Everyone in the Juneau Empire newsroom was surprised when acting Revenue Commissioner Angela Rodell announced that this year’s Permanent Fund Dividend check is $900. Last year’s check was $878 and we all suspected it would be lower.
Reporters and editors made guesses that the PFD would be as little as $675 and as much as $803. Guesses from our readers on Facebook ranged from $650 to $1,250.
While this year’s check is higher than we expected, next year’s might be even better. Permanent Fund checks are calculated by averaging performance of the fund over five years. The 2008 stock market crash factored into decreasing check amounts over the last few years. The fund is an investment of some of Alaska’s oil royalties.
At the end of fiscal year 2013, preliminary data showed that the Permanent Fund was valued at $44.9 billion, which is up $4.6 billion from last year. The Permanent Fund Board of Trustee’s will review audited performance data at its annual meeting in Fairbanks on Sept. 25 and 26.
There were 670,865 applicants for this year’s PFD. Rodell said the oldest PFD applicant was 108 years old and the youngest was born at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2012.
Direct deposit of PFD checks will happen on Oct. 3.