TRS - Teacher Retirement System
Certificated employees, FTE 50 percent to 100 percent, are covered for retirement benefits as outlined in the applicable statutes related to TRS. The district and the employee make contributions to TRS. The following employee groups are covered:
- ACE (Certificated)
- Exempt (Certificated)
- Non-represented (Certificated)
Social Security benefits may be affected
Working in a TRS position may affect your Social Security benefits. Many factors go into determining your Social Security eligibility and benefits. The information in this section comes from Social Security publications explaining how a retirement benefit that you receive from the TRS can reduce any Social Security benefits for which you are qualified.
If you worked for a federal, state, or local government where you did not pay Social Security taxes, the pension you receive from that agency may reduce any Social Security benefits for which you are qualified. Your benefit can be reduced in one of two ways. One is called the “government pension offset” and applies only if you receive a government pension and are eligible for Social Security benefits as a spouse or widow(er). For more information on the offset, ask Social Security for the fact sheet, Government Pension Offset (Publication No. 05-10007).
The other way your benefit can be reduced is if you work for an employer who doesn't withhold Social Security taxes, such as the State of Alaska. Your TRS benefit may reduce your Social Security benefits. The “windfall elimination provision” affects how your retirement or disability benefits are figured if you receive a pension from work not covered by Social Security. The formula used to figure your benefit amount is modified, giving you a lower Social Security benefit. The Social Security fact sheet, A Pension From Work Not Covered By Social Security (Publication No. 05-10045) explains this provision.
For more information
Get recorded information 24 hours a day, including weekends and holiday, by calling the Social Security Administration. Service representatives are available 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. on business days. Phone lines are busiest early in the week and early in the month. Whenever you call, have your Social Security number available.
PERS - Public Employee Retirement System
Classified employees who work at least 15 hours per week are covered for retirement benefits as outlined in the applicable statutes related to PERS. The district and the employee make contributions to PERS. The following employee groups are covered:
- ACE (Classified)
- Local 71 (Custodians)
- Teamsters Local 959 Food service
- Teamsters Local 959 Bus drivers and attendants
- Teamsters Local 959 Maintenance/warehouse
- Exempt (Classified)
- Non-represented (Classified)
Election of standard or alternate option
Classified employees in PERS Tiers I, I & III must make an election regarding how PERS service will be calculated. An election form must be completed by every new or re-employing PERS noncertificated employee who is employed less than 12 months each year within 90 days of the date of hire or rehire.
The standard option grants credit on a day-for-day basis for the actual time worked between January and December 31 of each year. Part-time service is credited on a pro-rata basis of hours worked.
The alternate option calculates service under the provisions of TRS 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.
See the election form below for further details on each option:
Election form for employees whose position went from either:
working 12 months to less than 12 months
working less than 12 months to 12 months
If you do not change election - if eligible - during this time period, you need to wait until the following year.
Types of plans for PERS and TRS
|Defined Benefits Plan||Defined Contribution Plan|
For employees who first entered PERS or TRS prior to July 1, 2006
The defined benefit plan is designed to offer a lifetime monthly benefit once retirement eligibility is reached. Retirement benefit from the plan, provided you do not refund your contributions, will be determined by a formula defined in statute. Unlike a defined contribution account, the benefit is not based on the amount of money in the contribution account, but rather on years of service with the retirement system.
Division of Retirement & Benefits resources
Contact Alaska Division of Retirement & Benefits with questions
800-821-2251 or 907-465-4460
For employees who first entered PERS or TRS on or after July 1, 2006
The Alaska PERS/TRS Defined Contribution Retirement Plan is a defined contribution plan governed by section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. A portion of the employee's wages and an employer contribution are made to this plan pre-tax. These contributions, plus any changes in value (interest, gains and losses), minus any plan administrative fees or other charges are payable to the employee or their beneficiary at a future date. The PERS/TRS DCR Plan is a participant-directed plan with investment options offered by the plan. As part of the plan, the participant will be automatically enrolled with Empower Retirement Services. The providers of the investment options were selected by the Alaska Retirement Management (ARM) Board. The DCR Plan provides the option of selecting a retirement planning strategy based on the participant's comfort level in the investment market.
Division of Retirement & Benefits resources
Contact Empower Retirement Services with questions