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Here's What's New!

NEW: Contribution Rates For Fiscal Year 2018

New contribution rates are set to take effect July 1, 2017, the start of the new fiscal year.

The contribution rate for the defined benefit pension plan paid by members and employers will remain at the current rate of 11.34 percent. The rate for the long-term disability program will increase slightly, from 0.14 percent to 0.16 percent.

The total contribution rate beginning July 1 will be 11.50 percent each for members and employers, compared to the current rate of 11.48 percent, which ends June 30.

Helpful Reminders for Your Ending Payroll Verification Forms

Public schools constitute a large portion of ASRS membership, which is why our busiest season for new retirements is summer – right after the school year ends.  That leads to an increase in Ending Payroll Verification (EPV) forms for employers, so we thought now might be a good time for a few helpful reminders about this online application.

The Benefits of Keeping Your Employer Account Updated

Please keep the ASRS informed about changes to your employer information.  Changes such as legal dissolutions, modifications to charter contracts, employee leasing, mergers, Joint Powers Authorities, and business name changes require documentation.  Updating your employer information on a regular basis is essential for the integrity of our data and to help us better serve our employer partners and members. 

Termination Incentive Plans; A.R.S. § 38-749

The ASRS employs a number of safeguards to ensure final pension payments made to members are fair and accurate.  One of the final steps in the process is a full audit of a member’s account to ensure the correct figures were used in calculating the final benefit payment.

 

2017 Legislative Session: Updates & Notes

The 2017 Legislative Session began on January 9, 2017 with 23 freshman legislators and  Senator Steve Yarbrough (Chandler) filling the role of Senate President and J.D. Mesnard (Chandler) becoming the Speaker of the House. The ASRS proposed 6 legislative initiatives with 5 of them passing the legislature and receiving the Governor’s signature. 

Employer-Only Payments to Members' Deferred Compensation Plans

This spring, the ASRS began notifying employers about a ruling by the Arizona Supreme Court that changes the way the ASRS has interpreted the definition of ASRS compensation.  The ruling affects employer-paid contributions into deferred compensation plans for employees. 

New Trustees appointed to ASRS Board

Eight individuals have been appointed or reappointed to the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) Board of Trustees. Appointments are made by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate.

Previously serving appointees are: Tom Manos, former County Manager of Maricopa County; Kevin McCarthy, president of the Arizona Tax Research Association, and Clark Partridge, State Comptroller with the Arizona Department of Administration.

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, adjourned on May 10, 2017. The Arizona State Retirement System had five legislative initiatives pass into law. They all have relatively minor impact to members and retirees, mainly clarifying language in existing state statutes.

Below is a brief summary. You can also 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.

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