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Employer Matching, Lifetime Benefit... Do You Know Your Pension?

Think a 401(k) Might Be Better? Guess Again!

Every two weeks you see that 11.5% coming out of your paycheck, earmarked for a pension or long term disability that you don’t anticipate needing for a long time to come. Sometimes you may wonder if you would be better off with a different type of retirement plan, like a 401(k). Well, here are some facts that might make you feel better about your ASRS pension:

Retiring Soon? Need Some Direction?

The process of retiring can be intimidating. We understand! Read on for helpful tips to get you pointed in the right direction...

ASRS Scores High in Service, Efficiency

Unless you happen to be very familiar with pension systems, you probably haven’t heard of the company CEM Benchmarking before. But, for the ASRS, they’re a valuable resource that provides helpful data to evaluate both where we’re at and how best to move forward.

An Investment Update by the Director

At the end of each fiscal year (June 30), the ASRS calculates a year-end rate of return on the total fund. The return for June 30, 2017 was 13.9 percent, positively impacting the financial health of the pension fund and helping to reduce upward pressure on future contribution rates.

How Do You Want Your Money When You Retire?

Retiring is easy. Just pick one of seven annuity options available and you’re done.    

You may be saying to yourself “Wait. I have to figure out seven different options? What’s the difference between them?  Which is the right one for me and my family?” A good way to grasp the different options is to note that while there may be seven options, they fall into one of three categories:

A Brief History of the ASRS As We Turn 65!

This year, the ASRS will celebrate its 65th Anniversary.

In the 21st session of the Arizona State Legislature, Governor Howard Pyle signed the bill that created the ASRS as of July 1st, 1953 as a pension plan for employees of state and municipal government.

The first public pension in Arizona, however, was issued in 1912, the year Arizona entered statehood. It was granted to a teacher, in the amount of $50 a month ($600 a year). In 1955, the teacher’s pension plan and the ASRS merged, creating a statewide retirement system.

A Reminder about Retirement Season

This is the busiest time of year for members opting to retire, and we need your help in making sure your employees get pointed in the right direction when looking for answers. One-on-one appointments can get booked out weeks in advance this time of year, but luckily there are many other avenues in which your employees can find all the answers they need.

GASB 68 Is Available

The ASRS’ Schedules of Employer Allocations & Schedules of Pension Amounts by Employer as of and for the year ended June 30, 2017 are available online. The ASRS prepares these schedules, and engages our external audit firm to audit them, as a service to our participating employers. These schedules are applicable to employers with fiscals years ending between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. 

Beware Of Phishing Scams!

Several employers have informed the ASRS over the years of receiving suspicious emails that appear to be from the ASRS.

Some of the mass emails have gone to employees, particularly teachers, and others to administrative staff. They often involve offers to review an individual’s retirement benefits, even going so far as to provide a calculation of ASRS benefits.

In-Progress Legislation and Rulemaking

Legislation*

Currently, the ASRS is pursuing three separate bills as follows:

HB2034:  This bill would allow the Governor the flexibility to designate any state agency as the State Social Security Administrator, which is charged with reviewing and maintaining § 218 agreements regarding Social Security withholding for all public employers in Arizona. 

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