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Ready, Set, Retire

Ready to Retire?

Before actually filing for retirement, make sure you have estimated your benefits and educated yourself on all the retirement options.  Here are a few more things to think about before you complete your Online Retirement Application.

All About Retirement

Service Purchase Payoff

If you are currently making payments on a service purchase with a Payroll Deduction Agreement, there are things you need to be aware of.  Upon retirement, a Payroll Deduction Agreement payoff letter will be issued once your termination date has been verified by your employer and the final Pay Period Ending date has been posted. The letter is mailed 4 to 6 weeks after your termination. The Payroll Deduction Agreement payoff letter will include payment instructions, payment deadlines, and forms needed to complete your purchase. Make sure to follow the payment instructions and adhere to the deadlines included with the letter. Once all payments have been made, your pension will be adjusted to include the additional service credit. This adjustment will be retroactive to your retirement date. Please allow 3 to 4 months for your pension to be adjusted.

If you have any service purchase to consider, contact us to set up an appointment with an advisor.

If you do NOT have any service purchase considerations, we strongly recommend filing via the Online Retirement Application.

If you have service to purchase, please review our service purchase page and start the process right away.

Service Purchase

Taxes

Your contributions while employed are tax-deferred which lowers your taxable income while working.  Your pension is paid from those tax-deferred contributions so it is considered taxable income at retirement.  When completing your online retirement application you will need to elect your tax withholdings for Federal and the state of Arizona (if you reside in AZ).  Additional tax information can be found here:

Tax Information

Permanent Benefit Increase

The Arizona State Retirement System Defined Benefit Plan provides for both a guaranteed lifelong monthly annuity payment, as well as access to health Insurance and a health insurance supplement.  The plan was not designed for, nor have employees ever paid for, post-retirement increases.  If the plan had been designed for post-retirement increases, the costs paid by employees and employers would have had to have been significantly higher throughout the employee's career. 

Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S. § 38-767) allows the Arizona State Retirement System to periodically provide for a post-retirement benefit increase but the ASRS can only do so under the auspices of these statutes.  Permanent Benefit Increases are generated by larger investment returns and since investment returns are generally lower and volatile, the possibility of generating a future Permanent Benefit Increase for any given year is uncertain.  The last Permanent Benefit Increase was paid in 2005, and although investment performance has been top quartile, the returns have not generated additional Permanent Benefit Increases. You can find more information on Permanent Benefit Increases here:

Permanent Benefit Increase

Health Insurance

Did you know, retirement is a qualifying event allowing you to enroll in health insurance? A major consideration for retirees is health insurance and the costs associated with it, especially if you are not yet eligible for Medicare. See the various options for retiree health insurance offered through the ASRS.

Review the ASRS plan options and if you want to enroll in ASRS coverage, you can request the health insurance packet during the Online Retirement process!

First, review the options here:

Healthcare

Apply Now

The Online Retirement Application

Filing for retirement has a lot of steps involved. In the past, members had to fill out a four-page application and mail it to the ASRS. Now, we make it easy by providing you an online retirement application which walks you through the options and provides a running tally of your benefit estimate on every election you make. As of 2016, more than 75% of retirees filed for retirement via the online application.

Watch this short video testimonial from a retiree!

Ready to File? Let's do it! Log in and select 'Retirement' under the 'Apply Now' header.

myASRS Login

Paper Retirement Application

We still recommend filling out the paper retirement application and consulting a benefit advisor if you are a Re-Retiree or if you will be paying off your service purchase with a Partial Lump Sum. Otherwise, the Online Retirement Application is the way to go.

Allow 90 days to Finalize Benefits

Please note that it could take up to 90 days after your retirement date to finalize your benefit. It takes time to process your retirement application, audit your service and contributions history, finalize the benefit calculation and schedule you for your first payroll. This entire process can take up to 90 days to complete. We recognize that is a long time to go without funds, so we have introduced an estimated payment process.

Estimated Payments

To ease the financial transition to retirement, the Arizona State Retirement System provides most members with an estimated retirement payment within 10 days of their retirement date. This payment is an intentionally conservative, prorated estimate of the net monthly retirement benefit. This estimated benefit may be slightly lower than the benefit estimate you received as it uses a slightly different salary calculation and does not include unpurchased service. This estimated payment is meant to ease the financial burden but is not the final benefit calculation. You may receive up to three estimate payments prior to your application being processed.

Exceptions to Early, Estimated Payments

The estimated payments process described above applies only to the monthly pension amount. Lump sum benefits will not be paid until after your benefit is finalized, which can take up to 90 days. When disbursed, those benefits will be paid retroactively to their effective date. 

Also note that if you enroll in ASRS or ADOA retiree health insurance using your retirement as a qualifying event, your coverage will begin on your chosen effective date. However, premiums (and premium benefit subsidy) are not included in early, estimated payments. All health insurance adjustments are applied retroactively once your benefit is finalized.

Additional Information on your Benefit Payments can be found here:

Benefit Payments

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