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To:        Pension Recipients
From:    Bill Stefka
Date:     December 21, 2012
Re:        COLA Approved/Election Results/Update

Dear Retirees:

Good News! A cost-of-living increase (COLA) in the amount of $93.00 per month has been approved for all eligible retirees, widows, and beneficiaries effective January 1, 2013 and will begin with the January 25, 2013 payroll. This was approved by the pension board at their December meeting after receiving input and certification from the plan’s actuary. For newly retired firefighters, please remember according to our statute that COLA eligibility begins at the earlier of age 50 or reaching what would be your 25th anniversary in the pension plan. Also, the COLA may be prorated in some instances for firefighters who have been retired for less than the entire calendar year of 2012. 

Don’t forget the HELPS (Healthcare Enhancement for Local Public Safety) deduction of up to $3,000 annually. The IRS allows retired firefighters (public safety officers) to exclude up to a maximum of $3,000.00 in 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 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. It is strongly advised that you consult with your tax advisor before completing your tax return with any questions you have.

The pension board trustee runoff election results are now in. The results of the runoff were:

James Fedro 370
Stephen Truesdell 306

Congratulations to James Fedro on being elected to another 3 year term on your pension board. We want to thank Stephen Truesdell, as well as Jim Evans and Rodger Miller for participating in this year’s elections. The pension board also wants to thank the entire membership, both active and retired, who participated in the election process.

During 2012 we lost the following retirees  and widows:

Name Date
Manuel R. Valdez (62) 1/15/12 Yes Yes – Linda
Leslie E. Sullivan (92)  1/29/12 Yes N/A
Barbara Ramm (Widow of Luther Ramm) 2/18/12  N/A  N/A
Alda Hamilton (Widow of Arthur Hamilton Jr.)  4/8/12 N/A N/A
William Walsh (95) 5/11/12 Yes N/A
Peggy Grooms (Widow of Donald Grooms) 5/29/12 N/A N/A
Coney L. Coxwell (52) 6/3/12 Yes Yes – Lindsey (Daughter)
Winifred M. Curry (73)  6/17/12 Yes Yes – Nicole
Vernon K. Wimberley (90) 8/4/12 Yes Yes – Bennie
Edna McDonald (Widow of Charles McDonald) 10/18/12 N/A N/A

As most of you know, we are now deducting $6.00 in monthly dues for our retired benevolent fund members when we are instructed to do so. Please contact your benevolent fund representatives with any questions you have about their program.

If you have any questions, please contact our pension office. The pension board and staff wish all of you a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

William E. Stefka