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To: Pension Recipients
From: Bill Stefka
Date: December 20, 2004
Re: 2005 Pension Increase Of $32.00 Per Month/Run-Off Results/General Update

Dear Retirees:

There will be an increase in all annuitants' benefits of $32.00 per month effective January 1, 2005 which will begin with the January checks to be paid at the end of January, 2005. The Fund's actuary noted our pension plan had only a certain amount of funding available which could be used for this purpose. It was decided that the fairest way to use these funds would be to grant a flat dollar amount increase of $32.00 per month to each annuitant. This amount will be prorated for those who took regular service retirement during the year 2004.

During the year 2004 we have lost the following retirees:

Name/Age Date
Deceased
Benevolent
Fund?
Surviving
Spouse?
 
Retirees:
Johnie Hodnett, Sr. (97) 01/06/04 Yes Yes/Eslie
Woodrow Banner (87) 02/02/04 Yes Yes/Dorothy
Willie S. Wilson (73) 02/02/04 Yes Yes/Erma
Milton M. Basey (87) 04/12/04 Yes Yes/Jane
William J. Pugh (86) 04/27/04 No N/A
Jesse D. Halm (78) 05/16/04 Yes Yes/Marjorie
Robert (Buddy) Spears (86) 06/06/04 Yes N/A
A. W. (Pete) Oertli, Jr. (78) 10/12/04 Yes Yes/Ruth
George R. Gant (69) 12/06/04 Yes Yes, Elaine
 
Widows:
Opal Schmidt (Billie Schmidt) 01/07/04
Zona Gray (James L. Gray) 06/18/04
Mary Spillar (James D. Spillar) 07/03/04
Mabel Lane (William O. Lane) 07/11/04
Lena Murchison (Joe Murchison) 10/07/04
Aldona Campbell (W. Duke Campbell) 12/10/04

We also lost our good friend Virginia Murphy who passed away March 9, 2004, at age 69. The best way to make benevolent fund payments is to mail them to Eric Pederson at Fire St. 20(A), 6601 Manchaca Rd., Austin, TX 78745. Make the checks out to: Local 975 Benevolent Fund. Eric's phone number is (512)441-7335(Home) and (512)922-4332(Cell).

Periodically, we have been asked about getting notices out sooner to our retirees when a fellow retiree passes away. We are aware that notification does not get to everybody as timely as they may wish and we truly regret that this occurs. Due to budget constraints, we can not always do a mass paper mail-out immediately after we lose one of our retirees. (However, we do try to get quarterly newsletters out such as this one). Also, due to confidentiality issues we can not distribute everybody's e-mail or phone numbers. However it was suggested to send an e-mail to certain retirees who can then notify other retirees who they keep in contact with. This sounds like the best alternative. If you would like to be an e-mail contact (buddy) who we can send a quick e-mail to and help get word out to other retirees, please contact our office. Hopefully this will go a long way to resolving the issue. Our e-mail address is afdpension@austin.rr.com. should you be interested in this. Our website address is: AFRS.ORG, which can be read for our updates as well.

The result of the run-off for the pension board trustee position whose three (3) year term will begin January 1, 2005 is as follows:

Randy Aylieff 348
Phil Jack 271
 
Total 619
Congratulations to Randy Aylieff for being elected to another three year term on the pension board! The pension board also wants to thank Phil Jack as well as Brad Ballard and Greg Nye who all agreed to run for this position. The pension board appreciates all of our membership who were able to take part in this election process.

On another note, the deadline for your 1099-R's (also know as W-2's) to be sent to you each year is January 31st (post-marked by that date). Please remember that State Street Bank (our custodian bank) will probably need all of that time to get them to our retirees. They have many clients and there is some testing necessary from their end before these can be approved for mail-outs. So please be aware of this as your patience is much appreciated.

We would also like to remind all of you about the retiree breakfast group which meets every second Wednesday at about 8:00 am at the Owens Restaurant in the vicinity of IH-35 and Hwy 290 East. Please make this get together if you get a chance.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let us know. On behalf of our pension board, Linda Adney and I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season.

Sincerely,

William E. Stefka,
Administrator