FAQ

 

How can school districts save valuable dollars per employee while employees increase their gross earnings?

What is normal retirement as defined by the ASRS?

How does the ASRS calculate an individual's pension?

Is smartschoolsplus affiliated with ASRS?

Do smartschoolsplus employees qualify for Social Security and FICA benefits?

Are smartschoolsplus employees offered health insurance benefits?

Are smartschoolsplus employees covered by professional liability, workers compensation, and unemployment insurance?

How can school districts access services through smartschoolsplus?

Does smartschoolsplus provide financial guidance to help determine if retirement is right for me and to assist in maximizing my pension benefit?

What is the current ASRS Employee/Employer Contribution Rate?

What is the current Alternate Contribution Rate? 


How can school districts save valuable dollars per employee while employees increase their gross earnings?

Typically, school districts bring back Phased Retirees anywhere from 75-90% of an employee's exiting salary amount.  Additionally, districts transfer workers comp and health insurance coverage (unless offered by the district) liability to smartschoolsplus.   Further, a district no longer pays the matching ASRS contribution rate, but is responsible for the Alternate Contribution Rate.  Even though Phased Retirees are earning a slightly reduced salary, they are no longer contributing to the ASRS as they are drawing a pension without penalty, resulting in an increase of gross earnings, up to 50 percent!


What is normal retirement as defined by the ASRS?

ASRS members can receive full retirement benefits upon reaching one of these milestones:

  • When age plus years of credited service totals 80 points

           •  85 points if hired after July 1, 2011

  • At age 62 with ten or more years of credited service

  • At age 65 with any number of years of credited service

Retirement Eligibility
 
 

How does the ASRS calculate the pension of an individual?          

If an individual meets the requirements for retirement, the ASRS looks at a few factors to calculate the pension amount.  First, they look at the last 10 years of earnings and average the highest consecutive 36 months.  If hired prior to 1984, the ASRS will average the highest consecutive 60 months.  The ASRS will give the higher of the two.  Then, ASRS will multiply the years of service by the graded multiplier and multiply that amount by the three year or five year average.

0 - 19 years = 2.1%        20 - 24 years = 2.15%        25 - 29 years = 2.2%        30 years or more = 2.3%

Example:  If an individual had a three year average of $50,000 and worked 30 years, the pension benefit would be approximately $34,500 annually.  30 yrs X 2.3% = 69% X  $50,000 = $34,500.

Estimate your benefits


Is smartschoolsplus affiliated with ASRS?

smartschoolsplus is not affiliated with any state-funded agency and is privately owned and operated, but considered a valuable partner with the ASRS.


Do smartschoolsplus employees qualify for Social Security and FICA?

Yes.  All gross earnings qualify as quarters towards Social Security and FICA.


Are smartschoolsplus employees offered health insurance coverage?

Yes!  The Affordable Healthcare Act requires smartschoolsplus to offer health insurance to its employees.  Additionally, retirees are eligible for COBRA and ASRS Health Insurance.


Are smartschoolsplus employees covered by professional liability, workers compensation, and unemployment insurance?

Yes. All smartschoolsplus employees enjoy these benefits.  Additionally, smartschoolsplus worked with the Legislature to assure that Phased Retirees enjoy the same liability coverage under the district's umbrella, in addition to coverage under smartsschoolsplus.


How can school districts access services through smartschoolsplus?

smartschoolsplus has been awarded statewide contracts through Mohave Educational Services Cooperative(RFP #12E-0217) and Strategic Alliance for Volume Expenditures (SAVE RFP #14-06MP)


Does smartschoolsplus provide financial guidance to help determine if retirement is right and to assist in maximizing pension benefits?

Yes!  smartschoolsplus has an incredible financial advising team who are experts in the Arizona State Retirement System.  This team will provide a no obligation, free assessment to determine if retirement is right at this time, if phased retirement will be of benefit and will assist in maximizing the ASRS pension.


What is the current ASRS Employee/Employer Contribution Rate? 

The current ASRS contribution rate for active members is 11.48%, effective July 1,2016.  
 
 
 

What is the current Alternate Contribution Rate (ACR)? 

The current ACR for return to work employees is 9.47%, effective July 1st, 2016.
 


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