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To:         Retired Austin Firefighters
From:     Bill Stefka, Administrator
Date:      November 30, 2006
Re:         "HELPS" (Tax Relief) Enrollment Form Enclosed/ Please Return Before January 1, 2007

Dear Retirees:

As mentioned in our letter of October 19, 2006, "HELPS" (Healthcare Enhancement For Local Public Safety Retirees Act) is a key provision of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 which became effective August 17, 2006. Starting in January 2007, it will provide up to $3,000 annually on a pre-tax basis to retired public safety officers and their dependents for use toward health care insurance. For example: assume your pension income is $30,000 next year. You can reduce that taxable income by the amount of your (City of Austin only) medical and dental insurance premiums which we are deducting from your pension benefits (up to a maximum of $3,000 annually). Whatever medical and/or dental insurance you signed up for with the City of Austin for 2007(and in future years) will be used for this purpose. So if your medical and dental insurance premiums do reach $3,000 for the year 2007, your reportable taxable pension income on the 1099-R (from our plan) for that year will only reflect $27,000.

All of our retired firefighters are deemed eligible to participate in this program with our pension plan, provided we are deducting City of Austin medical and/or dental premiums from your pension benefits. If you are interested in tax relief and would like to participate, please complete the enclosed enrollment form with the required 3 signatures and return it to our pension office in the pre-postage paid envelope provided before January 1, 2007. Remember, you are not re-enrolling for City of Austin medical and/or dental insurance here, but merely enrolling directly with our pension office to participate in this tax relief opportunity. The form has standard precautionary information, so please call us with any questions you may have.

We hope that each and every one of you who are eligible for this program will return the enrollment form and take advantage of this opportunity. Please return the completed form before January 1, 2007. If you have any questions, please contact our office.


William E. Stefka

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