2018 Alaska PFD: Announcement, Amount, and News 259

Last Updated July, 2018: The 2018 PFD will be disbursed October 4th.

NEW: I’ve created a full list of our House and Senate members with their PFD stance by voting record. What color is your representative?


Note: This page will be updated in real time as any new information about the PFD becomes available each year including dates and times of any announcements.2016 alaska pfd

Does this page look familiar? That’s because it probably is. I’ve been updating this PFD information page since 2008. As a life-long Alaskan, the PFD is, of course, on my list of interest. As a website owner, I thought, what the heck, why not add a news and update page for the PFD?  At the very top of the page you’ll always see a “last updated” message to verify all info is current and from this year.

When was the 2017 PFD be announced? Will there be a 2018 announcement?

The amount of the Alaska permanent fund dividend is usually announced in mid-September, typically the 18th to 22nd sometime, but in 2017, there was not an announcement. At random, on September 14, 2017, the PFD division website began sporting the message below– just a quick note that the 2017 PFD is $1,100.
2017 PFDGiven this, it’s questionable that the 2018 PFD will be announced at all.

What’s happening with the PFD? How did it get cut?

As the state faces a budget “crisis,” attempts to restructure the PFD program to fund the government continue.

Governor Walker’s push for the PFD began with SB 128 in 2015, which passed in the Senate, but failed to pass in the House and was deemed “dead” as the session ended. However, Walker was bent on cutting into the PFD…

In June 2017, he vetoed a portion of the PFD funding on the state budget limiting the 2016 PFD to $1,000. That had never been done before, but any veto can be overridden by the legislature with a majority vote.  None the less, they did not use that power and the veto stood.

Walker’s 2017 budget proposal included a new (nearly identical) bill to SB 128. This, and other bills like it, struggled for passage, and remained undecided as the legislative session (and extensive special sessions) came to a close. Regardless, the operating budget did pass in both the House and Senate. This budget appropriated only $8,611,800 for PFD payments versus $1,501,000,000 by the normal calculation method. This capped 2017 PFDs at $1,100, where as by the normal method, PFDs were projected at $2,220.  The legislature took up the capital budget in a late-July special session and likewise passed a budget that also did not fully fund PFDs. Walker’s 2018 budget proposal continued to push his agenda with SB 26.

On May 8, 2018, SB 26 passed the legislature. This bill caps withdrawals from the Permanent Fund at 5.25 percent for the next three years before dropping to 5 percent. The current PFD statutory formula will be used to calculate PFDs, but the government’s draw and the PFD are calculated in the “total” draw. As a result, in the future, legislatures and governors may take funds for government first,  giving the people the scraps in PFD form (clearly, your author thinks this bill is a bad thing, no unclear bias here).

There is currently a campaign to recall Walker and previously was a law suit.

Updates on the Walker Recall:

Signature drives seem to have mostly stopped, and the group has been unavailable to provide a current signature count to me. You can find dates and times for events near you (assuming there are any) via the recall walker Facebook page found here or the recall Walker website.  At this point, with 2018 being an election year, the best thing you can do to get Walker out of office is to VOTE.  The primary is August 21st.

Updates on the court case:

Bill Wielechowski, along with former Republican Alaska Senate presidents, Clem Tillion and Rick Halford, filed a suit September 16, which was later ruled in the State’s favor on November 17 by Judge William Morse. Wielechowski  filed an appeal with the Supreme court, but a verdict was rendered August 25, 2017 upholding the superior court’s decision.


How much were the 2016 and 2017 PFD, and how much will the 2018 PFD be?

The 2016 PFD was $1,022, just over the $1,000 cap.  The 2017 PFD was set at the cap of $1,100, and the 2018 PFD is currently capped at $1,600. Had 2018 been “fully funded,” it would have been between $2,400 and $2,700 PFD with $2,650 being a commonly quoted number by legislative members.

How much would have the 2016 and 2017 PFDs have been without the cap?

As many of us know, the PFD amount is usually calculated using the last five years of the fund’s returns by:

-Adding the fund’s Statutory Net Income from the last 5 years.
-Multiplying by 21%.
-Dividing by 2.
-Subtracting the prior year obligations, expenses and PFD program operations.
-Dividing by the number of eligible applicants.

It was a low year in 2012 that dropped the PFD amount below $1,000 in 2013 as the high year in 2008 dropped off. Luckily, in 2014 and 2015, the fund had rebounded and the PFD amount came back up with it. Below are the statutory net income numbers which should be used to calculate the PFD:

(expressed as millions rounded)

FY 2012 1,568-dropped off in 2017.

FY 2013 2,928-dropping in 2018.
FY 2014 3,531
FY 2015: 2,907
FY 2016: 2,198
FY 2017: 3,214
FY 2018: TBA

As low years have fallen away, the fund should have offered high returns for residents over the next few years.

Just how high?

The actual 2016 PFD amount should have been $2,052. The 2017 PFD should have been around $2,200-$2,300 as calculated below. This means Walker and our legislature has robbed each and every Alaskan of about $2,300 so far.

5-year total (numbers above) 14,778x.21=3103.38/2=1551.69-(using old numbers, as this isn’t released)36.8=1514.89/(last years applicants)662,046=$2,288.19

The 2018 Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend will begin disbursement October 4th.



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259 thoughts on “2018 Alaska PFD: Announcement, Amount, and News

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Yes, there’s no law regarding the use of dependent minor dividends. Many parents use them towards bills that benefit their kids.

  • Sarah

    It is illegal for the government to use the PFD for government funding. It is in the Alaska constitution, we have the PFD because Alaskan residents aren’t allowed to the oil on their own property. Recall walker and all the laws he has made. It is illegal to cap the PFD, unless they give the people a vote. Time to kick walker out of office! It is time to stand up and make the government follow the law.

  • Mike Moda

    We need to vote out these thieves. They want our money so they can grow fat in power. They won’t cut government because they are beholden to the unions, oil companies and other power brokers. People have become like sheep waiting to be sheared. Cancel your Daily News Miner subscription which has always supported big government and habitually lies with liberal headlines like LEGISLATURE VOTES TO PROTECT DIVIDEND when the legislature has actually voted to attack the legislature. I remember when the PFD was set up and Alaskans would never have allowed this.

  • Joe Kocienda

    Tough issue to decide. I am in favor of chipping in part of my PFD as long as our State government reduces its spending so we are not in this mess forever. Unfortunately the State takes away the PFD and continues to spend like drunken sailors. Not to mention they lie constantly about where they spend our $$$. So I urge our State officials and Governor to show leadership by making the necessary cuts to get us back on track. Then I would be in favor of chipping in my share of my PFD to help. Until then I say restore the PFD to its original amount.

    • KM

      Hey, stop insulting drunken sailors by comparing them to our legislators – drunken sailors only spend their own money that they earned! 🙂

  • Clarence Brooks

    Its time for the People of Alaska and the people of the United States of America to remember and enforce that “The People run the Government” it should not be the Government controlling us! We as Alaskans and We as the People need to enforce our rights to control the Government. We can start by Making it known that the PFD 5 year plan had worked and would continue work, the dividend amounts may have fluctuated some but the Fund was always there!!! Walker had no right dipping into it.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent review. Thank you for your info. Let us get the robbers. I despise power abusers and dishonest politicians. They will continue to robing us, but only if we allow them to go ahead. Good fight against corruption

    • david

      i think governor walker should be fired and not even get a JOB at MC Donalds , after his termination of office and be kicked out of Alaska permintly

      • Anonymous

        Ok, if you think he’s not doing a good job as a governor. Then you should run a state that in an economic crisis, and then trying to keep schools, hospitals, police stations, and fire stations open while you are giving money to people ever they are a rotten human being, like you, free money instead of trying to make this state stable again. so you go on right head, I would love to see you crush and burn. However I love my state and I know that it needs help so I’m willing to give up a good chuck of it to keep my state a float. You are willing to be selfish and not give back to the state that keeps you safe and educated?

        • Anonymous

          Here it is we as Alaskan Residents own all mineral rights. That PFD is not a hand out to us it is our royalty payment on Our minerals aka oil gas coal gold silver copper zink and so forth. You never even asked us if you could dip into OUR payments which is buy law theft and the only reason you got away with it is because you are friends with the judges

          • Anonymous

            You don’t understand .That man is part of the government and can do what ever he wants. Our government does not care what we have to say. To keep what’s rightfully ours should not be up for debate .

        • Joe Kocienda

          Sorry to disagree with you friend. The State is a glutton and is not willing to cut spending to alleviate the mess that has been created. Most of the funding for schools, roads, and infrastructure comes from Federal $$ not State. The State is in trouble due to high wages and pension obligations that is killing the budget. Most of this is due to unions that are strangling our governments ability to survive. You never hear a State officials talking about cutting salaries or furlough programs. The union would never let that happen. Taking our PFD and giving it to the Stayeis like giving a crack head $20. They will spend it and continue to ask for more. That is a wrong approach. Bite the bullet and start cutting government entitlement programs spending cut salaries at all levels including travel expenses. There is no reason for our state officials to fly all over the country and the world on our dime. Like you said we are in a crisis. Our officials should be the examples and start cutting their salaries and perks. You are right we need to ALL CHIP IN. However it should start with our state leadership acting like leaders. Unfortunately they are not!

          • Michael Bostwick

            Walker is about as smart as a box of rocks when he stold the pfd he slit is own throat. A liar just like lisa!

  • Jake

    Why is the State subsidizing the commercial fishing industry at a loss of $27.2 Million per year while stealing our children’s Permanent Fund Dividend?

    • “Not counting municipal revenue and expenditures, state expenditures are greater than state revenue. Considering only revenue to the state, excluding local government revenue, state expenditures for commercial fishing are greater than the state revenue: state operating budget expenditures are $8.7 million higher than state revenue; operating plus capital budget expenditures are $27.2 million more than state revenue. ”

    Source: http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/Publications/2015_12-FiscalEffectsOfCommercialFishingMiningTourism.pdf

    • Janell Lindsey

      If you are so pro-Walker, why are you anonymous? The state’s bankruptcy issues are a result of many bad decisions and money ill-spent… the PFD that belongs to Alaskans should not be stolen to make up for mistakes politicians have made. It is separate and apart from other financial issues. Frankly, with the rate of crime in AK and the people that go unpunished to do it again, I’m surprised Walker is still alive or at least having received a TBI.
      It is hard to live here. Everything is too costly. We need that money to make up for our own losses. Budget cuts are the only appropriate alternative to villainously stealing out of our pockets.

      • Anonymous

        Money to money – same concept. Money to crime – tangent. If the state of AK has money (PFD), use it to rectify the situation while making additional cuts and new ideas to generate revenue. It’s the same concept as balancing your own budget. Outrageous credit? Cut your spending and pay it off; then live within your means while attempting to better your situation.
        If it’s too costly to live here, move somewhere else or do something to better your situation. There are options. And “villainously stealing out of our pockets” …get real.

        • Life with Gremlins admin

          There are other options to remedy the state’s fiscal crisis that hit Alaskans far less severely. Your comment is kind of hilarious, as you’re suggesting the Alaskan people are the ones who should cut their budgets and live within their means, rather than the government, when it’s the government that has a budget problem. The PFD is an investment fund Alaskans set up, they have every right to expect dividends from that investment and factor that into their budgets. It saddens me that people are actually buying into this “need” to tap into the PFD, when in reality that’s just a quick, temporary fix held up on the backs of low income citizens.

          • Anonymous

            I used a simile to make a point: balancing a state budget is similar to individuals balancing their own budget. I did not say that low income citizens should fix the state’s budget problem, nor do I believe that to be the remedy. Tapping into the PFD absolutely is a temporary fix, and I don’t think it’s a viable long term option. Long term would be learning to live within our means (again, as a state, not individuals) as well as working to develop revenue. What I do know is that there have been SIGNIFICANT cuts to the budget, including thousands of state jobs. (I bet the same folks complaining about the PFD “stealing” are the same complaining about the cuts that have been felt keenly by ALL Alaskans… and will likely complain about taxes, too. Not sure what the options are in that scenario as a state can’t run on zilch.) If the PFD can help ease some of the pain of that process, it would be a tragedy for all those individuals recently out of a job for this cause to not utilize it. It doesn’t just affect low income citizens, budget cuts affect the entire state. When a state operates above it’s means, eventually the piper comes to call, and the entire state suffers in order to rectify the situation. Also, ignorant comments about cutting politicians pay… also done. Literally everyone in AK should be feeling the effects of the budget problems, and they are. Doesn’t make it feel good, but neither does going bankrupt. If balancing budgets felt good everyone would live within their means, and we know that doesn’t happen.

            As for individuals relying on the PFD, I stand by my statement in the same way. I have been in situations where I’ve been unemployed (in AK) and worried how I was going to feed my family and keep them warm. I worked my butt off to ensure I could provide better and move past that. Oh, and by the way, I didn’t qualify for the PFD during that time, so I couldn’t “rely” on it to help make ends meet. The way I did that is by living within my means and working hard. I think people need to have more self-responsibility.

          • Life with Gremlins admin

            The issue with PFD use is for some people, you’re talking a 20%+ tax on their income. That’s not a small price to pay. Income and sales tax both fall less disproportionately on the populace. Using the PFD is the laziest approach there is to filling budget hole. How is it going to help to send the poverty rate in AK skyrocketing? In your home budget, does it makes sense, for instance, to turn off your heat if your bills are too high and in turn explode your pipes incurring more costs? I’m not opposed to taxes, if the budget is truly cut (and it has not been, not in a realistic fashion) and pointless high-paid positions were cut. There is also the fact that Alaska is still not embracing new industry, god forbid we cater to something besides the oil and gas industry…

          • Anonymous

            A 20% tax… so they’re making roughly 10K? Sounds like they need better jobs so they can make ends meet. Thanks for making my point.
            And you’re right, I wouldn’t turn my heat off. I’d chop wood. Wait, I do…

          • Life with Gremlins admin

            If you’re a family a 6, that’s a $12,000 tax (assuming the 2K PFD that by the normal calculation method would likely hold for several years)…pretty sure that’s closer to 60K annual income at a 20% tax…I’m not sure you know what your point is for it to be proven. Is that you use a heat source a large portion of the populace does that also costs money/resources? If not, why do we care that you chop wood? Congrats, it’s excellent cardio. Somewhere in all your judgemental rhetoric is there an actual argument as to why you think throwing the PFD at the budget gap is the best answer?

          • Anonymous

            My original comment was to the argument that we shouldn’t use the PFD because “it’s too costly to live here” and that the politicians are “villainously stealing out of our pockets.” Bad logic, and I explained why I thought it was bad logic: basically, if it’s too costly to live here, there are other options. The argument that cutting individuals’ payouts isn’t right because “we need it and depend on it” is faulty. Plain and simple. It’s not the government’s responsibility to make sure you have the means by which to live.
            Then you jumped in the same comment group with the fact that tapping into the PFD is a temporary fix, to which I agreed, albeit IMO a necessary one because I believe budget cuts alone won’t fix the problem -short term-. You personally have some good points as to why the PFD should not be tapped that revolve around the original intent of the fund, which is a legal issue… however the rhetoric (to use your excellent phrasing) that it “only hurts low income families” and that we’re sending the “poverty rate in AK skyrocketing” are not valid, logical arguments as to why we should not tap into the PFD.
            Do I know if it’s actually -legal- for the state to cut our payouts? Nope. My bet is that you don’t either and that someone more skilled in law than you and me will figure that out and have it remedied, but to date, the state reallocated a large sum of money to fill a gap, to which I agree with the logic. Of course, a very boiled down version, but again, I’m waiting for someone with the legal-ese to prove it was illegal in some way to do that.
            In the meantime, I don’t like hearing how people can’t make ends meet because of the cut. I truly feel that it’s financially irresponsible, especially to those with kiddos. I plan my budget around what I can control (ie my response to your faulty logic about choosing whether or not to keep the heat on… of course I keep it on, it’s cold! I choose to chop wood because it’s cheaper.) I feel for those that struggle. I also struggle. No judgement there. The judgement comes when there are steps individuals can take to make it better and don’t.
            Do I like the cut? No. Could I use the money? Yes. Do I think we’re “entitled to it?” Nope. It’s just a bonus that we get paid to live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, where we can still feel free…
            Ultimately, stick to your argument as to whether or not it’s legal to cut the payout or not. That’s the only leg we have to stand on.

          • Life with Gremlins admin

            There’s a difference between logic that doesn’t support an argument well, and logic that’s bad. I would agree, arguing that the cost of living is high so we need the PFD is not a very strong argument. However, that it hits low income residents too hard and will increase (actually already has increased) the poverty rate are economical side effects of the funds use. Actions have consequences, and it would be foolish to suggest that those consequences are not a valid reason not to do something.

            The Supreme Court already ruled on the legality of what’s been done. On a moral ground, I’d personally call it theft, and I know I’m not alone in that opinion, but it’s still just my opinion. They haven’t reallocated anything to fill the gap. They’ve set it aside in anticipation to use it to fill a gap. They have yet to do so, because there are other options, and which is best is still up for discussion. It’s clear we sit at different tables as to which of those is best.

            If the people can’t count on the PFD, then they should likewise not count on their paychecks or savings accounts. The PFD is indeed not an entitlement, but an investment. One that each and every Alaskan is owed. It isn’t a bonus for living here either. Your land rights were sold. A share in fund was bought with those rights. You are paid a dividend as a result of that share. How the people are using that dividend, wisely or poorly, is irrelevant to the fact they are owed it.

            Legality is one leg of the discussion, but the ripple effect of a decision like this spans well beyond that.

    • n/a

      I bet oh Mr. Walker is living high on the hog and hasn’t taken a cut to his pay like we have, he should get paid no more than 70,000 a year and have to depend on the PFD and lets see how he lives then, would he still say cut MY dividend in half.. I bet not.. come on Walker and I won’t even call you a Governor… you are not for Alaskan’s …. go live in the lower 48 and don’t come back.

      • Janell Lindsey

        I know the governor is hurting financially. Is there a charitable foundation set up to help him…. or is he just gonna live off the other half of the PFD?

        • Anonymous

          #leadbyexampleeventhoughnoonewillappreciateitbecausetheyllbetoobusywhining Go fund him!
          Ooh! While we’re at it, I’d like to take my family to Hawai’i this winter, but I can’t afford it because I lost my state job due to budget cuts. Go fund me too! Wait, I didn’t whine, I got a new job.