Employer News | March 2016

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March | VOLUME #127

Fiscal Year 2017 Employer Contribution Rates Available


The Alaska Retirement Management Board (ARMB) has established Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) employer contribution rates for the PERS/TRS Defined Benefit (DB) and Defined Contribution Retirement (DCR) Plans.

Please refer to the FY17 Employer Contribution Rates on our website for complete information. The link to the PERS and TRS FY17 Employer Rates is under Resources on the Employer Services webpage.

The Division will be sending rate letters to each employer electronically by the end of April. The rates will be effective for pay period end dates between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017.

For additional information regarding the actuarial determined rates, please refer to the June 30, 2014 PERS and TRS actuarial valuations which determined the fiscal year 2017 rates:

PERS Actuarial Valuation

TRS Actuarial Valuation

PERS and TRS DCR ODD and RMP Actuarial Valuation

For questions about employer contribution rates, please contact Christina Maiquis at christina.maiquis@alaska.gov or (907) 465-1845.

State of Alaska Travel Freeze


On January 5, 2016, Governor Bill Walker ordered restrictions on State employee travel as a cost containment measure towards solving a $3.5 billion shortfall in the State budget. Alaskans all over the state have commented most frequently that the State must reign in spending and be good stewards of our resources.

In light of this requirement, the Division of Retirement and Benefits will be implementing a cost-cutting measure by temporarily reducing on-site visits to employers to provide in-person benefit counseling and educational seminars for the remainder of this travel season (January 1, 2016 through May 31, 2016). We will be contacting employers in the next few weeks to discuss the use of video conferencing, teleconferencing and the use of webinars to continue to provide service to our employers and our members.

We welcome your ideas in helping us to continue to provide a level of education and counseling without incurring the cost to send a counselor to your community. We believe that with your cooperation we can continue to make good things happen for our members. From the information we gather, we will be able to put together a more targeted on-site visit plan augmented with the use of technology. Our partners, Empower Retirement Services, will still be able to provide financial education seminars during this time.

Please contact Benefit and Education Manager Roberto Aceveda at roberto.aceveda@alaska.gov or (907) 465-4817 with your comments, observations and ideas.

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Social Security Administration Considering Some Changes to Windfall Elimination Provision

Social Security Administration

United States Congress is considering changes to the existing Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) by introducing new legislation to replace the current WEP formula with more equitable version, known as the Equal Treatment for Public Servants Act (ETPSA).

Many view the WEP as unfair because the math it is based on does not reflect public servants’ individual work history. If enacted into law, the proposed bill will ensure that Social Security benefits would be based on each worker’s Social Security contributions and work history rather than the arbitrary WEP formula established in 1983.

How will the ETPSA affect your benefit?

For seniors turning 62 in 2017 and later, the ETPSA will eliminate the WEP and replace it with the new Public Servant Fairness Formula. As a result, public servants will receive, on average, a $212 higher benefit per month, $2,544 per year, and more than $50,000 over retirement. A worker who contributes to Social Security for 10 years would still receive all of the Social Security due to them based on their earnings and contributions in those 10 years.

Please contact Nimeri Denis at nimeri.denis@alaska.gov or (907) 465-4469 with any questions.

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