Down from a check for more than $2,000 in 2008, Alaska residents this year are poised to only get a free $900 from oil dividends.
The free money is paid out annually to residents based on a five-year earning on the Permanent Fund Dividend’s investment earnings. (The fund was established in 1976 after North Slope oil was first discovered.)
The money, about $576 million total, will be distributed Oct. 3. About 507,000 Alaskans will receive the money through direct deposit that day, and another 86,000 checks will be mailed from Juneau for those that chose paper delivery.The dividends are distributed annually to residents who have lived in Alaska for at least one calendar year. The amount based on a five-year average of the $47 billion Alaska Permanent Fund’s investment earnings, so this year’s average includes 2009, a recession year when the fund posted a $2.5 billion net loss in statutory net income.
The state was not impacted directly by the recession, but the fund — an investment portfolio — was hit when the markets took a beating.
The state began distributing money from the fund to residents in 1982. If a resident were to have qualified for every check, they would have pocketed $35,143.