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Ruling changes ASRS compensation definition regarding employer-paid deferred comp payments

On March 23, 2017, in the case of Wade and Paddock v. ASRS (No. CV-16-0087-PR), the Arizona Supreme Court held that employer-paid contributions on behalf of an employee to a tax qualified deferred compensation plan – such as a 457 or 401(k) – are compensation and therefore require ASRS contributions.

Employee-paid contributions into these plans have always been considered compensation for ASRS purposes. This ruling adds employer-paid contributions are compensation as well.

ASRS Legislative News

The 53rd Legislature – First Regular Session, opened on January 9, 2017. The Arizona State Retirement System has six bills that are before legislators. They all have relatively minor impact to members and retirees, mainly clarifying language in existing state statutes .

You can follow these and other retirement-related bills throughout the legislative session on our ASRS Bill Tracker.

Contribution Rates to remain stable

After the close of each fiscal year, the ASRS conducts a valuation of the various benefit plans that it manages to ensure they are fiscally sound. From the valuations, contribution rates are set for the next fiscal year. Despite a relatively slow economy and lower investment performance, the contribution rates for the pension plan (which includes the health insurance premium benefit) will remain unchanged for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2017.

Open Enrollment Ends Friday, Nov. 11

Open enrollment for the ASRS retiree group health insurance program for the 2017 benefit year begins October 24, 2016. This is a passive enrollment, meaning if you are happy with your coverage, you do not need to take any action.

New fiscal year, new contribution rate

New contribution rates for members and employers are set to take effect with July payrolls. The total contribution rate for the defined benefit plan, health insurance supplement and long term disability plan will be 11.48 percent for both employer and employee, up just slightly from the rate of 11.47 percent for last fiscal year, which ended June 30. The new rate will be in effect through June 30, 2017. See Contribution Rates for more information.

New administrator selected to oversee ASRS LTD program

Broadspire Services Inc., a leading third-party administrator, will replace Sedgwick as administrtor of the ASRS Long Term Disability Program effective September 1.

The change should have no major impact for the more than 4,000 members currently on the ASRS LTD plan. A letter from Broadspire is being mailed to all current members receiving Long Term Dsiability benefits.

LTD members may contact Sedgwick with questions about their coverage through Aug. 31. All contact from Sept. 1 forward should be directed to Broadspire.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Returning to Work After Retirement

Many ASRS members who are retired or planning to retire have an interest in also returning to work while still receiving their well-deserved pension benefits. In most cases, this is permissible, but read on to learn the ins & outs:

Getting Out of Debt One Bite at a Time

Some say getting out of debt is like eating an elephant. You do it one bite at a time. Read on for a mash-up of some of the best advice out there:

Which Generation Am I?

Wonder what generation you are? Our fun infographic helps you find out:

Retirement Essentials: When Do I Get Paid?

Everyone looks forward to payday, right? You know it will happen every two weeks and you count on that, like clockwork. But what happens when you retire?

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