PFD applications book shrinking to save the state money

Posted: Sunday, January 03, 2010

ANCHORAGE - The state will reduce the size of Alaska Permanent Fund dividend applications and change the schedule for distributing dividends.

The annual dividend is paid from investment profits averaged over the past five years from the permanent fund, a $34 billion oil-wealth savings account.

The three-month application period opened Friday.

To save mailing costs, the state no longer will send full application booklets.

Instead, 76,000 households that applied on paper last year will receive a four-page booklet that includes one adult and one child application. The booklet will list 270 places to get more applications.

Permanent Fund Division director Debbie Bitney said the state runs up a huge postage bill every year to mail a full application booklet that most people trash.

She told the Anchorage Daily News the state will use some of the postage savings for an advertising campaign to remind people to apply.

The state also is changing when dividends will be distributed. Checks will be deposited or mailed Oct. 7, Bitney said.

In the past, early online applicants who requested direct deposit of their payments got their money before other applicants.

The 2010 dividend is projected to be smaller than last year's $1,305. The actual payment will depend on how stock, bond and real estate markets perform in the next six months.

Last year 76 percent of applicants applied online. Procedures for that method have not changed.

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