Coffers Swell At Alaska’s CUs With Annual Permanent Fund Dividend Deposits

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ANCHORAGE – Lines started forming at the state’s 12 credit unions early yesterday morning as members sought to deposit or to access their annual Permanent Fund Dividend checks.

Denali Alaskan FCU reported that employees started arriving to work as early as 3 am to prepare for the annual rush.

Matanuska Valley FCU sent a memo to all employees not to call in sick for the year’s biggest day. Like all the state credit unions and banks, Matanuska made sure it had plenty of cash on hand and tightened security. People often call to verify deposit of their PFDs, so extra employees work the phones.

This year’s dividend check is $1,281, $24 less than last year's, and most people chose to have it directly deposited to their accounts, credit union officials said. About $821.9 million is being paid out this year.

The annual dividend is paid from investment earnings on the state's $35.7 billion savings account, which was created in 1976 as construction on the trans-Alaska pipeline neared completion.

Earnings since 1980 have allowed the fund to pay out $18.8 billion in annual dividends to Alaska residents, including the money to be distributed this year.

About 641,600 Alaskans are getting dividends this year.

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