Message from Director Paul Matson Re: COVID-19 Service Levels

Photo of ASRS Director Paul Matson 2019 To our members, employers & constituents:

In this time of uncertainty, I wanted to take a moment to let you know that in spite of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting economic and capital market situation, and the recent Executive Orders from Governor Ducey to ensure your safety, the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) is still fully operational in all core services, including making all pension, disability, and health insurance payments. Benefit payments are not impacted, and retirees can expect their monthly benefits to continue to be paid on time every month.

The ASRS continues to process all retirement applications, forfeitures, and similar service requests, as well as collecting contributions, and we expect to continue doing so throughout this uniquely stressful period. The only services we are not providing at this time are in-person individual and group meetings. Rather than risk your health, that of our community and employees, we have migrated all meetings to telephonic or web-based platforms. As such, please use our website to find answers to most of your questions, log into your myASRS account to send us a Secure Message, or call to speak with a Benefits Advisor from our Member Advisory Center.

It should be noted that state agencies, including the ASRS, have been subject to periodic call center outages over the past several days due to significantly increased call volumes which had exceeded the state’s capacity for in-bound calls. This situation appears to have been resolved, and we will keep you advised should that change. As such, I do not expect any significant service delivery interruptions other than the migration from physical service delivery to electronic service delivery. Our organization will be continue to be highly functional and service-oriented even as the majority of our staff are now remote-based.

The investment portfolio continues to be professionally and actively managed during these volatile periods, with particular focus on liquidity, opportunity, and rebalancing.

In summary, our goal is to ensure that our efforts and actions enable you to focus on other, more pressing aspects of your life, knowing that your ASRS benefits will continue uninterrupted. Should you need assistance, we are still here for you.

To learn more about ASRS' response to the current situation, visit ASRS Service Updates in Response to COVID-19 . We encourage you to bookmark this page and check back frequently as it is continually updated with the latest developments that impact the ASRS.

Member Education & Appointments Temporarily Remote Only

During this time of enhanced health and safety concern, ASRS member education meetings are currently being offered online only. Similarly, member appointments are currently being offered by phone or online. Read on for more details:

ASRS Member Education is temporarily online only   ASRS Member Appointments are temporarily remote only

Market Impacts on ASRS

With recent significant losses to financial markets attributed largely to uncertainty over the spread of the coronavirus, ASRS members may be concerned about the impact to the ASRS benefit plan.

The ASRS manages a diversified investment portfolio which is comprised of equities, real estate, credit, and bonds. Unlike personal retirement accounts, such as a 401(k), ASRS retirement benefits are set by a formula and not by the ups and downs in the investment market.

Here’s a summary of market impacts to ASRS members:

ASRS Recognized for Financial Reporting Excellence

For the 30th consecutive year, the Arizona State Retirement System has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

Your Pension - Did You Know?

There are a number of other benefits included with your membership in the ASRS!

The Affect of "When?" on Your Pension

When considering retirement there are a lot of factors to think about, but did you know that the decision of when to retire affects your pension benefit? The ASRS uses the following fairly simple formula to calculate the Straight Life annuity, the highest paying retirement option to calculate your baseline monthly benefit:

How Well Do You Know Your Pension?

Pensions are not as common as they used to be, which can lead to not fully understanding what you’re a part of, how it benefits you, and how to best take advantage of the benefits available to you. To further that understanding, let’s take a look at what the Arizona State Retirement System is, and what it isn’t.

A Look at the ASRS Approach to Business

Here at your ASRS we generally agree with the adage that “What gets measured gets managed.” As a result, we measure and analyze an array of activities that fall into the following general categories: investment performance, member satisfaction, service standards & cost structure, and staff engagement, to ensure top tier performance. When there is not top tier performance – we take positive and supportive action.

ASRS Board of Trustees

The Arizona State Retirement System is governed by a nine-member Board of Trustees, appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the state Senate.

The Board acts as a fiduciary of the ASRS trust fund with powers and duties outlined in state statute.


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