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Glossary of Terms and Acronyms

Short cut: Use the "Find in Page" (Ctrl+F) on your keyboard and enter part of the glossary term to quickly find a term.

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

A

Active Member (PERS)
A member who is employed by a PERS employer and receiving compensation for seasonal, permanent full-time, or permanent part-time services. A member must be making contributions to the PERS to be considered active.
Active Member (TRS)
A member who is working for a TRS employer and receiving compensation on a full-time or part-time basis; on sabbatical leave approved by the employer; or on active leave of absence without pay approved by the employer. A member must be making contributions to the TRS to be considered active.
Actuarial Accrued Liability (Past Service Cost)
The excess of the present value of a pension fund’s total liability for future benefits and fund administrative expenses over the present value of the normal cost of those benefits as accrued for the current year.
Actuarial Adjustment (PERS)
Equality in value of the aggregate expected payments under two different forms of pension payments, considering expected mortality and interest earnings on the basis of tables adopted from time to time by the Public Employees’ Retirement Board.
Actuarial Adjustment (TRS)
An adjustment to the basic calculation of a pension payment based on age, expected lifetime, and interest earnings to provide a pension of equal value under different benefit options.
Actuarial Assumptions
Factors which actuaries use in estimating the cost of funding a defined benefit pension plan. Examples include: the rate of return on plan investments; mortality rates; and the rates at which plan participants are expected to leave the system because of retirement, disability, termination, etc.
Actuarial Cost Method
An actuarial method which defines the allocation of pension costs (and contributions) over a member's working career. All standard actuarial cost methods are comprised of two components: normal cost and the actuarial accrued liability (past service cost). An actuarial cost method determines the estimated pension costs, not the ultimate cost of a pension plan; that cost is determined by the actual benefits paid less the actual investment income.
Actuarial Valuation Report
Actuarial valuations are technical reports providing full disclosure of the financial and funding status of public retirement systems administered by the Department of Administration, Division of Retirement and Benefits.
Actuarially Required Contribution (ARC)
The ARC is equal to the sum of (1) the employer’s “normal cost” of retirement benefits earned by employees in the current year, and (2) the amount needed to amortize any existing unfunded accrued liability over a period of 25 years.
Alaska Deferred Compensation Plan
The Alaska Deferred Compensation Plan allows you to voluntarily set aside a portion of your income before it is taxed. The amount set aside, plus any change in value (interest, gains and losses), is payable to you or your beneficiary at a future date. Upon becoming eligible to participate in the Plan, you may elect to defer your income on a pre-tax basis. By doing so, you agree to reduce your salary by an agreed-upon amount. This amount may not exceed certain requirements.
Alaska Retirement Management Board (ARMB)
The Alaska Retirement Management Board serves as the trustee of the assets of the state’s retirement systems, the State of Alaska Supplemental Annuity Plan and the deferred compensation program for state employees. The board manages and invests fund assets in a manner that is sufficient to meet the liabilities and the pension obligations of the system.
Alaska Supplemental Annuity Plan
The Alaska Supplemental Annuity Plan (SBS-AP) is a defined contribution plan governed by section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. A portion of your wages and a matching employer contribution are made pre-tax to this plan instead of contributions to Social Security. These contributions plus any change in value (interest, gains and losses), is payable to you or your beneficiary at a future date.
Alternate Service Option (PERS)
Membership service calculated under the provisions of the Teachers’ Retirement System based on a full year of credit for a minimum of 172 days of service. The maximum allowable credit for service between July 1 and June 30 is one year even if the number of days worked exceeds 172. Permanent part-time service will be credited based on 50 percent of the number of days. The employee contributions due to the PERS under this election are currently 9.6 percent of salary. This election is irrevocable for all periods of school district employment except in certain circumstances.
Annuitant (TRS)
A retired member or a disabled member who is receiving a benefit under this system.
Average Base Salary (TRS)
The result obtained by dividing the sum of the member’s three highest years’ base salary by three, or if a member does not have three years base salary, then by dividing the sum of all base salaries by the number of years of base salary; the base salary in a school year for which the member receives compensation for less than two-thirds of a year may not be used in the computation of the average base salary; if compensation is received for more than two-thirds of a year, the full base salary for that school year shall be used in the computation of the average base salary.
For members converting from a disability to normal retirement, the base salary for a year in which credit is granted for disability totaling more than one-third of a year may not be used in the computation of the average base salary.
Average Monthly Compensation (PERS)
The result obtained by dividing the compensation earned by an employee during a considered period by the number of months, including fractional months, for which compensation was earned; an employee must have at least 115 days of credited service in the last payroll year in order for that year to be used as part of the consecutive payroll years; the considered period consists of:
  • For employees first hired before July 1, 1996 (Tier I or II), the three consecutive payroll years during the period of credited service that yield the highest average;
  • For employees first hired on or after July 1, 1996 (Tier III), the five consecutive payroll years during the period of credited service that yield the highest average;
  • If the employee does not have the number of consecutive payroll years required, the actual number of months, including fractional months, that the employee worked;
  • For an employee who has made an election under the Alternate Service Option, the actual number of months, including fractional months the employee worked.

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B

Base Salary (TRS)
The total remuneration payable under contract for a full year of membership service, including addenda to the contract but, for a member first hired on or after July 1, 1996, does not include remuneration in excess of the limitations set out in 26 U.S.C. 401(a)(17).
Has the same meaning as “compensation” when applied to a state legislator who elects membership.
Beneficiary
The person designated by a member to receive the benefit that may be due from the PERS/TRS upon the member’s death. It is important that the beneficiary designation be kept up to date.
BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs Service) (TRS only)
Service, including partial years, as a teacher, a certificated person employed in a full-time position requiring a teaching certificate as a condition of employment, or a Bureau of Indian Affairs professional educator in a school or school system contracted or operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Alaska.

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C

Calendar Year (PERS)
The period beginning on January 1 and ending on December 31.
Compensation (TRS)
The total remuneration paid under contract to a member for services rendered during a school year, including cost-of-living differentials, payments for leave that is actually used by the member, the amount by which the member’s wages are reduced under the PERS alternative service option, and the amount deferred under an employer-sponsored deferred compensation plan or the tax shelter annuity plan approved by the Department of Education and Early Development, but does not include retirement benefits, welfare benefits, per diem, expense allowances, workers’ compensation payments, or payments for leave not used by the member, whether those leave payments are scheduled payments, lump-sum payments, donations, or cash-ins; compensation paid includes any payment made after June 30 of a school year for services rendered before the end of the school year.
Compensation (PERS)
The remuneration earned by an employee for personal services rendered to an employer, including employee contributions, cost-of-living differentials, payments for leave that is actually used by the employee, the amount by which the employee’s wages are reduced and any amount deferred under an employer-sponsored deferred compensation plan, but does not include retirement benefits, severance pay or other separation bonuses, welfare benefits, per diem, expense allowances, workers’ compensation payments, or payments for leave not used by the employee whether those leave payments are scheduled payments, lump-sum payments, donations, or cash-ins; for a member first hired on or after July 1, 1996, compensation does not include remuneration in excess of the limitations set out in Internal Revenue Code.
Court-Certified Document
The clerk’s act of copying an original document on file with the court and swearing in writing that it is a full, true, and correct copy of the original document which is on file with the court.
Credited Service (PERS)
All membership service, territorial employment, plus outside, military, and Alaska BIA service, with outside and military service limited to 10 years except under certain conditions. For purposes of eligibility for benefits, service for which no indebtedness is owed.
Credited Service (TRS)
The number of years, including fractional years, recognized for computing benefits that may be due from the system.

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D

Deferred Compensation Plan
The Deferred Compensation Plan allows you to voluntarily set aside a portion of your income before it is taxed. The amount set aside, plus any change in value (interest, gains and losses), is payable to you or your beneficiary at a future date. Upon becoming eligible to participate in the Plan, you may elect to defer your income on a pre-tax basis. By doing so, you agree to reduce your salary by an agreed-upon amount. This amount may not exceed certain requirements.
Deferred Vested Member (TRS)
An inactive member who meets the service requirements of a vested member.
Deferred Vested Member (PERS)
An inactive member who meets the five-year credited service requirement to qualify for a retirement benefit.
Defined Benefit Plans
Pensions based on years of service and salaries. Retirees receive a defined monthly check, with the employer taking on the investment risk of the retirement funds. Many state, municipal and school employees around the nation once belonged to such plans.
Defined Contribution Plans
Retirement savings accounts based on employee and matching employer contributions. If the employee's investment choices perform poorly, or if the employee contributes little to the account, the employee receives less money at retirement. More employers are switching to defined contribution plans to lessen their financial risk and to allow their workers to take the money with them when they change jobs.
Dependent Child
An unmarried child of a member, including an adopted child, who is dependent upon the member for support and is less than 19 years old, or less than 23 years old and registered at and attending on a full-time basis an accredited educational or technical institution recognized by the Department of Education and Early Development. There is no age restriction if the child is totally and permanently disabled.
Disabled Member
A member who is terminated, who has not received a refund from the system, and who is receiving a disability benefit from the system.
DRB
Division of Retirement and Benefits

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E

Early Retirement (TRS)
A member is eligible for an early retirement benefit upon completing the service requirements for vesting and attaining either age 50 years (Tier I) or age 55 years (Tier II).
Early Retirement (PERS)
A member is eligible for an early retirement benefit upon completing the service requirements and attaining either age 50 years (Tier I) or age 55 years (Tier II and III).
Elected Official
A person whose compensation results from personal services rendered to an employer as an elected representative.
Employee Contribution Account
The total maintained by the system of the employee’s mandatory contributions, voluntary contributions, indebtedness principal, and interest contributions, interest credited to each of those accounts, and adjustments to the accounts.
Employer (TRS)
A public school district, the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska, the Department of Education and Early Development, the National Education Association of Alaska, the Regional Resource Centers, or the state legislature with respect to a state legislator who elects membership under AS 14.25.040(b).
Employer (PERS)
  • The State of Alaska;
  • A nonprofit regional corporation, but only with respect to village public safety officers employed by the corporation who have not terminated participation in the system; or
  • A political subdivision or public organization of the state that participates in the system.
Entry Date
The date when a person who is employed by a TRS/PERS employer begins receiving compensation on a full-time or part-time basis and is making contributions to the TRS/PERS.
EPORS
Elected Public Officers Retirement System

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F

Fiscal Year
The period beginning on July 1 and ending on June 30 of the following calendar year.
Former Member (TRS)
A member who is terminated and who received a total refund of the balance of the mandatory contribution account, or who has requested in writing a refund of the balance of the mandatory contribution account.
Former Member (PERS)
An employee who is terminated and who has received a total refund of the balance of the employee contribution account, or who has requested in writing a refund of the balance in the employee contribution account.
Full-time Teacher (TRS)
A teacher occupying a position requiring teaching on a regular basis for the normal work period per day or week at a teaching assignment, excluding teaching as an assistant or graduate assistant or teaching on a substitute, temporary, or per diem basis.
Funded Ratio
The ratio of a plan’s current assets to the present value of earned pensions. There are several acceptable methods of measuring a plan’s assets and liabilities. In financial reporting of public pension plans, funded status is reported using consistent measures by all governmental entities. According to the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB), the funded ratio equals the actuarial value of assets divided by the actuarial accrued liability calculated under the Projected Unit Credit cost method.

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I

Inactive Teacher or Member (TRS)
A member who is terminated and who has not received a refund from the system or a member who is on leave of absence and who is not making contributions under the provisions of leave of absence without pay. An inactive member does not make contributions to the TRS.
Inactive Teacher or Member (PERS)
An employee who is terminated and who has not received a refund from the PERS or an employee on leave-without-pay status or layoff status. An inactive member does not make contributions to the PERS.

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J

JRS
Judicial Retirement System

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M

Market Value of Assets
Market value is the amount for which fund assets would sell on the open market if put up for sale in the ordinary course of business.
Member Contribution Account (TRS)
The total maintained by the system of the member’s mandatory contributions, indebtedness principal and interest payments, interest credited to each of those accounts, and adjustments to the account.
Member or Employee (PERS)
A person eligible to participate in the system and who is covered by the system. Includes:
  • An active member;
  • An inactive member;
  • A vested member;
  • A deferred vested member;
  • A nonvested member;
  • A disabled member;
  • A retired member; and
  • An elected public officer.
Does not include:
  • Former members;
  • Persons compensated on a contractual or fee basis;
  • Casual or emergency workers or nonpermanent employees;
  • Persons covered by the Alaska Teachers’ Retirement System, or persons covered by the optional university retirement program;
  • Employees of the division of marine transportation engaged in operating the state ferry system who are covered by a union or group retirement system to which the state makes contributions;
  • Justices of the supreme court or judges of the court of appeals or of the superior or district courts of Alaska;
  • The administrative director of courts unless the director becomes a member;
  • Members of the elected public officers’ retirement system; and
  • Contractual employees of the legislative branch of state government.
Membership Service (TRS)
  • Full or part-time service as a teacher in a public school in the Territory or State of Alaska, or both, under the supervision and control of the Territorial Board of Education or the Department of Education and Early Development or the school board of a city, regional educational attendance area, or borough school district;
  • Full-time or part-time teaching at the University of Alaska or a full-time administrative position at the University of Alaska that requires academic standing and that has been approved for inclusion in the system by the administrator;
  • Any period during which the teacher receives a disability benefit under this system or is on an approved sabbatical leave;
  • Continuous service as a state legislator when performed by a state legislator who elects membership;
  • Full-time or part-time service as an employee of the Special Education Service Agency; or
  • Full-time or part-time service as an Alaska Native language or culture expert.
Military Service (TRS)
Active duty in the armed forces of the United States.
Military Service (PERS)
Active duty service in the armed forces of the United States.

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N

NGNMRS
National Guard and Naval Militia Retirement System
Nonpublic School (TRS)
A school established by an agency other than a state that is primarily supported by other than public funds, and operation of whose program rests with other than publicly elected or appointed officials, and is state approved or accredited.
Nonoccupational Disability (PERS)
A physical or mental condition that, in the judgment of the administrator, presumably permanently prevents an employee from satisfactorily performing the employee’s usual duties for an employer or the duties of another position or job that an employer makes available and for which the employee is qualified by training or education, not including a condition resulting from a cause that the Board, in its regulations has excluded.
Nonvested Member (TRS)
An active or inactive member who does not meet the requirements of a vested member or deferred vested member.
Nonvested Member (PERS)
An active or inactive member who does not meet the five-year credited service requirement to qualify for a retirement benefit.
Normal Cost
The normal cost generally represents the portion of the cost of projected benefits allocated to the current plan year. The employer normal cost equals the total normal cost of the plan reduced by employee contributions.
Normal Retirement (TRS)
A member is eligible for a normal retirement benefit if the member:
  • Was first hired before July 1, 1975, has attained the age of 55 years, and has at least 15 years of credited service, the last five of which have been membership service or is otherwise vested in the system;
  • Has attained the age of 60 years and has at least eight years of membership service;
  • Has attained the age of 60 years, has at least five years of membership service, and has Alaska BIA service which, when added to the membership service, will equal at least eight years;
  • Has at least 25 years of credited service, the last five of which have been membership service;
  • Has at least 20 years of membership service;
  • Has at least 20 years of combined membership service and Alaska BIA service, the last five of which have been membership service; or
  • Has, for each of 20 school years,
  • At least one-half year of membership service as a part-time teacher;
  • One full year of membership service as a full-time teacher; or
  • Any combination of service.
Normal Retirement (PERS)
Retirement for a member who is eligible to receive benefits.

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O

Occupational Disability
A physical or mental condition that, in the judgment of the administrator, presumably permanently prevents an employee from satisfactorily performing the employee’s usual duties for an employer or the duties of another comparable position or job that an employer makes available and for which the employee is qualified by training or education; however, the proximate cause of the condition must be a bodily injury sustained, or a hazard undergone, while in the performance and within the scope of the employee’s duties and not the proximate result of the willful negligence of the employee.
ORP (University of Alaska Optional Retirement Program)
Through the University of Alaska Optional Retirement Program eligible employees may waive their TRS membership and enroll in the University’s optional plan. Those who do not enroll in the ORP are automatically covered under the TRS. University employees should contact the TRS for information about TRS benefits before enrolling in the ORP. When enrollment in ORP is received by the Board of Regents, it may not be changed.
Outside Service (TRS)
Service for full years;
  • As a certificated full-time elementary or secondary teacher or a certificated person in a full-time position requiring a teaching certificate as a condition of employment in an out-of-state public school within the United States, or in a school outside the United States supported by funds of the United States;
  • As a certificated full-time elementary or secondary teacher or a certificated person in a full-time position requiring a teaching certificate as a condition of employment in an approved or accredited nonpublic school within the United States, or in a school outside the United States supported by funds of the United States;
  • In a full-time position requiring academic standing in an out-of-state institution of higher learning accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency as listed in the Education Directory - Colleges and Universities by the National Center for Education Statistics;
  • As a full-time teacher in an approved or accredited nonpublic institution of higher learning in Alaska.

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P

Part-Time Teacher (TRS)
A teacher occupying a position requiring teaching on a regular basis for at least 50 percent of the normal workweek at a teaching assignment, excluding teaching as an assistant or graduate assistant, or teaching on a substitute, temporary, or per diem basis.
Past Service Cost
The present value of benefits earned to date not covered by current plan assets.
Payroll Year (PERS)
The period that includes the first pay period ending in January of a year through the last pay period ending in December of that year.
Peace Officer or Fire Fighter (PERS)
An employee occupying a position as a peace officer, chief of police, regional public safety officer, correctional officer, correctional superintendent, fire fighter, fire chief, or probation officer, but does not include a village public safety officer employed by a village public safety officer program.
Pension
A series of periodic payments, usually for life, payable monthly or at other specified intervals. The term is frequently used to describe the part of a retirement allowance financed by employer contributions.
Pension Fund (TRS)
The fund in which the assets of the system, including income and interest derived from the investment of money, are deposited and held.
PERB
Public Employees' Retirement Board
Permanent Disability (TRS)
A physical or mental condition that, in the judgment of the administrator, based upon medical reports and other evidence satisfactory to the administrator, presumably prevents a member from satisfactorily performing the member’s usual duties for the member’s employer or the duties of another position or job that an employer makes available for which the member is qualified by training or education.
Permanent Full-Time (PERS)
An employee who is occupying a permanent position that regularly requires working 30 or more hours a week.
Permanent Part-Time (TRS and PERS)
An employee who is occupying a permanent position that regularly requires working at least 15 hours but less than 30 hours a week.
PERS
The Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) includes a defined benefit plan that is for government employees first hired on or before June 30, 2006 and a hybrid defined contribution plan that has some defined benefit components for employees first hired on or after July 1, 2006.
PERS Administrator
The person appointed by the Commissioner of Administration.
Post Retirement Pension Adjustment (PRPA)
Post Retirement Pension Adjustment or PRPA is an increase to benefit payments when the cost of living increases. It is based on the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers for Anchorage.
Pre-Funding
To accumulate a reserve fund in advance of paying benefits. This is the opposite of "pay-as-you-go."
Prescribed Rate of Interest (TRS)
The rate of interest used for computing employer contributions, for preparing actuarial tables used by the system, for crediting interest to members’ contributions, and for charging interest on members’ indebtedness accounts.
Prescribed Rate of Interest (PERS)
The rate of interest used for computing employer contributions, for preparing actuarial tables used by the system and for crediting interest to employee contributions and savings accounts, and for charging interest on employee indebtedness accounts.
Present Value
The current worth of an amount or series of amounts payable in the future, after discounting each amount at an assumed rate of interest and adjusting for the probability of its payment or receipt.
Public Employees' Retirement System
On January 1, 1961, the Alaska legislature established the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) to attract and retain qualified people into public service employment. The PERS offers a variety of benefits to its members and their survivors. These benefits, when combined with other income, are designed to provide members with financial security during their retirement years. For more information read the Public Employees' Retirement System Information Handbook.
Public Organization (PERS)
An organization or entity:
  • Created by the constitution or laws of the state for the purpose of administering state programs;
  • Whose officers and employees are paid by a method other than by the state payroll prepared by the Department of Administration; and
  • Whose employees are not required by law to participate in the system.
Public School (TRS)
A school operated by publicly elected or appointed school officials in which the program and activities are under the control of those officials and that is supported by public funds.

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Q

Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)
A QDRO is a specialized court order that sets out the portion of a member’s benefit that must be paid to their former spouse.
Qualified Plan
An employee benefit plan approved by the Internal Revenue Service, meeting requirements set forth in IRS Code Section 401 or 457. Contributions to such plans are subject to favorable tax treatment.

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R

Retired Teacher or Member
A member/teacher who is terminated, who has not received a refund from the system, and who is receiving a benefit, other than disability, from the system.
Retirement (TRS)
That period of time from the first day of the month following:
  • The date of termination; and
  • Application for retirement in which a person is appointed to receive a retirement benefit, other than a disability benefit.
Retirement (PERS)
That period of time from the first day of the month following the date of termination and application for retirement, in which a person is appointed to receive a retirement benefit, other than occupational or nonoccupational disability benefit.
Retirement Benefit
The annuity received by a retired member from the system.
Retirement Fund
The fund in which the assets of the system, including income and interest derived from the investment of money, are deposited and held.
RPEA
Retired Public Employees of Alaska.

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S

School Year (TRS)
The 12-month period beginning July 1 of each year and ending June 30 of the following year.
Seasonal (PERS)
Refers to an employee who is occupying a position for less than 12 months each year where it is anticipated that the same employee will return to the position when needed and includes a temporary employee of the legislature if part of the service for the legislature during each calendar year is performed during a legislative session.
SB 141
Closed the defined benefit plans and created a new retirement and retiree health plan. Signed into law July 27, 2005 Chapter 9 FSSLA 05.
SB 123
Technical correction bill. Allowed the Alaska Retirement Management Board to apply the percent of pay past service cost against both defined benefit and defined contribution salaries. Signed into law June 6, 2007 Chapter 20 SLA 07.
SB 125
Changed the PERS to a cost-share plan and set the employer rate at 22%. Established that the State will pay the difference between the 22% and the actuarially determined rate. Signed into law April 8, 2008 Chapter 13 SLA 08
Standard Service Option (PERS)
Membership service calculated based on actual dates of employment in accordance with PERS regulations. This election grants credit on a day-for-day basis for the actual time worked between January 1 and December 31 of each year. Part-time service will be credited on a pro-rata basis of hours worked. The employee contribution to PERS are currently 6.75 percent of salary. This election is irrevocable for all periods of school district employment except in certain circumstances.
Supplemental Annuity Plan
The Alaska Supplemental Annuity Plan (SBS-AP) is a defined contribution plan governed by section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. A portion of your wages and a matching employer contribution are made pre-tax to this plan instead of contributions to Social Security. These contributions plus any change in value (interest, gains and losses), is payable to you or your beneficiary at a future date.
Supplemental Benefits System (SBS)
SBS includes the following:
  • Life insurance
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage
  • Survivor benefits
  • Disability benefits (short term and long term disability plans)
  • Dependent Care Assistance Plan
Supplemental Contribution Account (TRS)
The account maintained by the system to record the supplemental contributions of each member, including interest and adjustments to the account.
Surviving Spouse (PERS)
The spouse of an employee who has been married to the employee for at least one year at the time of the employee’s death; the one-year marriage requirement does not apply when the employee’s death was an occupational or accidental death.
System (TRS)
The Teachers’ Retirement System of Alaska.
System (PERS)
The Public Employees’ Retirement System of Alaska.

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T

TDD
Telecommunication Device for the Deaf
Teacher or Member (TRS)
A person eligible to participate in the system and who is covered by the system, limited to:
  • A certificated full-time or part-time elementary or secondary teacher, a certificated school nurse, or a certificated person in a position requiring a teaching certificate as a condition of employment in a public school of the state or in the Department of Education and Early Development;
  • A full-time or part-time teacher of the University of Alaska or a person occupying a full-time administrative position at the University of Alaska that requires academic standing; the approval of the administrator must be obtained before an administrative position qualifies for membership in the system; however, a teacher or administrative person at the university who is participating in the optional university retirement program is not a member under this system;
  • A state legislator who elects membership.
Teachers' Retirement System
On July 1, 1955, the Alaska legislature established the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) to attract qualified people into public service employment. The TRS offers a variety of benefits to its members and their survivors. These benefits, when combined with other income, are designed to provide members with financial security during their retirement years. For more information read the Teachers' Retirement System Information Handbook.
Territorial Employment (TRS)
Non-teaching employment with the Territory of Alaska; territorial employment is not membership service.
Tier (TRS)
Members who first entered a TRS position:
  • Before July 1, 1990, are in Tier I;
  • On or after July 1, 1990, are in Tier II.
Tier (PERS)
Members who first entered in a PERS position:
  • Before July 1, 1986, are in Tier I;
  • On or after July 1, 1986, but before July 1, 1996, are in Tier II;
  • On or after July 1, 1996, are in Tier III.
TRB
Teachers' Retirement Board.
TRS
The Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) includes a defined benefit plan that is for government employees first hired on or before June 30, 2006 and a hybrid defined contribution plan that has some defined benefit components for employees first hired on or after July 1, 2006.
TRS Administrator
The person appointed by the Commissioner of Administration.

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U

Unfunded Actuarial Accrued Liability (UAAL)
The excess, if any, of the Actuarial Accrued Liability over the Actuarial Value of Assets. In other words, the present value of benefits earned to date that are not covered by current plan assets.
UVPARP (PERS)
Unlicensed Vessel Participant Annuity Retirement Plan.

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V

Valuations
The process of determining the value of the funds. There are many assumptions used in the valuation, some are objective, such as the actual monetary assets, some are subjective, such as member mortality or project cost of health insurance.
Vested Member or Vested Teacher (TRS)
An active member who has completed either:
  • 15 years of service, the last five of which have been membership service, for a member first hired before July 1, 1975;
  • Eight years of membership service;
  • Five years of membership and three years of BIA service; or
  • 12 school years of part-time membership service or 12 school years in each of which the member earned either part-time or full-time membership service.
Vested Member or Vested Teacher (PERS)
An active member who meets the five-year credited service requirement to qualify for a retirement benefit.

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Y

Year of Service (TRS)
Service, except for military and territorial service, during the dates set for a school year; partial-year service credit is given for membership and BIA service as follows:

Before July 1, 1969, during any school year,

  • less than 20 days, no credit;
  • 20 days or more but less than 35 days, 0.2 years;
  • 35 days or more but less than 49 days, 0.3 years;
  • 49 days or more but less than 63 days, 0.4 years;
  • 63 days or more but less than 77 days, 0.5 years;
  • 77 days or more but less than 91 days, 0.6 years;
  • 91 days or more but less than 105 days, 0.7 years;
  • 105 days or more but less than 119 days, 0.8 years;
  • 119 days or more but less than 133 days, 0.9 years;
  • 133 days or more, 1.0 years.

On or after July 1, 1969, during any school year,

  • less than nine days, no credit;
  • nine days or more but less than 27 days, 0.1 years;
  • 27 days or more but less than 45 days, 0.2 years;
  • 45 days or more but less than 63 days, 0.3 years;
  • 63 days or more but less than 81 days, 0.4 years;
  • 81 days or more but less than 100 days, 0.5 years;
  • 100 days or more but less than 118 days, 0.6 years;
  • 118 days or more but less than 136 days, 0.7 years;
  • 136 days or more but less than 154 days, 0.8 years;
  • 154 days or more but less than 172 days, 0.9 years;
  • 172 days or more, 1.0 years.

Service performed on a part-time basis will be credited in proportion to the amount of credit that would have been received for service performed on a full-time basis.

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