Charges for Returned Items to be Effective January 1, 2005
At the August 18, 2004, Board of Trustees meeting of the Georgia Firefighters' Pension Fund, the Trustees voted to implement, effective January 1, 2005, a charge of $15.00 on all returned items for dues, reinstatement fees, and other payments. The Executive Director and Staff brought to the Board's attention that the Fund was suffering an increasing number of returned items due to insufficient funds on direct debit dues and individual dues payments. It was also noted that, over time, those causing the returned items tended to include several repeat offenders. Each time a payment is returned to the Fund for non-payment, the Fund, and by extension its members, suffers a ÒNon-Sufficient Funds' charge as well as specialized processing to handle the exceptional situation.
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated, Title 16, Chapter 9, Paragraph 20, provides the authority for agencies such as ours to charge up to $30 plus penalties for returned items. However, the Board, in full consideration of why such items would be returned and on advice of the staff with respect to processing, determined that the $15.00 charge was most appropriate for our purposes. Thus a returned item will cost a member one month's dues. This will cover the Fund's direct expense related to returned items in all instances for the present. While it does not necessarily cover our internal overhead associated with returned items in all cases, it seemed to be the best solution for all concerned.