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Final Legislative Updates from the 52nd Legislature, Second Regular Session

The 52nd Legislature – Second Regular Session adjourned on May 7. The effective date for legislation signed into law is August 6, 2016, unless otherwise noted. The following bills related to the Arizona State Retirement System have been passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor.

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.

New Location for ASRS Tucson Office Now Open

A new Location for the ASRS Tucson office opened for business on Tuesday, February 16th at 4400 E Broadway Blvd., Suite 200.

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?

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 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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