Austin Fire Fighters Relief & Retirement Fund  
The PlanAbout UsYour RetirementNewsLinks  
Austin Fire Fighters Relief & Retirement FundNews Capitol (photo)  
Pension NotesHome Page > News > NEWSLETTER  
Financial Snapshot
Financial Statements

To:        Pension Recipients
From:    Bill Stefka
Date:     December 27, 2013
Re:        COLA Approved/Election Results/Update

Dear Retirees:

COLA APPROVED! A cost-of-living increase (COLA) in the amount of $64.00 per month has been approved for all eligible retirees, widows, and beneficiaries effective January 1, 2014 and will begin with the January 25, 2014 payroll. The annual inflation rate of the CPI-U index used by the fund was 1.2% and it had fallen in recent months. The Board asked the actuary to convert that percentage to a flat dollar amount to be paid across the board and it came out to the $64.00 per month. 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 2013. 

Don’t forget 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 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 election results are now in. The results were:

Jeremy Burke 419
Write In’s 0

Congratulations to Jeremy Burke on being elected to another 3 year term on your pension board. The pension board also wants to thank the entire membership, both active and retired, who participated in the election process.

During 2013 we lost the following retirees  and widows:

Name Date
August C. Frohnapfel (88) 1/7/13 Yes N/A
Jesse H. Bennight (80) 1/12/13 Yes Yes/Margie

Martha Douglas (widow of Burton Douglas) (93)

1/20/13 N/A N/A

Weldon G. (Stoney) Friedrich (86)

2/27/13 Yes Yes/Iris

Frances C. Engle (83)

3/26/13 Yes Yes/Wanda

Carl W. Ekdahl (88)

4/8/13 Yes Yes/Nancy

Thomas L. Richardson (90)

4/13/13 Yes Yes/Gean

Marjorie E. Halm (widow of Jessie D. Halm) (80)

4/17/13 N/A N/A

Gregory B. Powers (58)

6/6/13 Yes Yes/Carolyn

Louise Steussy (widow of Alvin Steussy) (95)

6/12/13 N/A N/A

Verda Mae Powell (widow of Marvin D. Powell) (88)

7/10/13 N/A N/A

Evelin C. Becker (widow of Edwin G. Becker) (92)

10/12/13 N/A N/A

Lena S. Holden (widow of William N. Holden) (92)

11/1/13 N/A N/A

As most of you know, we no longer collect monthly dues for the benevolent fund. The benevolent fund representatives will contact you directly with any information about the program. There is no need to make any payments to them until you are contacted directly by their representatives.

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