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March Board, Investment Committee meetings canceled

Please note that the Board of Trustee meeting and the Investment Committee meeting originally scheduled for March have been canceled. The next scheduled Board meeting will be Friday, April 28 at 8:30 a.m. in the Board Room of the ASRS building, 3300 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. The next Investment Committee will be Monday, April 24 at 2:30 p.m. in the 14th floor conference room at the ASRS building.

External Affairs meeting Scheduled for Friday

Please be advised that the External Affairs Committee will meet on Friday, Oct. 14 at 10:30 a.m. in the 14th Floor Conference Room at the ASRS Phoenix office, 3300 N. Central Ave. See the Board & Committee Meetings page for the agenda for this meeting and a listing of upcoming meetings.

New fiscal year, new contribution rates

Contribution rates for members and employers have been set for next fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2017.

The total contribution rate for the defined benefit plan, health insurance supplement and long term disability plan will be 11.50 percent for both employer and employee, up just slightly from the total rate of 11.48 percent for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2017.

The new rate will be in effect through June 30, 2018. See Contribution Rates for more information.

Karl Polen named Chief Investment Officer

Karl Polen, head of private markets in the ASRS Investment Division, has been appointed Chief Investment Officer of the ASRS by Director Paul Matson, effective March 1.

Mr. Polen, who has been with the ASRS since September 2010, replaces Gary Dokes, who departed February 29 to accept a position as the first Chief Investment Officer for the Arizona Community Foundation, a state-wide charitable organization.

Chief Investment Officer to take new position at local charity

Gary Dokes, Chief Investment Officer (CIO) at the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS), has accepted a newly created position as CIO at the Arizona Community Foundation, a state-wide charitable organization. As such, Mr. Dokes’ last day with the ASRS will be Feb. 29.

ASRS Legislative News

The 52nd Legislature – Second Regular Session opened on Jan. 11 and the ASRS has four bills introduced that have minor impacts to ASRS members but will clarify a few issues.

House Bill 2104 – Retention of Credited Service This bill states that an employee who is employed with an ASRS employer in a position that was exempt from ASRS membership because the position was not included Social Security coverage, but on whose behalf the employer has remitted ASRS contributions, will retain credited service for the period of employment for the contributions made by the employer.

Contribution rates set for next fiscal year

At its December 4 meeting, the ASRS Board of Trustees accepted valuations for the various ASRS program plans and approved new contribution rates for the Defined Benefit Plan for fiscal year 2016-17, which take effect July 1, 2016.

Despite a down year of market returns, 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 current rate of 11.47 percent.

ASRS building closed Friday morning due to building emergency

The ASRS Phoenix office was closed Friday morning due to an electrical fire in the 3300 Tower building at Central Avenue and Osborn Road.

The small fire from an elevator motor on the 28th floor was quickly extinguished but the building remained evacuated until approximately noon. There were no injuries reported.

During that time, the ASRS phone center was also closed. The ASRS apologizes for any inconvenience callers or visitors may have experienced.

ASRS recognized for professional standards

The ASRS has been awarded the Public Pension Standards Award for 2015 from the Public Pension Coordinating Council. The award recognizes the ASRS for “meeting professional standards for plan funding and administration.”

The standards as set forth by the PPCC cover such areas as benefits, funded status, plan valuation, investment policies and member communications. It is the 11th consecutive year the ASRS has received this prestigious award.

ASRS Funding Policy available for review

An ASRS Funding Policy, a formal document outlining the strategies and goals for assuring the long-term sustainability of the ASRS plans, is now available for review under the ASRS Policies page on our website.

The six-page document outlines the formal methodology for financing the pension, health insurance and long-term disability plan obligations. Each plan is sustainable with current assets, plus future contributions from employees and employers, plus investment earnings.


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