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Employers: Following the Rules

By Jessica Thomas, ASRS Rules Writer

The ASRS is currently pursuing approval of several rulemakings that Employers should follow in order to understand how they may be affected by the new rules. 

In an effort to reduce confusion among ASRS members and Employers, the ASRS is promulgating approximately five new rules that identify the various types of compensation that are used for ASRS purposes.  Effective January 1, 2018, the ASRS contributions and benefits will be based, in part, on the following compensation types:

    •          Base pay or regular pay the member receives from one or more Employers;
    •          Pay the member receives as termination pay;
    •          Pay which is deferred or withheld from the member’s pay;
    •          Pay the member receives for the completion of an employment contract;
    •          Pay the member receives which is intended to reward the member;
    •          Pay the member receives for on-call duty;
    •          Pay the member receives as a result of working hours:
      • During a specific time period;
      • > To perform duties involving physical hardship;
      • > To complete a specific assignment; or
      • > In excess of 40 hours per week;
    •          Pay the member receives from an additional Employer.

*Please note that these pay types may be subject to limits and restrictions.  Please see the official ASRS rules relating to compensation to determine how you and/or your employees may be affected.

The ASRS provides Long-Term Disability (LTD) benefits to its members and is in the process of getting approval for approximately six new rules relating to how the ASRS administers the LTD program.  Effective November 5, 2017, these new rules will:

    •          Identify how members may apply for LTD benefits;
    •          Identify how a member’s LTD benefit may be calculated and/or reduced;
    •          Clarify that a member must apply for Social Security Disability and appeal an unfavorable determination;
    •          Require the member to reimburse the ASRS for any Social Security Disability amounts the member receives.

*Please note that these LTD provisions may be subject to limits and restrictions.  Please see the official ASRS rules relating to LTD to determine how you and/or your employees may be affected.

 Arizona law (A.R.S. § 38-749) allows the ASRS to charge an Employer for an unfunded liability that is created when the Employer implements a termination incentive program (TIP).  The ASRS is in the process of getting approval for two new rules that clarify how the ASRS assesses and collects an unfunded liability amount from an Employer.  Effective January 1, 2018, these rules will identify:

    •          How the ASRS will determine if an Employer has implemented a termination incentive program;
    •          How the ASRS will calculate an unfunded liability;
    •          How the ASRS will charge and collect the unfunded liability amount.

*Please note that these TIP provisions may be subject to limits, restrictions, or other legal requirements.  Please see the official ASRS rules relating to TIPs to determine how you and/or your employees may be affected.

The ASRS regularly reviews and updates its rules.  For the official rules and more information regarding the ASRS rules, please see the ASRS Rules webpage or contact the Legislative Liaison, Jessica Thomas.

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