S.C. gov. signs league-advocated PLS bill

June 9, 2016

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has signed into law legislation allowing credit unions to offer prize-linked savings (PLS) accounts through programs such Save to Win.

The Carolinas Credit Union League (CCUL) worked proactively with lawmakers and advoccy groups to ensure the legislation’s unanimous passage by the South Carolina General Assembly.

A 110-0 vote in the South Carolina House on May 18 sent the bill to the Senate, which voted 36-0 to concur with the House-amended version.

The Save to Win PLS model has merited national media attention for encouraging more families to save money. The accounts, designed to encourage savings, work by offering members entries into cash-prize drawings each time they deposit a set amount of money into a savings account. 

Piloted in Michigan in 2009, in 2013 North Carolina passed similar legislation through the advocacy of CCUL and supporting credit unions.

In the three years since, participating North Carolina credit union members have deposited $5.4 million into savings accounts which averages $2,500 per account. This initiative has positively impacted the financial well-being of 52% of members who previously did not contribute to their savings.

Eighteen states now authorize financial institutions to offer this product, including Louisiana, New Jersey, Michigan, Rhode Island, Maine, Washington, North Carolina, Nebraska, Maryland, Connecticut, Indiana, New York, Arkansas, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon and Virginia.