To: All Fire Fighter Pension Fund Members
From: Bill Stefka, Administrator
Date: December 28, 2009
Re: Benevolent Fund/HELPS Instructions/General Update
The Fund's actuary said we can not afford to grant a COLA this January due to the market losses in 2008 which we are still recovering from. However, there is an additional 4% in pension contributions from the city which has been approved through recent bargaining negotiations with the firefighters and the city. This additional funding will begin in 1% increments between years 2010-2013. With this increase being phased in, the overall contribution rate from the city will increase from 18.05% to 22.05%. This will bring our amortization period down to under 30 years. Although not enough to afford a COLA this year, it will certainly help going forward if the market continues to improve.
For the year of 2009 we have lost the following firefighters or widows:
|Name||Date Deceased ||Benevolent Fund?||Spouse/Or Survivior?|
|Eslie Hodnett (Age 100)|
Widow of Johnie
(widow of Sherrard)
|Silas Steen Smith (Age 96)||09/30/2009||Yes||Yes/June|
|John Zion ||10/02/2009||Yes||Yes/Mary|
|Edward Bridges (Active)||10/23/2009||No||Yes/Debbie|
|Raymond Culp||11/27/2009||No ||N/A|
Please contact Eric Pederson with the benevolent fund at 922-4332 with any questions you have about the benevolent fund. We understand there may be a new payment method being introduced by the benevolent fund committee, so be sure to contact them with any questions on this as well.
Don't forget the HELPS (Healthcare Enhancement for Local Public Safety) deduction of up to $3,000 annually. The IRS allows retired firefighters to exclude up to a maximum of $3,000 in medical and/or dental insurance premiums which are deducted directly from your retirement checks. This includes any insurance including amounts paid for beneficiaries as well. Please remember your 1099R's will not automatically reflect this exclusion. The instructions for taking this exclusion will probably be in Publication 575 and we strongly advise you consult with your tax advisor before completing your tax return with any questions you have.
We hope you have enjoyed the holidays and we wish you the best as we enter the new-year!
William E. Stefka