Staff Personnel Manual (SPP)

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Effective: 7/1/1978

Revised: 7/1/2013

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SPP 501–01: Mandatory Retirement Plans

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Purpose

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To define participation in and explain the types of retirement plans and benefits provided for eligible employees

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Sources

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29 United States Code § 621, Age Discrimination in Employment Act (1986) and amendments
Arizona Revised Statutes §§ 38–781.01 to .03, .07 to .10; –841 to –855; 15–1628
Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual - 6–601; –604; –605

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Eligibility

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Classified employees, university staff, and non-faculty administrators who are engaged to work 20 or more hours per week for any 20 weeks in a fiscal year

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Exceptions

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Exceptions may include:

  1. full-time undergraduate and graduate student workers
  2. certain F1 and J1 visa holders
  3. certified university police officers and recruits

    and

  4. certain ASRS retirees.

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Policy

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All eligible classified staff and university staff, category 01, are are required to participate in the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS), except as noted below.

All non-faculty administrators and university staff, categories 02, 03, and 04, are required to participate in the ASRS or the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), except as noted below. The plan choice is an irrevocable decision by the employee for the duration of continuous employment in the Arizona University System (Arizona Board of Regents, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and The University of Arizona), as long as the employee remains in an ORP-eligible position.

Failure to elect and enroll in a mandatory retirement plan within 30 days of eligibility will result in:

  1. forfeiture of the employee’s option to participate in the ORP

    and

  2. automatic enrollment in the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) with potentially retroactive contributions.

Eligible certified university police officers and recruits who are employed full-time and who are regularly assigned hazardous duty are required to participate in the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS).

Exception: Those who are not eligible for PSPRS shall select retirement based on job classification as described above.

Both the employee and the university contribute to the plan as prescribed by law.


Enrollment Dates

All non-faculty administrators and university staff, categories 02, 03, and 04, must indicate their plan choice (ASRS or ORP) in writing within 30 calendar days from the day the employee becomes eligible to participate in a mandatory retirement plan. In addition, the employee must complete the online enrollment process with the chosen investment provider.

Hiring managers and departments are responsible for notifying newly eligible employees of their benefits and retirement election rights and enrolling them in New Employee Orientation before the end of the 30-day enrollment period. Employees can complete the retirement enrollment process prior to attending New Employee Orientation. See the Benefits Enrollment dashboard for a listing of employees who are eligible but who have and have not completed the retirement enrollment process.


Coverage Effective Dates

An eligible employee will begin to contribute to a retirement plan as stated below:

Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS):

  1. an employee hired prior to July 20, 2011: on the hire or eligibility date
  2. an employee hired on or after July 20, 2011, and who is an ASRS member: on the hire or eligibility date

    or

  3. an employee hired on or after July 20, 2011, but who is not an ASRS member: on the first day of the pay period following 182 days of eligible employment.
  4. An employee originally hired for a period that did not meet the 20-hour and 20-week criteria, but whose employment is extended, must begin to participate in ASRS beginning the 20th week in which the employee works at least 20 hours, or the first day of the pay period following 182 days of eligible employment, depending on the employee’s hire date and ASRS membership status.

Optional Retirement Plan (ORP): on the first day of the pay period following completion of enrollment.

Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS): on the hire or eligibility date.

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Additional Information

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For further information about mandatory retirement plans, refer to the Office of Human Resources, Benefits/Retirement Web page.

To access forms related to retirement, refer to the Office of Human Resources forms Web page.

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