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To: Pension Recipients
From: Bill Stefka, Administrator
Date: December 17, 2003
Re: COLA Information/Trustee Election Results/General Update

Dear Pension Recipients:

The pension board decided they could not grant a COLA for 2004. Despite a nice increase in the market value of the pension fund this year, the actuary’s recent report spells out that using our current assumptions we are not quite where we need to be. The general rule is that although the market value of the fund has bounced back this year (from $330 million to over $390 million) and things are looking much better, we still need to proceed with caution. Your pension board is taking this a year at a time, and hope that next year will also be a positive one so that the pension fund will be on even more solid footing and that they will be in a better position to grant a COLA at that time. Once again we appreciate your understanding on this.

During the past year we have lost the following retired and active fire fighters:

Name/Age Date
Floyd Bates (77) 1/8/03 Yes Shirley
Hollis Harrell (92) 5/26/03 Yes N/A
Lillie Polvado (99)-(Widow Of Henry) 6/9/03 N/A N/A
Curtis Schwarzlose (68) 6/11/03 No Theresa
Alton Nichols (89) 6/30/03 Yes Karen
David Peppler (38)-Active 7/3/03 Yes N/A
James R. (Fuzzy) Herrell (81) 7/14/03 Yes Vera
Vernell Ponder (77)-(Widow Of Harold) 8/4/03 N/A N/A
Kathleen Wright (91)-(Widow Of Claud) 8/19/03 N/A N/A
James Robert Walker (53) 10/29/03 No Kathy
Earl Rosen (84) 10/31/03 Yes N/A

The above information is provided for benevolent fund purposes (keeping your dues current), as well as keeping our retirees up to date. With regard to the benevolent fund, we have an important announcement. As of January 1, 2004 Gary Pounds will no longer be the benevolent fund trustee for retirees. Eric Pedersen will be taking over that position. Payments can still be collected at Fire Station #20 at 6601 Manchaca Rd., Austin, TX. 78745. Eric Pedersen is at Fire Station #20 (A-shift) at 442-4846 and he can collect payments there.

Also, retiree Harold Lundgren can collect payments at the retiree breakfasts at Owens Restaurant every second (2nd) Wednesday of each month. If you have any questions concerning your status with the benevolent fund, please call Gary Pounds at 288-0591 or Eric Pedersen at Fire Station #20 A-shift at 442-4846.

The results of the pension board trustee election for the trustee whose three (3) year term begins January 1, 2004 are as follows:

Mike Sullivan 405
Write-Ins 6

Congratulations to Mike Sullivan for being elected to the pension board! Mr. Sullivan previously served on the Board for 7 ½ years, first being elected to fill the unexpired term of former trustee Robin Paulsgrove in July 1989 and having completed his last 3-year term in December 1996. The pension board and staff also wish to thank Phil Jack who is completing his second 3-year term on the Board and decided not to run for re-election at this time. We are grateful for his dedicated service to the fire fighters!

As a footnote, Proposition 15 passed last September. This was the constitutional amendment (mentioned in our update of 9/5/03) that prevents accrued benefits in certain retirement systems from being reduced or impaired. The amendment establishes the obligation of maintaining vested benefits as the joint responsibility of the active members and the political subdivision (City). Your support of this measure is much appreciated. Don’t forget the retiree breakfast held the 2nd Wednesday of each month at the Owens Restaurant at IH-35 and Hwy 290 East. We heard they have a pretty good crowd, but there is plenty of room for more folks to attend.

The pension office will be relocating to the Parkstone Office Centre effective Monday, January 5, 2004. Our new address will be 4101 Parkstone Heights Dr., Suite #270, Austin, Texas 78746. There is a separate notice enclosed about this for you to keep as a reminder on your refrigerator or in your files. Our phone (454-9567) and fax (453-7197) numbers are to remain the same. This office building is located on Hwy 360 South. It is between Barton Creek Mall and Westlake High School, but across the road. (It is directly across the road from Tres Amigos Restaurant.) This building is brand new and there will still be some interior construction going on after the first of the year. However, our space will be finished and we will be open for pension business at this new location effective Monday, January 5, 2004. You are certainly welcome to stop by if you are in the area!

On behalf of the pension board, Linda Adney and I wish you all have a Merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!


William E. Stefka