Active Members Page
Welcome to the APERS Active Member page. Here we hope to help you understand what being a member of APERS is all about. We understand that as a new member of
the retirement system some of our procedures, processes and the words we use to describe them may be a bit confusing and we hope that the following information will
be helpful to you. As always if you have questions feel free to contact us!
9/11/12 - Active Members - If you earned service in April, May or June 2012 (active member), APERS generated an Annual Member Statement for you, and by now you should have received that statement. If you have not received your statement, and you need to make a request for APERS to generate you a copy:
Click here for Duplicate Request Form.
If you did not earn service in April, May or June 2012 (inactive member), we did not generate an Annual Member Statement for you, and APERS does not have a duplicate available.
Are you Vested in the System and considering a Termination Refund?
If you have terminated employment and you were a Contributory Member, you can elect to have your contributions refunded to you. If you have 5 or more years of service (vested) you should consider carefully before doing so. For more information about Vesting and Benefit Notice for Certain Members Requesting Termination of Employment Refund click here.
Congratulations on being a member of APERS. The employees of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System (APERS) are committed to ensuring that your membership rights are guaranteed, but you must also contribute to the partnership by meeting your responsibilities that include:
- Reviewing your annual benefit statement from APERS, and inform us (in writing) of any incorrect information (e.g. name, date of birth, spouse, service, etc.).
- Reading the handbooks, newsletters and other information materials provided by APERS.
- Informing APERS if you have changes (e.g. address, family status of marriage or divorce, beneficiary, etc.) even if you leave covered employment.
- Contacting our Office and asking the Counselors general questions if you don’t understand your benefits so that you can make informed benefit choices.
- Sharing your benefit information with your family.
Our responsibilities to you as members in the partnership include:
- Administering retirement benefits to each eligible member of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System.
- Providing handbooks, which contain information regarding your benefits.
- Keeping you informed of your benefit rights and options.
- Keeping you updated on legislative changes that affect your benefits.
- Providing individualized counseling when you request it either in written format or in an office visit.
As always, if you have questions feel free to contact us!
Contributory service is forfeited with a refund of contributions. A cashed refund check cancels any future benefit based on contributory service.
The refundable balance is the member's contributions plus interest. Employer contributions are non-refundable.
Refund of contributions will be made as soon as possible, but could be delayed up to 90 days following termination, depending on when forms are received and when the final contributions are reported to APERS by the employer.
Members may elect two (2) methods of distribution of the taxable amount: Rollover of taxable amount to an independent tax deferred account or deduct the required federal withholding (20%) and receive the remainder.
The following forms need to be completed and returned to APERS in order to receive a Contributory Contributions refund.
The Termination Refund Packet can be found here.
The following is a brief description of types of service that may be purchased: You must be an active (working) member of APERS or a reciprocal retirement system and have the required service in the System to be eligible to purchase service.
- APERS contributory service cancelled by a refund of contributions
- Time lost due to Workers' Compensation
- Educational Leave time
- Service where the person was paid by a federal grant
- Service with a non-participating municipality (for members of APERS only)
- Service with a Federal Agency (for members of APERS only)
- Service with another state public employer (for members of APERS only)
- Service with a new employer prior to the employer joining APERS
The current interest rate on purchases of service is 8%.
You may purchase anywhere from one month to five years of active duty military service for credit in the System. Military service credit may be purchased while not an active member of the System but before the effective date of retirement benefits. To purchase active duty service you:
- Must have five (5) years of actual service in the System or five (5) years combined service between reciprocal plans (and be vested); and
- Must have received an honorable discharge.
- Federal retirement pay based on active duty shall not disqualify a member from purchasing such credit.
- The current interest rate on purchases of active military service is 6%. Service may be purchased in whole month increments. To document service, members must provide a Form DD-214 showing the start and end dates for the active duty. A member may only purchase five (5) years total of any combination of credited service (active duty, National Guard/Reserves service, federal, public employment in another state, etc.) for APERS credit.
An APERS member may purchase up to five (5) years of National Guard/Armed Forces Reserve service for APERS service credit. To be eligible, you must:
- Have five (5) years of actual service in the APERS System or 5 years combined service between reciprocal plans (and be vested), and
- Be an active member of APERS or a reciprocal plan on the date of purchase.
- If you have separated from the National Guard or Armed Forces Reserve, you must have an honorable discharge and submit a Form DD 214, an NGB 22, or other official proof of service.
- If you are still a member of the National Guard/Armed Forces Reserves, you must provide APERS official proof of current service.
- The current interest rate is 6% on purchases of National Guard/Armed Forces Reserve military service. After confirming service, APERS will provide the member a cost statement. A member may only purchase five (5) years total of any combination of credited service (e.g. active duty, National Guard/Reserves service, federal, public employment in another state, etc.) for APERS service.
Any active member's spouse, children or dependent parents may qualify for survivor benefits. Inactive members who are not vested for future benefits do not have survivor benefit protection.
- Spouses of deceased member are automatically eligible for benefits providing they have been married to you for at least one (1) year preceding your death. Benefits will be paid until the spouse remarries (unless you had 20 or more years of service at the time of death, and then, the spouse will draw a benefit for his/her lifetime). The spouse will draw his/her benefit as long as there are dependent children in his/her care.
- A spouse annuity will be the greater of Option B-75 or 10% of your covered compensation at the time of death.
- Dependent children will receive an annuity dependent on the number of children eligible for benefits. Up to two children will receive the greater of 10% of your covered compensation or equal shares of $150. Three (3) or more children share the greater of 25% of your covered compensation or equal shares of $150.
- Upon reaching age 18, benefits terminate if the child does not continue uninterrupted as a full-time student at an accredited secondary school, college or university.
- No benefits will be paid beyond age 23.
- Marriage or death terminates benefits.
- The age 18 maximum will be extended for any child who has been deemed physically or mentally incompetent by an Arkansas Court of competent jurisdiction for as long as such incompetence exits.
If there is no eligible spouse or child, each parent who was dependent on the member for at least 50% of his/her financial support may be eligible for benefits.
Each dependent parent will receive an annuity of the greater of 10% of your covered compensation at the time of your death; or an equal share of the $150 monthly minimum.
NOTE: If you die in service and you have employee contributions in your account and your surviving spouse is also your named beneficiary and you have no dependent children, your surviving spouse may opt to receive a monthly benefit or a lump sum refund.
The United States Department of Labor defines a Qualified Domestic Relations Order as a domestic relations order that creates or recognizes the existence of an alternate payee’s right to receive, or assigns to an alternate payee the right to receive, all or a part of the benefits payable to a participant under a pension plan.
You or your attorney can request an application for a QDRO from the APERS office. The form may be filed for an active, inactive, or retired member. The application for a QDRO must be filed in the format approved by the APERS Board of Trustees, and the signed original filed in the proper court must be submitted. If this procedure is not followed, APERS will not honor the QDRO.
A model of the language can be found here (QDRO Model Language).