother can help you out?
     
  3. Hndrx

    Hndrx Premium Member

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    I don't know the real answer. However, if forced to guess, I would say it sounds a lot like an endowment or lifetime membership.
     
  4. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    New term here. Bro Hndrex may be on track. Plausable.
     
  5. JustinScott

    JustinScott Premium Member

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    yes I thought so to but in my lodge by laws it says that a lifetime membership at my particular lodge is not accepted and there fore dose not exist at my lodge. Could a different name mean a loop hole? but why need a loop hole when the they could just say that they are accepting the lifetime membership? When they handed out the "perpetual membership" they handed out certificates along with the lodge awards do they do the same with lifetime memberships at your lodges?
     
  6. JustinScott

    JustinScott Premium Member

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    I just recived a reply from a member at my lodge and yes it is indeed a lifetime membership.
     
  7. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    You are correct:

    The term Perpetual, or Endowed mean the same thing in different jurisdictions => Dues Current for Life.

    The younger and able of us must remember though, endowements in some jurisdictions DO NOT cover the per capita... Even though I am endowed, I make a payment to my Lodge to cover the difference... Becasue I can / am able.
     
  8. BroBill

    BroBill Site Benefactor Site Benefactor

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    There is a difference in the Life Membership and the Endowed Membership. The member pays for his own Endowed membership and the Life Members ship is bestowed on a member by the Lodge. I cannot remember the specifics of the Life Membership, but I think the Lodge has to submit the name to Grand Lodge- it's all kinda fuzzy from there. The Life Membership, as I understand it is a reward from the lodge for members- normally senior members- for a long life of dedicated service to Masonry. I'm sure someone out there has the specifics at hand, but if not, I'll go through my law book later and see if I can dig up the details. I'm also fuzzy on whether the Life Membership returns any funds after the member passes on where the Endowed membership does (when such funds are available).

    Quick, someone check me... I'm drowning here in my own fuzzy memory.....

    BroBill
     
  9. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    You are correct for the most part, that is why I worded my initial response the way that I did.
     
  10. BroBill

    BroBill Site Benefactor Site Benefactor

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    Definite apologies, I somehow breezed right over your response... I'm given to my moments of "airheaded-ness" or as some would say, disconnection from the moment. You did make the point and I managed to breeze past it....
     
  11. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    No funds are involved with a Life Membership. No dues are received but the Lodge must remit the per capita to Grand Lodge as long as the honoree is alive or until he becomes a Fifty-Year Mason.
     
  12. Pscyclepath

    Pscyclepath Premium Member

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    A perpetual membership (which is what we call it in Arkansas, it's an "endowed" membership in Texas) allows you to pay a one-time fee and thereafter be exempt from paying dues to the lodge for the rest of your life. The fee is held in an interest-bearing trust by the Grand Lodge, and once a year your lodge is reimbursed for what would be your annual dues, while the GL also gets a cut for your annual per capita assessment, also from the proceeds of the trust. It's pushed pretty hard up here to the newly-made Masons, I don't think I've been to a Master's degree yet where the new Brother didn't get a plug for perpetual membership along with the extra info they disperse with the charge, lecture, etc. ;-)

    Here, the perpetual membership fee is 16 times whatever your current annual lodge dues. It's pushed as "freezing" your lodge dues in place, while at the same time, your "investment" continues to earn money for the Lodge even after you have trsansferred to that Celestial Lodge Above where all good Masons hope to go someday. Likewise, a perpetual member can never be suspended as NPD.

    And it is part of Grand Lodge law that if for some reason a perpetual member get suspended or expelled, even a short time after paying for a perpetual, you don't get the money back... it stays in the fund.

    The provisions for endowment in the GLoTX is different, as some have noted, it may not account for your per capita assessment (which is essentially your annual membership fee in the Grand Lodge).
     
  13. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    Currently here in Oklahoma we do Perpetual Memberships. Which from what I have seen is a Life Membership, but you still pay the per capita. Currently the Scottish Rite Valley I am a member of has several routes you can take to get a Perpetual ($800 currently) but are still asked to pay the per capita which is around $15. I do not know the inner workings of all this but I assume it is pretty much the same in Blue Lodge as well. I have never checked on it in my Lodge, but I am working towards mine in the Scottish Rite.
     
  14. JustinScott

    JustinScott Premium Member

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    What do u mean per capita? Per person what? What dose per capita pay for and what dose the life membership pay for?
     
  15. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    The per capita is a fee assessed by the Grand Lodge to each constituent lodge for each member. In Oklahoma right now it is something like $15. So each Lodge has to pay that fee back to Grand Lodge for each of us that are members of the Lodges in Oklahoma. Right now in my Lodge our dues are $60 or $65, I can't remember right off, and of that money the per capita is taken from it to pay Grand Lodge for me to be a member. The remainder of the dues goes to the Lodge to pay for overhead, maintenance, and such.

    It is a standard practice for those in my Lodge that have Perpetual Memberships to pay the per capita so the Lodge is not footing the bill entirely on its own. The same would apply to the appendant bodies as well. It's a good thing to pay it on your own since some Lodges like mine have a higher number of Perpetual Members compared to non-Perpetual.
     
  16. jason.attas

    jason.attas Guest

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    I believe Perpetual Membership also enables your Lodge to continue to receive the interest payments even after your death, thus making your membership "perpetual."

    If you're a relatively young Mason, it makes a lot of fiscal sense to pay for a Perpetual Membership, and it's great for your Lodge. I believe there are options to pay the perpetual membership fee over time as well making it a little less painful than in one fell swoop.

    Good luck!
     
  17. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    I was under the impression that endowed memberships were a bad thing for the lodge, since the amount the lodge gets back every year is less that it'd receive if the member simply paid his dues and we haven't always even seen returns in the past. I'm just going off my experience from here in Texas though.
     
  18. JustinScott

    JustinScott Premium Member

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    OK so per capita is just a portion of the dues that goes to the lodge the other 3/4 is already covered by the perpetual membership?
     
  19. BroBill

    BroBill Site Benefactor Site Benefactor

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    Thanks for assisting in my "return to clarity"! I was pretty sure I wasn't hallucinating... but sometimes you have to check....
     
  20. BroBill

    BroBill Site Benefactor Site Benefactor

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    When the program started, the market was better and the lodges received more in return than per capita. Starting I'd say 4 or 5 years ago, the Endowed Fund (the fund where all the purchase go for investment) essentially tanked on a huge market drop. At least one year, the fund didn't return anything. In these cases, the lodge is still on the hook for the per capita payment, so yes, it can be painful for the lodge if a large portion of the lodge is Endowed and the fund doesn't return any funds.

    You may see a lot of references by endowed members paying their per capita to cover the cost of the lodge, but not all endowed members do that. There is a provision - if I remember correctly - where a lodge can change/raise the price of the endowed membership, but I think they can only do it at the same Stated Meeting when they hold elections for the next year. I may be confusing that with something else, but I seem to remember something like that. That - if true - at least gives the lodge some control and a chance at minimizing cost offsets.

    Whenever I've been in lodge and the subject of the Endowed Membership program came up, there's usually a heated discussion. Many folks see it in terms of black and white, right or wrong. I take the view that every MM must make his own decision based on his own circumstances. When I retired from the Air Force, I started working as a contractor which can be very fluid- contracts come and contracts go, sometimes with little notice. I went ahead and purchased endowed memberships so that if I'm every "stuck between contracts" and without income, my dues are covered and I'll be forever "In Good Standing". Others purchase them for the sheer economical value. Ultimately each MM must make his own decision, but should take into account the good of the lodge. I make an annual donation which is generally higher than per capita, so I don't feel my endowed membership is a net loss to the lodge.

    Long answer to your question, but the question was not as easy as you may have thought.

    BroBill
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012

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