Employer Conference coming to Juneau this fall

November 14-16, 2011

The Division of Retirement and Benefits is organizing an Employer Conference to be held this fall, November 14-16, 2011, at Centennial Hall in Juneau. This will be an opportunity for your human resource, finance, payroll, and management staff to receive training on employer-related aspects of the Public Employees’ and Teachers’ Retirement Systems. The agenda has not yet been finalized, but a few of the featured training sessions will include:

business meeting
  • E-Reporting walk through with PERS/TRS accounting contacts
  • Termination costs, when applicable
  • The process and effects of amending the PERS Participation Agreement
  • New benefit education developments (Will include a demonstration of using WebEx for individual and group meetings.)
  • Value to the employer of employee benefit education (Introduction to all the benefit education staff and services provided.)
  • Internal Revenue Service issues
  • Social Security issues

Please tell us what additional topics you would like included in the training sessions. Send your requests and suggestions to Deputy Director Kathy Lea at kathy.lea@alaska.gov.

Employer-Sponsored Retirement Savings Plans Survey

The Division of Retirement and Benefits is conducting a short survey of participating employers of the Public Employees’ and Teachers’ Retirement Systems to determine what other types of retirement savings plans, if any, are offered by employers.

The information gathered from the survey will be used to assist the division’s regional counselors, who provide retirement education to your employees, as well as policy makers who consider plan design of the PERS and TRS.

We would appreciate your response. The survey should take about five minutes to complete and can be found at this link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SJJMB62.

If you have questions regarding the survey, please contact Kathy Lea, Deputy Director, Division of Retirement and Benefits at:

Thank you for your participation!

Upcoming Retirement Seminars

Throughout the year, the Division offers seminars to help educate employees about their defined benefit or defined contribution plans, the retirement process, and financial planning.

The seminars offered during August and September will be:

DCRP - Intro to DCR PERS Tier IV / TRS Tier III

An overview of the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (PERS Tier IV and TRS Tier III) targeted at participants, supervisors, hire managers, and line managers.

Juneau
Thursday, August 25, 2011, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

PERS - The Retirement Process

A seminar for members who are interested in retirement eligibility, the retirement process, pension options, forms, timing of benefits and enrollment in the State of Alaska Retiree Health Insurance Plan.

Anchorage
Thursday, July 21, 2011, 1:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 25, 2011, 1:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, September 29, 2011, 1:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Juneau
Thursday, August 18, 2011, 1:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, September 22, 2011, 1:00 – 3:30 p.m.

PERS - SBS/DCP

This seminar is an overview of the Supplemental Annuity Plan (SBS-AP) and the Alaska Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP). The DCP is available only to State employees.

Juneau
Thursday, August 11, 2011, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, September 8, 2011, 1:00 – 3:30 p.m.

State of Alaska policy allows employees to attend a Retirement & Benefits-sponsored seminar during their regularly scheduled work day and have the time counted as work time. Approval to be away from the work site must be secured from the supervisor in advance.

For more information on upcoming seminars, or to enroll, please go to the Division’s Seminar Web page. To navigate to our Seminar Web page from the Division home page, click on the “Counselors” drop-down menu and then “Seminars.”

Remember - submit Alternate Option change form for eligible school employees

Remember to submit a change form for the Alternate Option when an employee is eligible. This is extremely important. 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:

school building

New Hire - Someone who was not working for a school district on July 1, 1999, or someone who first became a member on or after July 1, 1999, may, within 90 days of date of hire, make an election. AS 39.35.300 (c) and AS 39.35.310 (c).

Re-employed - Someone who was working for a school district, who was inactive on July 1, 1999, and later reemployed, may, within 90 days of date of hire, make an election. AS 39.35.300 (c) and AS 39.35.310 (c).

Change in Status - You may make an election during the period July 1 through September 30 if your position went from working 12 months to less than 12 months. AS 39.35.300(e) and AS 39.35.310 (e).

You may make an election during the period July 1 through September 30 if your position went from working less than 12 months to 12 months. AS 39.35.300 (d) and AS 39.35.310 (d).

PERS and TRS Employer Manuals available online

The PERS and TRS employer manuals are available on our Web site site.

The manuals are generic manual intended as a resource guide to help employers with questions they may have about the retirement systems. The manuals cover both the PERS and TRS Defined Benefit plans and the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan, which was established on July 1, 2006, and address participation agreements, payment of contributions, member plan education, beneficiary designations and much more.

Each manual has been posted as a PDF file on the Division Web site.

To navigate to the Employer Manuals from the Employer Services Web page, click on the "Resources" drop-down menu and then "Employer Manuals."

PERS and TRS publications available online

CAFR cover collage CAFR cover collage

The following PERS and TRS publications are available at the "Publications" link (under the "Resources" menu) on the Division of Retirement and Benefits Web site:

PERS Publications

TRS Publications

To navigate to any Division reports, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Division's Web site at alaska.gov/drb
  2. Under the "Resources" drop-down menu, click on "Publications"
  3. Click on the appropriate system, plan or fund.
  4. Select the report you want to view.

If you prefer a hard copy of these reports, please contact the Division of Retirement and Benefits at
(907) 465-5711.

Updated Forms and Brochures

The following forms and brochures have been updated since the last newsletter. Please be sure to use only the updated forms. Printing from the Forms & Brochures page on the Division Web site will assure you always have the most current version.

Form No. Description
08-822a Retiree Beneficiary Designation
gen041 Health Benefits Enrollment/Waiver for Retirees w/SSP Tier I
gen042 Health Benefits Enrollment/Waiver for Retirees w/SSP Tier II & III
gen037 Retiree Same-sex Partner Affidavit
gen039 Declaration of Tax Status