CORPORATIONS, ASSOCIATIONS, AND PROPRIETORS OF COMMON LANDS
CONSUMERS' COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATIONS
301-A:28 Distribution of Net Savings.
Net savings shall be allocated or distributed to all members or patrons in proportion to their transactions, patronage, sales, or labor within one or more divisions or departments of the association; provided, that the net savings of an association may be retained to expand its services or to reduce charges to the members or patrons. At least once a year the members or the directors, or both, as the certificate of organization or bylaws may provide, shall apportion the net savings of the association in the following order:
I. At least 10 percent shall be placed in a reserve fund until the general reserve exceeds 30 percent of both the paid in and subscribed capital. Such fund may be used in the general conduct of the business. The amounts apportioned to the reserve fund may be allocated on the books of the association on a patronage basis. The books and records of the association shall afford an alternative means for doing so, in order that upon dissolution or earlier, if deemed advisable, such reserves may be returned to the patrons who have contributed the same, subject to the limitations of RSA 301-A:33.
II. Noncumulative dividends may be paid on share capital at a rate not to exceed the 10 percent ceiling permitted in RSA 301-A:26. Dividends shall be paid only out of the surplus of the aggregate of the assets over the aggregate of the liabilities, including in the latter the amount of the capital stock, after deducting from such aggregate of the assets the amount by which such aggregate was increased by unrealized appreciation in value or revaluation of fixed assets.
III. Five percent of the remaining net savings may be allocated for an education reserve.
IV. The remainder shall be allocated at the same uniform rate to all patrons of the association in proportion to their individual patronage; provided that:
(a) In the case of a member patron, his proportionate amount of savings returns shall be distributed to him unless he agrees that the association should credit the amount to his account toward the purchase of an additional share or shares, or additional membership capital;
(b) In the case of a subscriber patron, his proportionate amount of savings returns may, as the articles or bylaws provide, be distributed to him or credited to his account until the amount of capital subscribed for has been fully paid;
(c) In the case of a nonmember patron, his proportionate amount of savings returns shall be set aside in a nonmember savings return reserve for such patrons and shall be allocated to individual nonmember patrons only upon request and presentation of evidence of the amount of their patronage. Any savings return so allocated shall be credited to such patron toward payment of the minimum amount of share or membership capital necessary for membership. When a sum equal to this amount has accumulated at any time within a period of time specified in the bylaws, such patron shall be deemed and become a member of the association if he so agrees or requests, and complies with any provisions in the bylaws for admission to membership. The certificates of shares or membership to which he is entitled shall then be issued to him;
(d) If within any periods of time specified in the articles or bylaws: (1) any subscriber has not accumulated and paid in the amount of capital subscribed for; or (2) any nonmember patron has not accumulated in his or her individual account the sum necessary for membership; or (3) any nonmember patron has accumulated the sum necessary for membership but neither requests nor agrees to become a member, or fails to comply with the provisions of the bylaws, if any, for admission to membership, then the amounts so accumulated or paid in and any part of the general fund for nonmember patrons which has not been allocated to individual nonmember patrons shall go to the reserve fund. Thereafter, no member or other patron shall have any rights in said paid-in capital or accumulated savings returns as such;
(e) An association may defer payment of net savings which would otherwise be distributed to a member or patron when the total amount that would be distributed to the member or patron is de minimis. The amount of the deferred payment shall be added to the next net savings apportioned to the member or patron. For purposes of this section, "de minimis" means any amount less than 10 times the cost of a first-class United States postage stamp.
V. Provided further, that nothing in this section shall prevent an association under this chapter which is engaged in rendering services from disposing of the net savings from the rendering of such services in such manner as to lower the fees charged for services or otherwise to further the common benefit of the members. Nothing in this section shall prevent an association from adopting a system whereby the payment of savings returns which would otherwise be distributed shall be deferred for a fixed period of months or years; nor from adopting a system whereby the savings returns distributed shall be partly in cash and partly in shares, such shares to be retired at a fixed future date, in the order of their serial number or date of issue.
Source. 1983, 462:1. 2001, 197:2, 3 eff. Sept. 3, 2001.