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Input Needed for "Regulation Rollback"

A new rulemaking initiative called "Regulation Rollback" is being implemented by the Governor's Office and your input is needed. Read on for more information about how you can weigh in.

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.

Annual Notice of Right to Elect or Revoke Federal Tax Withholding

To all ASRS Retirees: Periodic pension payments will be subject to federal income tax withholding if the taxable portion of the total annual payments equals or exceeds $ 20,640 ($1,720 per month) unless you elect not to have withholding apply.

Retirees: Exploring Your Payment History

It’s almost tax time and retrieving your payment summary is virtually effortless on the ASRS website! Did you know you can find, read and print your monthly summaries on demand from your secure myASRS account?

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.

Office of the Auditor General report on ASRS available for review

The state Office of the Auditor General recently conducted a Performance Audit and Sunset Review of the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS), a review that takes place every 10 years for state agencies. These audits are designed to determine whether an agency is achieving the objectives established by the Legislature and whether it is managing its resources in an effective, economical, and efficient manner. The report states although the ASRS plan is not fully funded, steps have been taken to improve its long-term sustainability.The report also noted that the ASRS serves an important function in Arizona. The full report, a summary report and the ASRS response are all available for public review on the Office of the Auditor General’s website – www.azauditor.gov

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