I appreciate and fully support the governor's assistance to the Alaska Forest Association Pension group. Even though my business does not participate in this fund, this action is of great assistance to the group and it positively impacts all of the Southeast Alaska communities.
Many of the participants in the pension plan would be adversely affected and possibly put out of business without this state assistance.
Among the businesses affected are transportation providers, contractors, loggers and sawmill owners. The industry has already paid millions of dollars to fully insure their employees' pensions are protected. Now we are working to sustain the jobs as well.
This action will help keep the pension plan in compliance with the accelerated funding requirements while the group works out a long-term solution with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.
The dramatic reduction in the timber supply has downsized this industry so severely that it cannot achieve the accelerated pension funding requirements on its own. The state assistance will help maintain the jobs until the timber supply is restored. In these difficult times it is great to see the state do its part to help sustain this industry.
Steve Seley, owner of Pacific Log and Lumber