When do school district PERS members enroll in the Alternate Option? Are elections to participate retroactive?
It is extremely important to submit a change form for the Alternate Option when an employee is eligible. Employees are eligible to change their election only from July 1 through September 30 of each year. If they do not change their election (if eligible) during this time period, they will need to wait until the following year. See the definitions below to ensure your employees are correctly enrolled in the Alternate Option:
An election to enroll in the Alternate Option made between July 1 and September 30 is effective July 1 of the current school year. It cannot be made retroactive to a prior school year even if the employee’s status changed before the current school year.
Effective with the school year beginning July 1, 1999, non-certificated employees of a school district who work less than 12 months in a full or part time position can elect to have their PERS service credit calculated under the TRS (AS 14.25.220 (47)) definition of "year of service."
A full year of membership credit is earned if the member works at least 172 school days between July 1 of one year and June 30 of the next year. If a member works six hours or more per day, the service is considered full-time.
Part-time eligibility to participate in the PERS is determined using PERS statutes. The member must be regularly scheduled to work a minimum of 15 hours per week. Part-time service under the alternate option is prorated against a six hour day, the PERS full-time equivalent.
For further information, please contact the Regional Counselor for your area.
Mark your calendar and stay a couple of extra days at the ALASBO Conference in December to attend Employer Training Workshops sponsored by the Division of Retirement and Benefits. All Employers and Political Subdivisions are invited to participate in this special training. Training sessions will be held at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage. Some event details and times are listed below. Additional details and registration information coming soon.
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Accounting and Retirement Section (Retirement Funding)
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Social Security Administration (SSA) and Audit will present with additional Q & A Session.
PERS and TRS Information Handbooks are available for download from the Division of Retirement and Benefits Web site. Since the Division no longer prints the handbooks for distribution, it is important to share these links with employees on a regular basis. The information in the handbooks is valuable and clearly explains the PERS (Tier I, II, and III) and TRS (Tiers I and II) programs for employees.
Employees without Internet access should contact the Division toll-free at (800) 821-2251 or in Juneau at (907) 465-4460 for a printed copy of the PERS or TRS Handbook.