Frequently Asked Questions
About Health Insurance Open Enrollment
When will I receive my Open Enrollment packet?
Open Enrollment for 2017 begins October 24, 2016. Materials are scheduled to be mailed so retirees receive the packets by mid-October. The 2017 Open Enrollment Guides and updated Health Insurance web pages for 2017 have been posted to the ASRS website. If you do not receive a 2017 Open Enrollment packet by the October 24, you may call us to request a packet. The guides are available online under 'Healthcare' and will also be available at the Open Enrollment meetings or you can pick one up in our Phoenix or Tucson office during the Open Enrollment period.
My packet does not have paper enrollment forms? What do I do?
This year, the ASRS introduced Online Enrollment. It's easier and faster and more secure. Find out more here.
Where and when are the meetings?
The 2017 Open Enrollment meetings will be held onsite in our Phoenix and Tucson offices and across the state from October 24th – November 7th and will be highlighting the upcoming 2016 benefits. Click here to see the Open Enrollment Meetings Schedule.
What is changing this year?
For Medicare members, there will be no benefit coverage changes to either Medicare plan in 2017, though the premiums will be reduced!
For non-Medicare members (pre-65), the ASRS will be introducing additional options in addition to the Choice plan. Find out more here.
Additionally, there will be no changes to the Dental programs in 2017.
Do I have to submit the enrollment form if I don’t want to make changes?
No. This is a passive open enrollment period. You do not need to take any action if you are already enrolled in ASRS insurance and want your coverage to carry over to 2017.
For more on Open Enrollment:Open Enrollment Information
About Login Confirmation Emails from ASRS
Why did I just get an email that I logged in?
The ASRS has a new security feature to notify members when they access their private, secure myASRS account using their login information. This feature sends a confirmation email to the email address on file each time the account is accessed. The email clearly tells you to call the ASRS if you did NOT just log in.
This is a great way to control for unauthorized access to your private myASRS account!
But I didn’t log in, yet this email says I did! Is there a problem?
Yes, generally that is a problem. You should contact us as soon as possible.
However, if you have provided your complete login information to a third party, such as an online financial service that aggregates all of your account balances in one convenient place, it may have been THAT service that accessed your account using the credentials you provided them. These sites generally check all of your accounts at least once per day. You will receive a login confirmation email from the ASRS every time one of these third parties accesses your account.
The ASRS does not recommend sharing your login credentials with any person or service. You are allowing these third parties complete access to your myASRS account, not just your ASRS contributions or pension amount, which could potentially put you and others at risk.
I don't want to stop using that service. What can I do?
If you continue to use the third party service, you will continue to receive login notifications from the ASRS each time they access your account on your behalf. There is no need to contact us.
Please be aware that the ASRS is a defined benefit retirement system. Your "balance" at any given time is simply a reflection of your mandatory contributions into a future monthly retirement benefit.
The account balance is not indicative of funds available to you on an as-needed basis, and so can be misleading if aggregated alongside other, more-accessible funds.
Please review our website under the ‘Members’ tab for further description of ASRS benefits.
About Contacting Us
How can I reach the ASRS?
The ASRS call center is open 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Wednesday and 8 AM to 4 PM Thursday and Friday, excluding holidays. Information on this page details how to message, call and visit us.
What do I do if the ASRS is closed?
This website has been designed to provide information on a wide-range of topics of interest to members and retirees. If you are having trouble finding the information you’re looking for, be sure to try the Search function (upper right on every page). Be sure to log in to your secure ASRS page to find even more information customized just for you.
About Health Insurance
How much is health insurance for me and my dependents?
For 2016, health insurance premiums for our non-Medicare plan is $793 per month, for retiree only; our Medicare plan premiums are $194 or $337 per month for retiree only, depending on which plan is elected. Please visit our 'Healthcare' section for more information on the 2016 and 2017 medical and dental insurance plans.
How do I enroll in your insurance?
Carefully review the information in the 'Healthcare' section of our website and the downloadable guides, pick a plan and then enroll online via your secure myASRS account.
What are my current elections and out-of-pocket costs?
Those on ADOA or ASRS-provided health insurance can see any active or pending medical and dental insurance coverages, including net costs, in their myASRS secure account. Just log in and select the 'Medical/Dental Insurance Details' link.
Can I get insurance later if I don’t choose to enroll when I retire?
Retirees and members receiving Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits receive an Open Enrollment packet each year, for coverage to begin the following January 1. You can also enroll within 30 days of experiencing a Qualifying Life Event such as losing coverage elsewhere, including termination of COBRA coverage, or becoming Medicare eligible.
What is the Premium Benefit?
As part of your benefits, the ASRS provides a health insurance premium benefit to supplement the cost of retiree health insurance. Retirees with five or more years of credited service who have health insurance through the ASRS or their former employer are eligible for a monthly premium benefit, which is paid to the health insurer or your former employer. For more information visit the Retiree Health Insurance Premium Benefit Program page on our website.
For more on healthcare, check out our pages dedicated to healthcare:
Do I really have to wait 3 months to get a payment when I retire?
Retirement processing can take 60 to 90 days. To ease the transition from regular employment to retirement, the ASRS issues up to 3 estimated payments to eligible members during processing. The first estimated payment is issued within 10 business days of the retirement date. Lump Sum payments are not disbursed until the retirement is fully processed. You can follow the progress of your retirement processing by logging in to your myASRS account, then click on 'Pending Requests'.
Why is the first check smaller than the benefit estimate I received?
While your retirement is being processed, “estimated” payments to eligible members are conservative in order to reduce the potential for overpayment. Any underpaid benefits will be disbursed retroactive to your retirement date once the processing has been completed.
My account says that my processing has been completed. When will I get paid and how much will I receive?
You will receive your first regular annuity payment no later than the 15th of the following month. We will send a detailed letter to you during the first week of that month to explain the final gross annuity amount and how it was calculated. The first annuity payment will cover the current month retroactive to your retirement and include adjustments for any estimated payments received during processing. After your retirement is finalized, all future payments will be issued on the 1st of every month for your lifetime. You can follow the progress of your retirement processing by logging in to your secure myASRS account, and clicking on 'Pending Requests'.
Do I need a form to update my Tax Withholding or Direct Deposit information?
No. You can easily update tax withholding and direct deposit information through your secure myASRS account. Log in, then click on the appropriate link to view and then (as needed) update your elections. Once you save the changes, you will receive a message that confirms when the change will go in to effect.
How do I schedule an appointment with an advisor?
Call our office. We have Senior Benefit Advisors taking calls, leading group meetings, answering secure messages and meeting with members. For a meeting on pension benefits, an appointment is required. For a meeting strictly on health or dental insurance, no appointment is needed.
For more on retirement, check out our pages dedicated to retirement:
About myASRS Secure Account Access
I cannot access my account online. Can you send me another password?
We have a quick and easy new process that allows you to request an unlock code through our website. Click on “Having Trouble Logging In?” on our Member Login page and follow the steps to verify your identity. Our system will send an unlock code to the email address or mobile phone number we already have on file which will allow you to reset your password.
Why should I register for secure access? What can I do online?
With secure access, you can track your account and benefits throughout your entire career and into retirement. You can see contribution history and a variety of benefit estimates, all with real-time data based on the latest contributions reported by your employer. For more, check out "Why you register for secure access".
A quick list of features on the secure site, which is open 24/7 for your benefit:
- View your contribution history and service credit totals
- View, save, or print an account statement containing a summary of your account information as of the most recent contribution received
- View or change your address, beneficiary, and contact information
- Initiate a request to purchase service
- Apply for retirement or for a refund of your account balance
- View retirement benefit estimates that are customized to you, and can also be customized by you
- View estimates of your refund, survivor benefit, and disability benefits
- Enroll in an in-person or online group counseling session
- Conduct a secure message conversation with a trained ASRS benefit advisor
- Retirees can view and update tax and direct deposit elections, as well as benefit and health insurance election details and an estimate of remaining survivor benefits.
About your 1099-R Tax Statement
When will I receive my 1099-R?
1099Rs for the prior fiscal year are mailed by the end of January. Printable copies of the 1099R are available in your myASRS secure account by mid-February.
What if I never get the 1099-R? Or, if I lose it?
A printable image of your 1099-R(s) for the prior tax year will be available in your myASRS account by February 15 of the current year. Just log in to your secure myASRS account and click on the 1099 link on the left-hand navigation.
Why did I receive more than one 1099-R?
- We are required to send you a 1099-R for each combination of payment type and distribution code. Under any of several scenarios, you may have received more than one kind of payment from the ASRS.
- Also, if you turned 59.5 in the past year, you will receive more than one 1099-R. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers age 59.5 to be a factor in determining whether retirement income paid to an individual is considered an “early” or a “normal” distribution. As a result, we are required to send you two 1099-R forms for the year you turned 59.5. One will report income and taxes paid prior to age 59.5, and the other will be for the remainder of the year after reaching age 59.5.
Is Box 5 on my 1099-R the amount of my out-of-pocket health insurance premiums?
No. The amount you see in Box 5 is the portion of your retirement pension that is not subject to taxation. If you contributed to the ASRS prior to July 1986 or purchased service credit using after-tax payments, those contributions cannot be taxed again when disbursed as part of your retirement pension. The IRS requires the non-taxable contributions be spread over the life of your pension, so every year you will see a non-taxable amount in Box 5 until those contributions are exhausted.
Where can I find my total out-of-pocket health insurance premium?
For those retirees whose premiums are deducted from their ASRS pension, you can view your total out-of-pocket health insurance costs for the previous tax year by logging in to your secure myASRS account. Go to 'Payment History' and click on the December payment to view the payment summary and year-to-date totals.
For more on taxes, and how to read your 1099R, click here:
To log in to your myASRS account, click here:
How do I get a refund of my account?
Log into your account, go to “Apply Now”, click on “Refund”. If you request funds to be paid directly to you, a mandatory 20% is withheld for federal tax, 5% for state tax. You will need to enter your bank’s routing number and account number for funds paid to you. If you request a rollover, provide the qualified plan’s name, account number and address where a rollover check can be received. Rollovers are not subject to tax withholding or penalty.
How long does it take to receive my refund?
If a refund is requested within 6 months of ending your job, we request an Ending Payroll Verification (proof of termination). If it has been years since you contributed, we may request proof of identity from you as a security measure. Once all required information is received, the refund is processed within 15 business days.
Why does the payment date for my refund keep on changing?
Our system generates a date that is approximately 15 days out to give you an idea of when to expect payment. If other information is required, such as an Ending Payroll Verification, the date will be pushed forward since processing cannot continue until all required information has been received.
For more on refunds, check out our page dedicated to refunding:
About Survivor Benefits
I am a retiree. How much money will my survivors receive if I pass away?
Survivor benefits are determined by your retirement election. Log in to your secure myASRS account and click "Benefit Details" to view your elections, as well as an estimate of survivor benefits remaining as of today. If you elected a Joint-and-Survivor benefit, the dollar amount of that benefit is shown on the page. If you elected a Straight Life Annuity or Term Certain, this section will detail whether any benefits remain.
I am a survivor. What is the status of my survivor benefits?
Survivor benefit payment processing can take approximately 2 to 6 weeks depending on whether the deceased member was an active employee or retired. We must have all required documents from the beneficiary, such as the notarized Survivor Benefit Application, original certified death certificate, a photocopy of the beneficiary’s Social Security card, and proof of the beneficiary’s age, in order to process payment.
For more on survivor benefits, check out our page:
Secure Message Have a question about your account that we can answer by safe, secure message? We will get back to you quickly, usually within 24 hours.
ASRS members - Active, Inactive or Retired - can send and receive secure messages via their myASRS personal homepage. Members must be logged in to their secure account to use this important function.
Want to know more about secure messaging? Watch this video.
- Logging In and Sending a Secure Message (How It Works) 1:04
- Adding Attachments 2:00
- Active vs. Completed Threads 3:20
- Searching/Filtering Secure Messages 4:25
The ASRS maintains a small call center at its Phoenix location. The ASRS call center is open 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Wednesday, and 8 AM to 4 PM on Thursday and Friday, except for holidays. Please note that call volume can vary considerably and sometimes result in longer wait times, particularly around midday (11 AM to 1 PM), the first of each month and during busy seasons of retirements in the summer, health insurance enrollment in the fall, school breaks and tax season in the spring. Please be patient when calling.
To reach the ASRS during regular business hours, call:
- 602-240-2000 from within metropolitan Phoenix
- 520-239-3100 from within metropolitan Tucson
- 800-621-3778 from outside the Tucson and Phoenix areas
To report fraud, please leave a message on the ASRS Fraud Hotline: 602-240-5360.
The ASRS recognizes some members require specialized in-person counseling. Appointments are required for all in-person counseling sessions at our Phoenix and Tucson offices. This will allow the ASRS to prepare in advance for your visit and decrease your wait time.
If you would like to visit our office to meet with a Senior Benefit Advisor, please call ahead to schedule an appointment.
The ASRS has offices in Phoenix and Tucson. Business hours at both locations are Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM, excluding holidays.
Phoenix Office Address: 3300 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012-0250
Take the Light Rail to the ASRS Phoenix office! Information: ValleyMetro.org
Tucson Office Address: 4400 E Broadway Blvd, Suite 200 Tucson, AZ 85711
ASRS Mailing Address: PO Box 33910 Phoenix, AZ 85067-3910
Phoenix Office Map
Tucson Office Map