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To:        Pension Recipients
From:    Bill Stefka, Administrator
Date:     December 5, 2017
Re:       2018 COLA Approved!/Election Results/Retirees We Lost

Dear Retirees:

We have good news! The pension board recently approved a 2.2% COLA (cost-of-living adjustment) for 2018 for all eligible pension recipients. The plan’s actuary said the Fund can afford to pay the full CPI-U (all items) index which was 2.2% as measured at the end of September 2017 per our statute provisions and policy. This will be effective with the January 2018 retirement checks to go out at the end of next month.

The results of the recent pension board trustee election are as follows:

Keith Johnson 390
David Spidle 125
Mike Sullivan 144
Total 659

Congratulations to Keith Johnson on being re-elected to the pension board! Keith will begin his fourth 3-year term in January and the pension board and staff appreciates his dedication to the pension plan and membership. The Board also wants to thank Mr. Spidle and Sullivan for their interest in running for this position.
We regret that we lost the following retirees and widows during 2017:

Name Date Deceased Benevolent Fund? Spouse/Or Survivor? 
Vernile Kieke (88) (widow of John Kieke) 03/13/17 N/A N/A
Elward Schumann (90)  05/02/17 Yes Yes - Jeanette
Michael Brown (70) 05/06/17 Yes Yes - Gwendolyn Kay
Robert Barron (80) 05/12/17 Yes Yes - Della
Jane Basey (90) (widow of Milton Basey) 06/08/17 N/A N/A
Frances Havins (91) (widow of Robert Havins) 06/24/17 N/A N/A
Neta Carol Baird (70) (widow of John Baird) 07/17/17 N/A N/A
James (Rick) Norton (65) 07/28/17 Yes N/A
Robert Kimmons (64) 08/16/17 Yes Yes - Barbara
John Williamson (83) 11/09/17 Yes Yes - Jo Ann

For benevolent fund members, the benevolent fund representatives will contact you directly about any future dues or assessments (once or twice a year?) as they become necessary. The pension office will then deduct that amount for the benevolent members as and when we are directed to do so. Please contact the benevolent fund folks with any questions you may have.

Don't forget about the Public Safety Officers' (PSO) deduction of up to $3,000 annually. (Also referred to as the HELPS Act, first responders, etc.) The IRS allows retired firefighters (public safety officers) to reduce their income up to a maximum of $3,000.00 based on the medical and/or dental as well as vision insurance premiums which are deducted directly from your retirement checks. This includes any insurance amounts deducted from your check for beneficiaries as well. Please remember this is a limit of up to $3,000.00 and your 1099R's will not automatically reflect this exclusion. The instructions for taking this exclusion will probably be noted in the Form 1040 instructions as the "Public Safety Officer's" (PSO) adjustment. Please save your December 2017 check stubs from State Street Bank which will have your year-to-date insurance deductions listed on them. It is strongly advised that you consult with your tax advisor before completing your tax return with any questions you may have.

The pension board and staff wish all of you a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

William E. Stefka