The number on every Alaskan’s mind was announced Wednesday morning by acting Revenue Commissioner Angela Rodell, in Anchorage. This year’s Alaska Permanent Fund dividend (PFD) payout is $900. The dividend will be distributed to eligible Alaska residents beginning Oct. 3.
Altogether, there were 670,865 Alaska PFD applicants this year, and about 640,436 should qualify, Rodell said. The oldest applicant was 108 years old, and the youngest was born at 11:59 p.m. on the qualification deadline of Dec. 31, 2012.
2013's relatively low check amount is due in part to the 2008 stock market crash which led to a lengthy recession around the U.S. and the world. The PFD checks are based on a five-year performance average of the fund.
Next year's checks are expected to rise, said Rodell. She said the fund will draw from five years of increasing returns.
PFD checks will begin to be deposited into people's accounts on Thursday, Oct. 3 for those who signed up for direct deposit. Checks requested by mail will be sent out the same day.
The payout, which is derived from a formula based on that five-year average of Permanent Fund earnings, is less than 2011’s payout of $1,174 but more than 2012, when the check came to $878. Over the years, the amount of the Permanent Fund check has ranged from a low of $331.29 in 1984, to a high of $2,069 in 2008.
Alaska's Permanent Fund closed fiscal year 2013, which ended June 30, valued at $44.9 billion, based on preliminary data. That's up $4.6 billion from last year. The Permanent Fund rose in fiscal year 2013, returning 10.9 percent.
The charitable giving program Pick.Click.Give received a record amount of PFD donations this year. PFD recipients donated $2.4 million for 471 charities around the state. Bean's Cafe, in Anchorage, received the most donations at $119,750. Public radio and television stations KSKA/KSKM received the second-most donations and the Food Bank of Alaska received the third-most donations.
The Permanent Fund was established in 1976, with voters passing a Constitutional amendment to create the fund -- check out a historical timeline of the PFD. The first PFD check was issued in 1982, with a payout of $1,000.
More information on the PFD is available here.
Correction: This article originally reported the youngest PFD recipient as being born on Dec. 31, 2011. They were actually born Dec. 31, 2012.