April 1, 1983
CIRCULAR LETTER No. 5 (1983)
Dated: April 1, 1983
TO: ALL FRATERNAL BENEFIT SOCIETIES LICENSED TO DO BUSINESS IN NEW YORK STATE
RE: ELIGIBILITY OF SOCIAL MEMBERS TO HOLD ELECTED OFFICE
Section 455(1) of the New York Insurance Law provides, in part, that social members of fraternal benefit societies licensed to do business in this State shall have no voice or vote in the management of the insurance affairs of the society, except that they shall be eligible to be elected as officers and as representatives of insurance members.
It has come to our attention that under provisions of their constitutions some societies prohibit their insurance membership from electing a social member to office and/or from selecting a social member to act as their representative. All societies are directed to review their constitution and/or by-laws to determine if their insurance membership has the right to elect social members to act as their representative and to hold other elective offices in the Society.
Any domestic society which finds that the provisions of its constitution and by-laws do not conform to the requirements of Section 455(1) should forthwith amend its constitution and by-laws in the manner prescribed in the last paragraph of Section 465(2) of the New York Insurance Law.
Foreign or alien societies licensed to do business in this State should make non-conforming provisions of their constitution and by-laws inapplicable as regards New York lodges by amending their constitution and by-laws or by other legal means, as soon as possible. New York lodges are to be informed of the provisions of Section 455(1) of the New York Insurance Law and the manner in which its provisions are to be implemented in the New York lodges.
Please acknowledge receipt of this letter and indicate if the provisions of your Society's constitution and by-laws conform to the requirements of Section 455(1) of the New York Insurance Law. If it does not comply, kindly indicate how compliance is to be achieved.
Your reply should be directed to:
Mr. Alvin H. Alpert
Chief of the Life Insurance and Companies Bureau
New York State Insurance Department
Two World Trade Center
New York, NY 10047
Very truly yours,
JAMES P. CORCORAN
Superintendent of Insurance