Employer News | April 2018

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In This Issue

Upcoming Seminars



Audit Section
(907) 465-5707

Financial Education and Advice Services
(800) 232-0859

Member Services Counseling Services
(907) 465-4460

Member Services Contact Center
(907) 465-4460

Contact the editor with feedback. Archives are available. 

Employer Services


Payroll Processing

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APRIL 2018 | VOLUME #152

Get to Know Your Regional Counselor

DRB and Empower logos

“Who’s my regional counselor?” This is one piece of information that you don’t want to be without. We highly recommend getting to know your regional counselor, since they are the eyes, ears, and voice of the Division of Retirement and Benefits (DRB). The five regional counselors at the DRB are assigned to specific areas of Alaska: Northwest, Fairbanks, Mat-Su Valley, and Southeast. Anchorage is covered by the staff in our Anchorage field office.

Our counselors work with employers and Empower Retirement representatives to administer employee education through individual counseling sessions, seminars, and work groups, providing these services in person, via WebEx, and by telephone. They are a valuable resource for general employer questions (such as, “How do we join the Alaska Deferred Compensation Plan?”), participation agreement amendments, and audit resolutions.

When a regional counselor, an Empower representative, and an engaged employer work together, the amount of positive feedback is tremendous. We are better together. Employees can understand how their active participation in their investment accounts will mean the difference between meeting and exceeding their retirement goals—or falling short and having to work longer than expected. When recruiting and building lifelong relationships with your employees, make sure they have the time to speak with your regional counselor and your Empower representative.

Area contacts:


Fairbanks, State

Fairbanks, Schools/University

Mat-Su Valley


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Schedule a Visit from a Representative

counselor group

Some responses from the Employer Onboarding and Continuing Education Survey indicate that some employers have had neither a DRB representative or an Empower representative at their worksite in some time. Any employer may schedule a video or teleconference with their regional counselor at DRB, with Empower representatives, or a joint meeting at any time by contacting Roberto Aceveda. While the State budget doesn’t allow us to travel to all our locations, we have had success in providing service to smaller, more remote areas using WebEx. WebEx may be used for individual counseling sessions with a regional counselor or Empower Representative or for group meetings.

If you haven't had a representative to your workplace in a while, or have questions about any of the retirement plans, contact us about scheduling a visit soon!

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Welcome to the Deferred Compensation Plan!

DCP logo

We welcome the Inter-Island Ferry Authority (IIFA) and the City of Bethel as the first public organizations to join the Alaska Public Employees’ Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP)! IIFA and Bethel employees begin contributions on May 1, 2018.

Employers who choose to participate in the State DCP plan will provide their employees with an additional retirement savings plan to help them save for their future. There is no cost to join and no requirement for matching employer contributions. Participants pay fees at a group rate negotiated by the State of Alaska that may be lower than those currently experienced. This means more of the participant’s contributed dollar will go to their personal investment.

The investments are overseen and chosen by the Alaska Retirement Management Board. The State plan offers:

  • Local advisors to educate and assist your employees to be more retirement ready
  • Professional, online financial advice services with a federally registered investment advisor
  • Ability to enroll in a fee-based professional management program, if desired
  • 24/7 website and automated phone access
  • Staffed customer service center open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Alaska time

To inquire about enrolling your employees in the plan, please contact your DRB regional counselor in Juneau at (907) 465-4460 or toll-free at (800) 221-2251, or contact Empower Retirement Services (the State’s recordkeeper and financial advisor/ education partner) in Anchorage at (907) 276-1500 or toll-free at (800) 526-0560.

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Updated Tax Withholding Calculator

2018 W-4 form

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released the updated federal tax withholding calculator based on tax reform legislation enacted on December 22, 2017. The updated withholding calculator is now available on the IRS website. Use the calculator here.

The withholding calculator is designed to help employees estimate that the right amount of tax is withheld. The IRS encourages everyone use the withholding calculator to perform a quick federal tax withholding review.

Use of the withholding calculator can help employees determine if an updated Federal Form W-4 is needed. Click here for a new W-4 form.

More information about the updated withholding calculator can be found at the IRS website here.

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Updates to Employer Services

EmployerServices FileLayout

Make sure to check the Employer Services homepage on the Division of Retirement and Benefits website often for updated documents and information.

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Employer Survey Ends May 15

online survey

The Division of Retirement and Benefits is seeking to improve its retirement education and publications. We're asking you, our participating employers, to take part in a short survey (3 minutes) to help us provide better education options for you to share with your employees. We thank you in advance for your help in this area.

Questions? Contact Roberto Aceveda by email or call (800) 821-2251.

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