The Permanent Fund Dividend this year is $878. Revenue Commissioner Bryan Butcher announced the amount this morning at a news conference at the Dividend Information Office in Anchorage. Butcher noted the amount was low compared to recent years, but not even close to the historical low in 1984 when the PFD amount was $331. The dividend amount each year is based on a five-year average of the fund’s investment returns. And Butcher says 2009 is weighing on those calculations.
“As long as the fiscal year 09 year that lost in the billions of dollars, as long as that is part of the calculation, it’s going to be a little lower. So next year’s dividend will be the last year that that down year will be factored in,” Butcher said.
The highest PFD amount was distributed in 2008 when Alaskans received $2,069 for the PFD and a $1,200 dollar Alaska Resource Rebate. The oldest applicant this year was 107-years old and the youngest was born to eligible parents just before the New Year. Butcher says the dividend checks have a big effect on the economy. And he likes to think about how the money helps average Alaskans.
“The opportunity folks have to either go out and do things, a vacation a big purchase, Christmas gifts or catch up on their mortgage payments, catch up on their bills. Every Alaskan has a different situation that they find themselves in and this money is a tremendously fortunate opportunity to take care of the needs of their families,” Butcher said.
The money will be direct deposited in bank accounts on Oct. 4. Checks will be mailed out that same day from Juneau. The PFD’s Pick Click Give program had its most successful year ever. Alaskans are giving away more than $2 million of their dividends to hundreds of non-profits around the state.