Chapter 1 General Provisions

Subchapter 1 — General Provisions

A.C.R.C. Notes. References to “this subchapter” in §§ 24-1-10124-1-105 may not apply to § 24-1-106 which was enacted subsequently.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1991, No. 343, § 12, provided:

“The Pension Review Board created under Arkansas Code § 24-1-103 is abolished.”

Former subchapter 1, concerning the Pension Review Board, was repealed by Acts 1991, No. 343, § 12. The subchapter was derived from the following sources:

24-1-101. Acts 1985, No. 359, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3312.

24-1-102. Acts 1985, No. 359, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3313.

24-1-103. Acts 1985, No. 359, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3314.

24-1-104. Acts 1985, No. 359, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3315.

Effective Dates. Acts 1995, No. 613, § 6: Mar. 14, 1995. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eightieth General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the fiscal soundness of the various state-supported retirement systems is vital to the operation of Arkansas state government; that the proper fiscal management of public retirement systems promotes the goal of good government and provides public employees with an incentive to perform efficiently and effectively; and that any delay in implementing a policy of sound fiscal management with regard to state-supported retirement systems could result in a financial disaster for any marginally financed retirement system in Arkansas. Therefore, in order to prevent a potential financial catastrophe, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1999, No. 11, § 7: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that the Teacher Retirement System law does not recognize certain payments made by schools to teaching personnel as salary payments as defined under the retirement law, that allowing a broader definition of salary will help members achieve higher salaries for credit in the retirement system, that by increasing the benefits to members, more educators will be encouraged to stay in the teaching career fields, and that the most effective time to make changes to the retirement system is at the beginning of the State's fiscal year and therefore this act should take effect immediately at that time. Therefore an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 22, § 5: Feb. 4, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that the Teacher Retirement System currently provides members with noncontributory retirement service credit; that some members need to have contributory service credit to provide for an adequate retirement; and that providing for a change to contributory credited service will improve the motivation and effectiveness of the active teachers in Arkansas public schools. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 1999, No. 29, § 6: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that certain Teacher Retirement System retirants, for personal reasons which they do not wish disclosed, may want to suspend their benefits, that providing retirants with this option leaves the system open to question about liability for these suspended benefits and the law needs clarification in this situation, and that the most effective time to make changes to the retirement system is at the beginning of the state's fiscal year and therefore this act should take effect immediately at that time. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 30, § 6: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that certain Teacher Retirement System retirants are sometimes needed by the Arkansas Department of Education to fulfill vital positions within the educational system of Arkansas, that current retirement law limits the amount of salaries which can be paid to System retirees and the law needs to provide a method by which the System can waive those earning limitations, and that the most effective time to make changes to the retirement system is at the beginning of the State's fiscal year and therefore this act should take effect immediately at that time. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 81, § 7: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that the Teacher Retirement System provides members with the option to choose either a contributory or noncontributory membership, that keeping track of these options consumes a considerable amount of administrative time and effort, that the law needs to be simplified to reduce the cost and effort of keeping track of these options, and that the most effective time to make changes to the retirement system is at the beginning of the State's fiscal year and therefore this act should take effect immediately at that time. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 110, § 7: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that the Teacher Retirement System law recognizes private school and out-of-state service for the purchase of credited service; that allowing the purchase of smaller increments of credited service will help members achieve more service credit for their teaching careers, that by increasing the benefit to members, more educators will be encouraged to stay in the teaching career fields; and that the most effective time to make changes to the retirement system is at the beginning of the state's fiscal year and therefore this act should take effect immediately at that time. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 221, § 6: Feb. 23, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that members of the Teacher Retirement System who receive the minimum benefits are some of the poorest retirees and are in the most need of having their benefits increased, and that the minimum benefits need adjusting based on the number of years of service to increase the equity of the benefit structure of the retirement system, and therefore this act should have effect immediately with the beginning of the State's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 311, § 6: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that, due to the ever escalating costs of health insurance and health care, benefits provided under the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System are inadequate and that an increase should be provided as soon as practicable in order to avoid an undue hardship. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect on and after July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 312, § 6: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that deceased members of the Teacher Retirement System leave families in need of financial support and that there is a necessity of financial stability for families during this time of crisis and the death benefit provisions should be increased, and that increasing the death benefit provisions of the retirement system can most effectively be managed at the beginning of the state's fiscal year and therefore this act should have effect immediately with the beginning of the state's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 325, § 17: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly, that certain provisions of the law governing the Public Employees Retirement System need to be amended concerning eligibility, death benefits, and disability benefits, and that the effective administration of state government makes it necessary for these changes to begin at the start of the state's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 335, § 6: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that benefits provided under the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System are inadequate and that an increase should be provided as soon as practicable in order to avoid an undue hardship. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect on and after July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 387, § 12: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly, that historically the State Police Retirement System has recomputed retirement benefits on July 1 of each year to reflect a cost of living increase; that this act modifies the cost of living increase; and that unless this emergency clause is adopted, this act will not go into effect of July 1 of this year; and that unless this emergency clause is adopted, this act will not be effective until July 1 of the succeeding year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 388, § 6: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly, that historically the Judicial Retirement System has recomputed retirement benefits on July 1 of each year to reflect a cost of living increase; that this act modifies the cost of living increase; and that unless this emergency clause is adopted, this act will not go into effect on July 1 of this year; and that unless this emergency clause is adopted, this act will not be effective until July 1 of the succeeding year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 395, § 7: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that certain retirement annuity options continue for long periods of time, that providing these retirants with the capability of changing those options in the event of a death or divorce of the retirant or his beneficiaries will provide the needed flexibility in their financial conditions and that the most effective time to make changes to the retirement system is at the beginning of the state's fiscal year and therefore this act should take effect immediately at that time. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 400, § 6: Mar. 4, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that changes in the amount of monthly benefits in the Teacher Retirement System are necessary for the continued financial stability of the current retirees and that it is necessary to implement the changes in benefits at the beginning of the current fiscal year and therefore this act should have immediate effect. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 1999, No. 496, § 9: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly, that retirement benefits payable to current and future retirants and beneficiaries of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System are inadequate; that the current and future retirant and beneficiary payments should be increased as soon as possible in order to relieve this inequity, and that the effective fiscal administration of the System will be aided by implementing those increases at the same time as the state's fiscal year begins. Therefore, in order to promote sound fiscal administration in State government, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 535, § 6: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly, that the exact percentage of the DROP contribution for the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System should be specified in the law and for the effective administration of the System in this act must be effective at the beginning of the fiscal year because computations are made at the beginning of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 555, § 17: Mar. 12, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that the state needs to assure that the system is able to provide the best possible benefits, including safe, adequate, and affordable facilities, for the system's members and that several changes in, and clarification of, existing laws are immediately necessary in order for the system to continue to efficiently, effectively and timely administer the member's retirement benefits. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 1999, No. 864, § 6: Mar. 25, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that the Teacher Retirement System currently provides members with noncontributory retirement service credit; that some members need to have contributory service credit to provide for an adequate retirement; and that providing for a change to contributory credited service will improve the motivation and effectiveness of the active teachers in Arkansas public schools. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 1999, No. 866, § 12: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that the Teacher Retirement System law must be changed and refined periodically to clarify existing administrative practices within the system, that clarifying incorrect references and language in current law consumes a considerable amount of administrative time and effort, that the law needs to be clarified to reduce the cost and effort of responding to those inconsistencies, and that the most effective time to make changes to the retirement system is at the beginning of the State's fiscal year and therefore this act should take effect immediately at that time. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 870, § 6: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that Act 311 of 1999 changes the amount of additional monthly benefits in the State Highway Employees' Retirement System and they are necessary for the continued financial stability of the current retirees, that clarifications are needed in order to make Act 311 take effect in an orderly fashion, that these changes in Act 311 must then take effect at the same time Act 311 becomes effective, and that it is necessary to implement the changes in benefits at the beginning of the current fiscal year. Therefore an emergency is declared to exist and this act, except for Sections 2 and 3, being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 883, § 6: Mar. 29, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly that members of the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System should be entitled to purchase credited service for military service; that this act corrects an inequity in the retirement system and should be given immediate effect. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 1999, No. 884, § 6: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that for the effective administration of this act, this act should become effective on July 1, 1999. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 907, § 8: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty Second General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the Teacher Retirement System provides members with the option to choose either a contributory or noncontributory membership, that Act 81 of 1999 will end this option and that some members need to have option restored to them, and that since Act 81 of 1999 will go into effect on July 1, 1999 then this act should be effective at the same time in order to avoid any statutory ambiguity. Therefore an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 955, § 6: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that various Arkansas public retirement systems have reduced the amount of service credit needed for full retirement to twenty-eight (28) years of credited service, that retirement benefits are an important incentive to keep experienced policemen and firemen on the job and to reward them for their faithful service, that experienced policemen and firemen are a valuable human resource and should be encouraged to stay on the job by keeping their fringe benefits equal with those of other public employees, and that the beginning of the state's fiscal year is the best time to implement any change in retirement benefits. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 978, § 7: Mar. 31, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that Act 1241 of 1997 allowed the surviving spouses of police officers killed while in the official performance of his duties to continue to receive benefits if they remarried, that Act 1241 of 1997 became effective on August 1, 1997, and that surviving spouses of police officers killed while on duty prior to the effective date of Act 1241 lost retirement benefits upon any remarriage and should be able to benefit from this subsequent change in the law by making it retroactive. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 1999, No. 1325, § 14: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that Act 311 of 1999 changes the amount of additional monthly benefits in the State Highway Employees' Retirement System and they are necessary for the continued financial stability of the current retirees, that clarifications are needed in order to make Act 311 take effect in an orderly fashion, that these changes in Act 311 must then take effect at the same time Act 311 becomes effective, and that it is necessary to implement the changes in benefits at the beginning of the current fiscal year. Therefore an emergency is declared to exist and this act, except for Sections 2 and 3, being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 1450, § 7: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that certain provisions of the law governing the Public Employees' Retirement System need to be amended concerning eligibility for death benefits and that the effective administration of state government makes it necessary for these changes to begin at the start of the state's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 1453, § 8: Apr. 15, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that certain individuals were required to reimburse the Local Police and Fire Retirement System for Social Security disability payments which they received; that this has worked a financial hardship on individuals who are the least able to absorb the cost of the reimbursements, and that certain individuals who paid the Local Police and Fire Retirement System for Social Security disability benefits should have those benefit reimbursements restored as soon as possible. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 1999, No. 1460, § 6: Apr. 15, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly, that for the effective administration of this act and to avoid undue harm to members of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System it is necessary for this act to become effective immediately. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 1999, No. 1521, § 6: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that early retirement penalties for the Teacher Retirement System are overly harsh, that incentives for teachers to retire will improve staff morale and the working environment, and that the beginning of the fiscal year is the most advantageous time to implement benefit changes with the Teacher Retirement System. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 1587, § 6: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that for the effective administration of the system this act should become effective on July 1, 1999. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 1590, § 8: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that the Teacher Retirement System has reduced the amount of service credit needed for full retirement to twenty-eight (28) years of credited service, that the Teacher Deferred Retirement Option Plan is an important incentive to keep experienced teachers in the classroom rather than retiring completely, that experienced teachers are a valuable human resource and should be encouraged to stay in the classroom, and that the beginning of the state's fiscal year is the best time to implement any change in retirement benefits. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 2011, No. 69, § 22: July 1, 2011. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that certain provisions of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System statutes are in urgent need of revision to bring them into conformance with sound public pension policy; that this revision is of great importance to members of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System and to other citizens of the State of Arkansas; that a member's purchase of service credit currently provides that a member pay the system yesterday's dollars for the value of today's benefits; that such a valuation is unfair to the members as a whole and inconsistent with the prudent management of the system's funds and obligations; that the purchase of service credit in the system should be based upon actuarial equivalents; that the purchase of service credit should be paid in a lump sum to the system; that current service purchase accounts remain unpaid and inactive for many years at a time and create an administrative burden and accounting difficulty on the system that can be remedied by the passage of this act; and that this act is necessary in order to maintain an orderly system of benefits for the members of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2011.”

24-1-101. Assets and income for retirement systems.

All assets and income of any state-supported retirement system administered by an agency of the State of Arkansas shall be held, invested, or disbursed for the exclusive purpose of providing for benefits, investment management, and administrative expenses, including the acquisition of a building for the permanent offices of the state-supported retirement systems, and shall not be encumbered for or diverted to any other purposes.

History. Acts 1995, No. 613, § 1.

Case Notes

County Employees.

Substantial evidence supported the finding of the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System that former employees of nursing homes owned by counties were not “county employees” under the relevant statutes and were not eligible for membership in the retirement system because their compensation was payable from patient revenues rather than from appropriated funds. Bd. of Trs. of the Ark. Pub. Emples. Ret. Sys. v. Garrison, 2019 Ark. App. 245, 576 S.W.3d 485 (2019).

24-1-102. Annual valuation.

  1. Annually, each Arkansas state-supported retirement system shall make a valuation of each system's assets and incomes for the system.
  2. Actuarial assumptions and methods which are used for the annual valuation of each Arkansas state-supported retirement system shall be set by each system's board based upon the recommendations made by the board's actuary and agreed upon by the actuary employed by the Joint Committee on Public Retirement and Social Security Programs or other actuary employed by the General Assembly to review public retirement system legislation.
  3. If the board's actuary and the actuary employed by the General Assembly do not agree as to the actuarial assumptions and methods used to calculate the system's valuation, then a third actuary shall be selected mutually between the actuaries, and the third actuary shall determine the actuarial assumptions and methods to be used.
  4. The actuarial assumptions and methods shall include the actuarial funding method, the method of valuing assets, and similar actuarial matters involved in the actuarial valuation.

History. Acts 1995, No. 613, § 2.

24-1-103. Change of contribution rate.

No contribution rate of any state-supported retirement system in effect on March 14, 1995, shall be changed except by a vote of the General Assembly.

History. Acts 1995, No. 613, § 2.

24-1-104. Liabilities not to exceed thirty-year amortization.

No legislated benefit enhancement shall be enacted which would cause the system's unfunded accrued actuarial liabilities to exceed a thirty-year amortization.

History. Acts 1995, No. 613, § 2.

24-1-105. Liabilities exceeding thirty-year amortization period — Legislated benefit enhancement prohibited.

When any retirement system on or after March 14, 1995, has unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities being amortized over a period exceeding thirty (30) years, that system shall not have a legislated benefit enhancement until the unfunded actuarial accrued liability is reduced to a level less than the standards set by this subchapter.

History. Acts 1995, No. 613, § 2.

24-1-106. Benefit enhancements.

  1. No benefit enhancement provided for by §§ 24-2-302, 24-2-306, 24-2-401, 24-2-402, 24-2-501, 24-3-102 [repealed], 24-3-106 [repealed], 24-3-201 [repealed], 24-3-208 [repealed], 24-3-209 [repealed], 24-3-301 [repealed], 24-3-303 [repealed], 24-3-304 [repealed], 24-4-101, 24-4-106, 24-4-107, 24-4-301, 24-4-507, 24-4-508, 24-4-510, 24-4-511, 24-4-518 — 24-4-520, 24-4-601, 24-4-608, 24-4-618, 24-4-710 [repealed], 24-4-745 — 24-4-747, 24-4-801, 24-4-803, 24-5-112, 24-5-119, 24-5-125, 24-5-133, 24-5-204, 24-6-219, 24-6-403 — 24-6-406, 24-6-410, 24-6-411, 24-7-202, 24-7-209, 24-7-301, 24-7-406, 24-7-504 [repealed], 24-7-603, 24-7-604, 24-7-606, 24-7-607, 24-7-702, 24-7-705, 24-7-706, and 24-7-708, § 24-7-713(b), §§ 24-7-720, 24-7-727, 24-7-728, 24-7-729, 24-7-1314 [repealed], 24-7-1315, 24-7-1401 — 24-7-1409 [repealed], 24-8-223, 24-8-226 — 24-8-228, 24-8-701 — 24-8-714, 24-8-715 [repealed], 24-8-716, 24-8-717, 24-10-102, 24-10-303, 24-10-504 — 24-10-509, 24-10-602, 24-10-611, 24-10-613, 24-11-425, 24-11-434, 24-11-437, 24-11-438, 24-11-805, 24-11-818, and 24-11-833 shall be implemented if it would cause the publicly supported retirement system's unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities to exceed a thirty-year amortization.
  2. No benefit enhancement provided for by §§ 24-2-302, 24-2-306, 24-2-401, 24-2-402, 24-2-501, 24-3-102 [repealed], 24-3-106 [repealed], 24-3-201 [repealed], 24-3-208 [repealed], 24-3-209 [repealed], 24-3-301 [repealed], 24-3-303 [repealed], 24-3-304 [repealed], 24-4-101, 24-4-106, 24-4-107, 24-4-301, 24-4-507, 24-4-508, 24-4-510, 24-4-511, 24-4-518 — 24-4-520, 24-4-601, 24-4-608, 24-4-618, 24-4-710 [repealed], 24-4-745 — 24-4-747, 24-4-801, 24-4-803, 24-5-112, 24-5-119, 24-5-125, 24-5-133, 24-5-204, 24-6-219, 24-6-403 — 24-6-406, 24-6-410, 24-6-411, 24-7-202, 24-7-209, 24-7-301, 24-7-406, 24-7-504 [repealed], 24-7-603, 24-7-604, 24-7-606, 24-7-607, 24-7-702, 24-7-705, 24-7-706, and 24-7-708, § 24-7-713(b), §§ 24-7-720, 24-7-727, 24-7-728, 24-7-729, 24-7-1314 [repealed], 24-7-1315, 24-7-1401 — 24-7-1409 [repealed], 24-8-223, 24-8-226 — 24-8-228, 24-8-701 — 24-8-714, 24-8-715 [repealed], 24-8-716, 24-8-717, 24-10-102, 24-10-303, 24-10-504 — 24-10-509, 24-10-602, 24-10-611, 24-10-613, 24-11-425, 24-11-434, 24-11-437, 24-11-438, 24-11-805, 24-11-818, and 24-11-833 shall be implemented by any publicly supported system which has unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities being amortized over a period exceeding thirty (30) years until the unfunded actuarial accrued liability is reduced to a level less than the standards prescribed by Title 24 of this Code.

History. Acts 1999, No. 11, § 3; 1999, No. 29, § 2; 1999, No. 30, § 2; 1999, No. 81, § 3; 1999, No. 104, § 3; 1999, No. 110, § 3; 1999, No. 221, § 2; 1999, No. 311, § 2; 1999, No. 312, § 2; 1999, No. 325, § 13; 1999, No. 335, § 2; 1999, No. 387, § 8; 1999, No. 388, § 2; 1999, No. 395, § 3; 1999, No. 396, § 4; 1999, No. 399, § 5; 1999, No. 400, § 2; 1999, No. 404, § 2; 1999, No. 496, § 5; 1999, No. 535, § 2; 1999, No. 537, § 7; 1999, No. 555, § 13; 1999, No. 627, § 4; 1999, No. 705, § 2; 1999, No. 706, § 2; 1999, No. 710, § 2; 1999, No. 715, § 2; 1999, No. 716, § 3; 1999, No. 863, § 2; 1999, No. 864, § 2; 1999, No. 865, § 7; 1999, No. 866, § 8; 1999, No. 868, § 4; 1999, No. 869, § 2; 1999, No. 870, § 2; 1999, No. 883, § 2; 1999, No. 884, § 2; 1999, No. 901, § 3; 1999, No. 903, § 2; 1999, No. 907, § 3; 1999, No. 955, § 2; 1999, No. 978, § 3; 1999, No. 1010, § 3; 1999, No. 1067, § 5; 1999, No. 1070, § 6; 1999, No. 1171, § 3; 1999, No. 1325, § 9; 1999, No. 1450, § 3; 1999, No. 1453, § 4; 1999, No. 1455, § 2; 1999, No. 1458, § 3; 1999, No. 1459, § 2; 1999, No. 1460, § 2; 1999, No. 1521, § 2; 1999, No. 1587, § 2; 1999, No. 1590, § 4; 2003, No. 347, § 2.

24-1-107. Recognition of federal retirement programs.

    1. The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System shall establish policies and promulgate rules to recognize the service credit for members of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System earned in the retirement systems of federal government agencies.
    2. A former federal employee who becomes a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System or the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System shall receive service credit for the member's service with the federal retirement system as prescribed by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.
      1. An active member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall receive credit for the member's federal service upon the payment of the employee and employer contributions prescribed by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System together with interest from the date the federal service began to the date of payment.
      2. An active member of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System shall receive credit for the member's federal service upon the payment of the cost of service under § 24-7-502(b) and as prescribed by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.
    1. The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System shall determine what constitutes a year of federal service credit.
    2. The member may qualify for age and service retirement in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System or the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System using the federal credited service plus the member's credited service from employment from the state employers to meet the minimum service requirements of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.
  1. The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System shall promulgate rules necessary for the effective administration of this section.
  2. The member shall certify in a manner prescribed by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System that the member is not eligible to receive a retirement benefit from the federal retirement system in which he or she had previously been a member.

History. Acts 2005, No. 2091, § 1; 2011, No. 69, § 1.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment added (b)(1)(B); and, in (b)(1)(A), deleted “or the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System” preceding “shall receive credit” and deleted “and the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System” preceding “together with interest”.

24-1-108. Effect of concurrent employment on member's benefits — Notice.

  1. The purpose of this section is to provide notice to an applicant for concurrent employment in a public employee position that the concurrent employment might affect the employee's retirement benefits and to allow the employee and employer an opportunity to consider an alternative method of employment that would allow an enhanced retirement benefit for the prospective employee.
  2. If an applicant for concurrent employment in a public employee position provides information to a prospective public employer that the applicant is a current public employee and is enrolled as a member of a reciprocal system, then the prospective employer shall notify the applicant that it may be in the applicant's best interest to contact his or her current retirement system regarding the legal status of retirement benefits that may result if the applicant is employed by two (2) or more state-supported retirement systems.
  3. The failure of a state-supported retirement system to notify a prospective employee under this section does not create a legal obligation on behalf of the state-supported retirement system or a legal right on behalf of the prospective employee.

History. Acts 2009, No. 1280, § 1.

Subchapter 2 — Public Employees' Social Security

Effective Dates. Acts 1951, No. 248, § 17: Mar. 9, 1951. Emergency clause provided: “The provisions of this Act are retroactive to January 1, 1951, in order to meet the requirements of the old-age survivors insurance provisions of Title II of the Federal Social Security Act, as amended; and in order to expedite the application of this Act to the employees of the State and the political subdivisions thereof, thereby preserving the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage.”

Acts 1959, No. 237, § 2: Mar. 25, 1959. Emergency clause provided: “It is found by the General Assembly that some employees of the State and its political subdivisions are not properly reported to the Social Security Administration and that their wage credits might be placed in jeopardy. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of public peace, health and safety, shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1968 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 56, § 2: Feb. 27, 1968. Emergency clause provided: “The General Assembly of the State of Arkansas hereby finds and declares that the matters affected by this Act have a direct relation to the administration of the Social Security program for public employees in the State of Arkansas, and that this Act is necessary to secure for the State of Arkansas an adequate return on moneys handled by it, and determines that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after date of its passage and approval.”

Acts 1979, No. 724, § 3: Apr. 3, 1979. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that additional interest could be earned on the Social Security Contributions Bank Fund if certain additional investments are permitted, without incurring additional risk. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1999, No. 22, § 5: Feb. 4, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that an amendment to the State Public Employees' Social Security law is required to allow school employers to voluntarily exclude student services under federal P.L. 105-277 enacted on October 21, 1998 and that this federal law requires that the exclusion agreement be completed by March 31, 1999. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

24-1-201. Declaration of policy.

In order to extend to employees of the State of Arkansas and its political subdivisions and the employees' dependents and survivors the basic protection accorded to others by the federal old age, survivors' and disability insurance, and health insurance coverage embodied in the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq., it is declared to be the policy of the State of Arkansas, subject to the limitations of this subchapter, that steps be taken to provide protection to employees of the state and its political subdivisions in compliance with the provisions of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq.

History. Acts 1951, No. 248, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2401; Acts 2005, No. 100, § 1.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1955, No. 427 provided for a referendum on the question of whether service in positions covered by a retirement system established by the state or a political subdivision thereof, excluding all positions covered by the Teacher Retirement System other than those positions covered by the Teacher Retirement System in the state-supported institutions of higher learning, should be excluded from or included under an agreement authorized by this subchapter. Acts 1961, No. 210 provided for a referendum on the question of whether service in positions covered by the Teacher Retirement System, other than those positions covered by the Teacher Retirement System in the state-supported institutions of higher education, should be excluded from or included under an agreement authorized by this subchapter.

24-1-202. Definitions.

As used in this subchapter:

  1. “Commissioner of Social Security” means any individual to whom the Commissioner of Social Security has delegated any of his or her functions under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq., with respect to coverage under that act of employees of the state and its political subdivisions;
  2. “Employee” means an officer or an employee of the state or a political subdivision of the state. All public employees of the State of Arkansas and its political subdivisions, for Social Security purposes, shall be deemed employees of the paying political entity for which services are rendered, which entity shall be the proper agency for making the deductions, matching contributions, and report required by this subchapter;
  3. “Employer” means the State of Arkansas and its political subdivisions;
  4. “Employment” means any service performed by an employee in the employ of the state or any political subdivision of the state for his or her employer except:
    1. Services which, in the absence of any agreement entered into under this subchapter, would constitute employment as defined in the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq.; or
    2. Services which, under applicable federal law, may not be included or may have been voluntarily excluded in an agreement between the state and the Commissioner of Social Security entered into under this subchapter;
  5. “Modification” means an amendment to the original federal-state agreement to extend coverage to groups of additional employee classifications consistent with the provisions of section 218 of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq., and this subchapter;
  6. “Political subdivision” means an instrumentality of the state, of one (1) or more of its political subdivisions, or of the state and one (1) or more of its political subdivisions, but only if its instrumentality is a juristic entity which is legally separate and distinct from the state or subdivision and only if its employees are not, by virtue of their relation to the juristic entity, employees of the state or subdivision;
  7. “Section 218 agreement” means the federal-state agreement between the Commissioner of Social Security and the State of Arkansas entered into December 20, 1951, as authorized by the Social Security Enabling Act for the purpose of extending coverage under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq.;
  8. “Social Security Act” means the Act of Congress approved August 14, 1935, Chapter 531, 49 Stat. 620, officially cited as the “Social Security Act”, as amended, including regulations and requirements issued pursuant thereto; and
  9. [Repealed.]
  10. “Wages” means all remuneration for employment as defined in subdivision (4) of this section, including the cash value of all remuneration paid in any medium other than cash.

History. Acts 1951, No. 248, § 2; 1959, No. 237, § 1; 1965, No. 154, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2402, 12-2418; Acts 1999, No. 22, § 1; 2005, No. 100, § 1; 2017, No. 265, § 1.

Amendments. The 2017 amendment repealed (9).

24-1-203. Rules.

The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall make and publish rules not inconsistent with the provisions of this subchapter it finds necessary or appropriate to the efficient administration of the functions with which it is charged under this subchapter.

History. Acts 1951, No. 248, § 10; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2410; Acts 2005, No. 100, § 1; 2019, No. 315, § 2841.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in the section heading and in the text.

24-1-204. Agreements with federal government and other states.

  1. The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System is authorized to enter, on behalf of the state, into a Section 218 agreement consistent with the terms and provisions of this subchapter, with the Commissioner of Social Security for the purpose of extending the benefits of the federal old age, survivors' and disability insurance, and health insurance coverage to employees of the state, or any political subdivision of the state, with respect to services specified in the Section 218 agreement which constitute employment as defined in § 24-1-202. This Section 218 agreement may contain provisions relating to coverage, benefits, effective date, modification of the Section 218 agreement, administration, and such other matters as the system and the commissioner shall agree upon, but, except as may be otherwise required by or under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq., as to the services to be covered, the Section 218 agreement shall provide, in effect, that:
    1. Benefits will be provided for employees whose services are covered by the Section 218 agreement, as well as for their dependents and survivors, on the same basis as though the services constituted employment within the meaning of Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq.;
    2. The employer shall pay to the Internal Revenue Service, at such time or times as may be prescribed under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq., contributions with respect to wages, as defined in § 24-1-202, equal to the sum of the taxes levied by that Social Security Act;
    3. All services which constitute employment as defined in § 24-1-202 and are performed in the employ of the state by employees shall be covered by the Section 218 agreement; and
    4. All services shall be covered by the Section 218 agreement which:
      1. Constitute employment as defined in § 24-1-202;
      2. Are performed in the employ of a political subdivision; and
      3. Are covered by a plan which is in conformity with the terms of the Section 218 agreement and has been approved by the system under § 24-1-205.
  2. The system is authorized to enter, on behalf of the state, into an agreement with the appropriate agency or agencies of any other state and with the Commissioner of Social Security, whereby the benefits of the federal old age, survivors' and disability insurance, and health insurance coverage shall be extended to employees of any instrumentality jointly created by this state and any other state or states. To the extent practicable, the agreement shall be consistent with the terms and provisions of subsection (a) of this section and other provisions of this subchapter.

History. Acts 1951, No. 248, § 3; 1953, No. 410, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2403; Acts 2005, No. 100, § 1.

24-1-205. Plans for employees of political subdivisions.

Each political subdivision of the state is authorized to submit for approval by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System a plan for extending the benefits of Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq., in conformity with the applicable provisions of that act, to employees of the political subdivisions. Each plan, and any amendment to it, shall be approved by the system if it finds that the plan, or plan as amended, is in conformity with such requirements as are provided in rules of the system, except that no plan shall be approved unless:

  1. It is in conformity with the requirements of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq., and with the Section 218 agreement entered into under § 24-1-204;
  2. It provides that all services which constitute employment as defined in § 24-1-202 and are performed by the employees of a political subdivision shall be covered by the plan;
  3. It specifies the sources from which the funds necessary to make the payments required by § 24-1-208(a)(1) and § 24-1-208(b) are expected to be derived and contains reasonable assurance that the sources will be adequate for that purpose;
  4. It provides for methods of administration of the plan by the political subdivision as are found by the system to be necessary for the proper and efficient administration of the plan; and
  5. It provides that the political subdivision shall make reports in such form and containing such information as the system may require and shall comply with the provisions as the system or the Commissioner of Social Security may find necessary from time to time to assure the correctness and verification of reports.

History. Acts 1951, No. 248, § 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2405; Acts 2005, No. 100, § 1; 2019, No. 315, § 2842.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment substituted “rules” for “regulations” in the introductory language.

24-1-206. Agents.

  1. For the purpose of entering into agreements with the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, the following named officers are authorized and empowered to make the agreement on behalf of their agency or political subdivision:
        1. The board of control of each state institution or agency having a board or the administrative head of each state department.
        2. The board of control shall have authority to designate an agent to represent the agency over which it has control.
      1. In the case of state agencies which do not have a board of control, the chief administrative officer shall act as the contracting officer for the agency;
    1. The county judge of each county entering into an agreement with the system shall make and enter of record a county court order approving the agreement with the system and shall designate the county clerk as the agent of the county to deal with the system;
    2. The city council of each municipality is authorized to approve the agreement with the system and shall adopt an ordinance designating the city clerk or recorder to represent the municipality; and
    3. The board of directors of each school district shall have authority to approve the agreement with the system and shall designate the county school supervisor or the local superintendent of each school district to deal with the system.
  2. In complying with the provisions of this subchapter, each political subdivision which qualifies to participate in the Social Security plan shall be required as a part of its agreement with the system to designate an agent to represent the political subdivision in all matters affecting the administration of the plan.
  3. All agents provided for under the provisions of this subchapter who represent the state or a local subdivision in connection with the enforcement of this subchapter shall receive no additional remuneration or emolument of their offices in connection with the administration of this subchapter.

History. Acts 1951, No. 248, §§ 7, 9, 10; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2407, 12-2409, 12-2410; Acts 2005, No. 100, § 1.

24-1-207. Contributions — State employees.

  1. Every employee of the state whose service is covered by a Section 218 agreement entered into under § 24-1-204 shall be required to pay contributions, for the period of the coverage, with respect to wages as defined in § 24-1-202, equal to the amount of tax levied under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq. This liability shall arise in consideration of the employee's retention in the service of the state, or his or her entry upon such service.
  2. The contributions imposed by this section shall be collected by deducting the amount of the contributions from wages as and when paid, but failure to make the deduction shall not relieve the employee from liability for his or her contributions.
  3. If more or less than the correct amount of the contributions imposed by this section is paid or deducted with respect to any remuneration, proper adjustments, or a refund if an adjustment is impracticable, shall be made, without interest, in such manner and at such times as the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall prescribe.

History. Acts 1951, No. 248, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2404; Acts 2005, No. 100, § 1.

24-1-208. Contributions — Employees of political subdivisions.

    1. Each political subdivision as to which a plan has been approved under § 24-1-205, with respect to wages as defined in § 24-1-202 and at such time or times as the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System may by rule prescribe, shall pay contributions in the amounts and at the rates specified in the applicable Section 218 agreement entered into by the system under § 24-1-204.
        1. Each political subdivision required to make payments under subdivision (a)(1) of this section, in consideration of the employee's retention in, or entry upon, employment, is authorized to impose upon each of its employees, as to services which are covered by an approved plan, a contribution with respect to the employee's wages as defined in § 24-1-202.
        2. This amount shall not exceed the amount of tax which would be imposed by the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq.
      1. The political subdivision is authorized to deduct the amount of the contribution from the employee's wages as and when paid.
      2. Failure to deduct the contribution shall not relieve the employee or employer of liability for the payments.
  1. Delinquent payments due under subdivision (a)(1) of this section may be recovered with interest at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum by an action in a court of competent jurisdiction against the political subdivision liable for the payments or at the request of the system, may be deducted from any other moneys payable to the subdivision by any department or agency of the state.

History. Acts 1951, No. 248, § 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2405; Acts 2005, No. 100, § 1; 2019, No. 315, § 2843.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment substituted “rule” for “regulation” in (a)(1).

24-1-209 — 24-1-212. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. These sections, concerning matching contributions and contribution funds, were repealed by Acts 2005, No. 100, § 1. The sections were derived from the following sources:

24-1-209. Acts 1951, No. 248, §§ 8, 14; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2408, 12-2414.

24-1-210. Acts 1951, No. 248, § 6; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2406.

24-1-211. Acts 1951, No. 248, § 6; 1968 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 56, § 1; 1979, No. 724, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2406.

24-1-212. Acts 1951, No. 248, §§ 12, 13; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2412, 12-2413.

24-1-213. Studies and reports.

  1. The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall make studies concerning the problem of old age, survivors' and disability insurance, and health insurance protection for employees of the state and its political subdivisions and studies concerning the operation of agreements made and plans approved under this subchapter.
  2. The system shall submit a report at the beginning of each regular session covering the administration and operation of this subchapter during the preceding two (2) fiscal years and including such recommendations and amendments to this subchapter as it considers proper.

History. Acts 1951, No. 248, § 11; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2411; Acts 2005, No. 100, § 1; 2009, No. 962, § 42.

Subchapter 3 — Forfeiture of Public Retirement System Benefits

Effective Dates. Acts 2019, No. 910, § 6346(b): July 1, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act revises the duties of certain state entities; that this act establishes new departments of the state; that these revisions impact the expenses and operations of state government; and that the sections of this act other than the two uncodified sections of this act preceding the emergency clause titled ‘Funding and classification of cabinet-level department secretaries’ and ‘Transformation and Efficiencies Act transition team’ should become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year to allow for implementation of the new provisions at the beginning of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and Sections 1 through 6343 of this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2019”.

24-1-301. Definitions.

As used in this subchapter:

  1. “Beneficiary” means an individual who receives or is designated by a member or retirant to receive a plan benefit under a retirement system; and
  2. “Retirement system” means:
    1. The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, established by the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System Act, § 24-7-201 et seq.;
    2. The Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System, established by § 24-5-103;
    3. The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, established by § 24-4-103;
    4. The State Police Retirement System, established by § 24-6-203;
    5. The Arkansas Judicial Retirement System, established by § 24-8-201 et seq.;
    6. An alternate retirement plan for:
      1. A college, university, or the Division of Higher Education provided for under § 24-7-801 et seq.; and
      2. A vocational-technical school or the Division of Career and Technical Education, the Adult Education Section, and the Office of Skills Development, provided for under § 24-7-901 et seq.;
    7. The Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System provided for under § 24-10-101 et seq.; and
    8. A firemen's relief and pension fund or a policemen's pension and relief fund provided for under § 24-11-101 et seq.

History. Acts 2017, No. 756, § 1; 2019, No. 910, § 2358.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment substituted “Division of Higher Education” for “Department of Higher Education” in (2)(F)(i); and substituted “Division of Career and Technical Education, Adult Education Section of the Division of Workforce Services, and the Office of Skills Development” for “Department of Career Education” in (2)(F)(ii).

24-1-302. Forfeiture of benefits.

    1. A beneficiary forfeits his or her right to benefit payments under a retirement system if he or she:
      1. Is convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction of the unlawful killing of the member or retirant;
      2. Pleads guilty or nolo contendere to the unlawful killing of the member or retirant;
      3. Is found liable by a court of competent jurisdiction for the unlawful killing of the member or retirant by a preponderance of the evidence in a civil action;
      4. Is acquitted by a court of competent jurisdiction for the unlawful killing of the member or retirant by reason of insanity, mental defect or disease, or any other mental incapacity; or
      5. Is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to lack the capacity to understand or effectively assist in defending a criminal proceeding against him or her for the unlawful killing of the member or retirant.
    2. If a retirement system finds that a beneficiary has forfeited his or her right to benefit payments from the retirement system under subdivision (a)(1) of this section, the retirement system shall treat the beneficiary as if he or she is deceased and shall not make benefit payments to the beneficiary.
    1. If a beneficiary appeals his or her conviction for an offense described under subdivision (a)(1) of this section, benefit payments shall not be paid to the beneficiary unless the appeal results in a reversal of the conviction.
      1. If the conviction of a beneficiary for an offense described under subdivision (a)(1) of this section is reversed, the retirement system may make benefit payments to the beneficiary.
      2. If the conviction of a beneficiary for an offense described under subdivision (a)(1) of this section is affirmed, the retirement system shall not make benefit payments to the beneficiary.
  1. If a member or retirant does not have a contingent beneficiary who may receive benefit payments under this section, the member or retirant's contributions to the retirement system shall be refunded to the estate of the member or retirant.

History. Acts 2017, No. 756, § 1.

24-1-303. Suspension of benefit payments.

  1. A retirement system may suspend benefit payments to a beneficiary if the retirement system:
    1. Receives the written notice required under § 24-1-304 from a prosecuting attorney; or
    2. Has reasonable cause to believe that the beneficiary will be charged with the unlawful killing of the member or retirant.
  2. If benefit payments are suspended under this section, the suspension shall continue until:
    1. A final adjudication of the criminal or civil proceeding; or
      1. The retirement system receives written confirmation from the prosecuting attorney that the beneficiary will not be charged with the unlawful killing of the member or retirant.
      2. The retirement system shall request written confirmation from the prosecuting attorney stating that the beneficiary will not be charged with the unlawful killing of the member or retirant.

History. Acts 2017, No. 756, § 1.

24-1-304. Notice to retirement system.

  1. A prosecuting attorney shall send written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the executive director or executive secretary of the applicable retirement system when a beneficiary:
    1. Is charged with an offense described under § 24-1-302; or
      1. Will not be charged with an offense described under § 24-1-302.
      2. If the prosecuting attorney receives a request under § 24-1-303 from a retirement system and a decision on whether the beneficiary will be or will not be charged with an offense described under § 24-1-302 has not been made, the prosecuting attorney shall notify the retirement system that a decision is pending.
  2. The clerk of the court in which the proceeding against the beneficiary is being conducted shall send written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the executive director or executive secretary of the applicable retirement system when:
    1. A beneficiary is convicted of an offense described under § 24-1-302;
    2. A beneficiary appeals his or her conviction for an offense described under § 24-1-302; and
    3. The appellate court issues a final ruling upholding or reversing the conviction of the beneficiary for an offense described under § 24-1-302.
  3. A written notice required under this section shall include any information that the applicable retirement system determines necessary for the retirement system to identify the account of the member or retirant and implement this subchapter.

History. Acts 2017, No. 756, § 1.

24-1-305. Notice to beneficiary.

    1. The executive director or executive secretary of the applicable retirement system or his or her designee shall notify a beneficiary when benefits shall not be paid as provided under § 24-1-302.
    2. The notice provided under subdivision (a)(1) of this section shall advise the beneficiary of:
      1. The specific facts supporting the retirement system's nonpayment of benefits; and
      2. His or her right to request a waiver of the forfeiture before the board of trustees of the retirement system.
    1. A beneficiary shall request a waiver of the forfeiture by the board of trustees of the retirement system within thirty (30) days of receiving the notice required under subsection (a) of this section.
    2. A waiver request made under subdivision (b)(1) of this section shall be submitted to the board of trustees of the retirement system in the manner specified by the applicable retirement system.
  1. Upon receiving a waiver request submitted under subdivision (b)(1) of this section, the board of trustees of the retirement system shall set and notify the beneficiary of the waiver hearing date.

History. Acts 2017, No. 756, § 1.

Chapter 2 Public Employee Retirement Plans Generally

Research References

Am. Jur. 60 Am. Jur. 2d, Pensions, § 39 et seq.

C.J.S. 67 C.J.S., Officers, § 243 et seq.

70 C.J.S., Pensions, § 1 et seq.

81A C.J.S., States, § 112 et seq.

Subchapter 1 — General Provisions

24-2-101. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, which concerned retirement benefits during service in elective office, was repealed by Acts 1987, No. 57, § 2. The section was derived from Acts 1977, No. 470, §§ 1, 2; 1979, No. 360, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2518.1, 12-2518.2.

Subchapter 2 — Investments

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 11, provided, in part, that after July 1, 1977 this subchapter would apply only to investments by boards of trustees of public employees' retirement systems of political subdivisions of the state and would not apply to the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System, the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, the State Police Retirement System, and the Teacher Retirement System, since the investment provisions of chapter 3 of this title were intended to be the sole and exclusive method and procedure by which investments of the four named retirement systems may be made.

Cross References. Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System, investments, § 24-10-402.

Interest on investment of retirement funds, § 24-4-209.

Investment of local pension and trust funds, § 24-9-201 et seq.

Effective Dates. Acts 1967, No. 70, § 3: Feb. 9, 1967. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that in order to permit the various retirement systems of this State to have a broad range of available sources of investment of retirement funds, the immediate passage of this Act is necessary to permit the investment of such funds in Certificates of Deposit in banks of this State. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1975, No. 381, § 3: Mar. 12, 1975. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that flexibility in the investments available to the respective publicly-supported retirement systems in this State is essential to enable such retirement systems to obtain dependable income yields from investments; and that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary to enable the Boards of Trustees of the retirement systems to invest funds in subordinated debt securities of federally insured savings and loan associations in this State. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1977, No. 793, § 12: July 1, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the establishment of a uniform retirement policy for the State of Arkansas is essential to maintain employee morale and a stable and improved retirement system commensurate with the ability of the taxpayers of this State to finance, yet without jeopardizing retirement benefits of persons now employed by the State who do not elect to participate in the new retirement plan. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1977.”

Acts 1997, No. 554, § 5: Mar. 17, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the fiscal soundness of the various retirement systems of cities and other political subdivisions of the state is vital to the operation of Arkansas' governments; that the proper fiscal management of public retirement systems promotes the goal of good government and provides public employees with an incentive to perform efficiently and effectively; and that any delay in implementing a policy of sound fiscal management with regard to retirement systems of cities and other political subdivisions of the state could result in a financial disaster for any marginally financed retirement system in Arkansas. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

24-2-201. Permissible investments of political subdivision retirement funds.

  1. The board of trustees of any public employee retirement system of any political subdivision of the State of Arkansas shall, from time to time, as funds are available for investment purposes, invest in obligations set out in this section.
  2. The boards of trustees of public employees retirement systems of political subdivisions of the state shall have the power to invest and reinvest the moneys in their respective funds and to hold, purchase, sell, assign, transfer, and dispose of any securities and investments held in the funds, except that the investments and reinvestments shall be limited to the following:
    1. Direct general obligations of the United States Government;
    2. Bonds, notes, debentures, or other obligations issued by an agency of the United States Government, the principal and interest of which are guaranteed in full by the United States Government;
      1. Direct general obligations of the State of Arkansas;
      2. Capital notes issued pursuant to § 23-32-215 [repealed] by banks and trust companies organized or operated under the laws of this state and subordinated debt securities of savings and loan associations in this state whose deposits are secured by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation [abolished];
      3. Certificates of deposit of any bank in Arkansas if the bank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation;
    3. Revenue bonds issued by the University of Arkansas and by the other respective state-supported institutions of higher learning;
    4. Ad valorem tax bonds of counties issued under the authority of the Arkansas Constitution, Amendments 10;
    5. Ad valorem tax bonds of cities of the first and cities of the second class issued under the authority of the Arkansas Constitution, Amendments 10;
    6. Valid warrants of local school districts of the State of Arkansas, but the warrants may be purchased only from the local school district board and only during the fiscal year in which issued;
    7. Revolving loan bonds and revolving loan certificates of indebtedness held in the Revolving Loan Fund in the State Treasury under the jurisdiction of the State Board of Education;
    8. Bonds of local school districts, sometimes referred to as “commercial bonds”, whereof a continuing ad valorem tax levy of a given number of mills on each dollar of the assessed valuation of all taxable real and personal property within the bounds of the district shall have been voted for the specific primary purpose of paying the principal of, and interest on, the bonds, as distinguished from the excess collections of taxes derived through levies made to pay other issues of bonds of the district;
    9. First lien serial coupon bonds of local industrial development corporations organized under the authority of the Arkansas Industrial Development Act, § 15-4-101 et seq., but the bonds may be purchased only from the State Board of Finance;
        1. Obligations consisting of notes, bonds, or debentures which are direct obligations of an industrial corporation, or a corporation engaged primarily in the production, transportation, distribution, or sale of electricity, gas, or water or the operation of telephone or telegraph systems, or any combination of them.
        2. The obligor corporation shall be incorporated under the laws of the United States, any state, or the District of Columbia.
        3. These obligations shall, at the time of purchase, be rated within the three (3) highest classifications by at least two (2) standard rating services.
        1. Funds of the system may not be used in the purchase of common or preferred stocks, or of other equity capital, by whatever name called.
        2. No such obligations as may be owned by the system may ever be exchanged for any stock or other equity capital; and
      1. Notes secured by:
        1. Mortgages on real estate, which are guaranteed as to payment of principal and interest either by the United States Government or an agency thereof; or
        2. A corporation, approved by the Insurance Commissioner, which is licensed to do business in the State of Arkansas as an insurer.
          1. Notes or obligations securing loans to Arkansas businesses made by banks and savings and loan associations pursuant to the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. § 631 et seq., only to the extent that both principal and interest are guaranteed by the United States Government.
          2. The applicant bank or savings and loan association shall be required to enter into an indemnity agreement, which meets the approval of the board of trustees, to pay off the investments, together with interest and any unpaid costs and expenses in connection therewith, in the event the United States Government refuses to honor its guarantee.
        1. The board of trustees may enter into conventional agreements for the servicing of the loans and the administration of receipts therefrom.
        2. Any servicing agreement may contain such reasonable and customary provisions as the board of trustees may deem advisable and as may be agreed upon.

History. Acts 1963, No. 509, §§ 1, 7; 1967, No. 70, § 1; 1975, No. 381, § 1; 1975, No. 839, § 1; 1977, No. 793, § 11; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2530, 12-2532n, 12-2536; Acts 1993, No. 403, § 15.

A.C.R.C. Notes. The Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation referred to in this section was abolished by the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, Pub. L. No. 101-73. The responsibilities of the former entity have been largely assumed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Publisher's Notes. Former § 23-32-215 was repealed by Acts 1997, No. 89, § 3. For current provisions, see § 23-48-315.

24-2-202. Procedure for purchase or sale of securities.

  1. All securities purchased or sold by the board of trustees shall be upon sealed offers after publication of notice of proposal to purchase or sell, except securities provided for in § 24-2-201(b)(1), (2), (7), (8), (10), (11), and (12).
      1. Not fewer than seven (7) days nor more than fourteen (14) days prior to the date set for the purchase of securities, the board of trustees shall cause a notice to be published by one (1) insertion, in one (1) or more newspapers of general circulation throughout the state and in such other newspapers or financial journals as to it may appear desirable.
      2. This notice shall request offers to sell such obligations to the system and state the approximate amount of funds proposed to be made available for the purpose and the time and place that the offers will be received.
    1. On the date and on and after the time so fixed, the board of trustees, or a duly designated subcommittee thereof, shall open, read aloud, tabulate, and compare all the offers received; then, or within twenty-four (24) hours after the date and time so fixed, the board of trustees shall purchase or contract for the purchase of such of the obligations as, in its opinion, will serve the best interest of the retirement system.
    2. All obligations of a particular type shall be purchased on the basis of the highest annual interest yield to the retirement system.
    3. The board of trustees may reject any or all offers received and may waive informalities.
  2. All obligations of a particular issue which are purchased by the board of trustees upon sealed offers shall be accompanied at the time of delivery and payment, by the opinion of recognized bond counsel acceptable to the board of trustees approving without qualification the validity of the issue of which the obligations are a part.
  3. Direct general obligations of the United States and obligations of instrumentalities thereof may be purchased from the issuers from their duly designated fiscal agents or in the open market either with or without giving prior notice by publication of intention to purchase, all as, in the opinion of the board of trustees, will serve the best interest of the system.

History. Acts 1963, No. 509, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2531.

24-2-203. First lien serial coupon bonds of local industrial development corporations.

  1. Whenever mutually agreeable to the respective boards of trustees, the State Board of Finance may sell and the retirement systems may purchase first lien serial coupon bonds of local industrial development corporations.
  2. Payment under any sale and purchase agreement may be effected in the State Treasury by charging the proper retirement fund with the purchase price thereof and by delivery of the securities to the custodian of the system.
  3. In the event of default in payment of the principal of or interest on bonds of industrial development corporations, the State Board of Finance shall repurchase the obligations immediately after being called upon to do so by the system. The transaction may be effected in the State Treasury by crediting the retirement system fund with the purchase price thereof and by delivery of the securities to the custodian of securities for the State Board of Finance for credit of the par value thereof to the Securities Account.
  4. The amount of the accrued interest due upon any repurchase or original sale shall be charged or credited, as the case may be, to the Securities Reserve Fund.
  5. The sale and purchase price, and the resale and repurchase price, of first lien serial coupon bonds of industrial development corporations shall be the par value of those obligations, plus accrued interest.

History. Acts 1963, No. 509, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2532.

24-2-204. Default in payment of principal or interest.

  1. In the event of default in payment of the principal of or interest on bonds or other obligations held in the respective retirement funds, if the issuer of the obligations is a state-supported institution of higher learning, a county, a municipal corporation, including boards, commissions, or other authorities thereof, or a school district, the Treasurer of State shall withhold the amount of the default from any moneys in the State Treasury derived from general revenues on hand to the credit of, or held for the benefit of, the issuer and credit that amount, by transfer, to the retirement fund holding the obligations.
    1. The State Treasury fund from which any transfer may be made shall be charged with the amount of the transfer.
      1. The Treasurer of State shall furnish notification of the transfer, in writing, to the disbursing officer of the fund from which the transfer shall have been made.
      2. Notification shall set forth the name of the issuer, the date, amount, and purpose of the charge.
    2. The Treasurer of State shall thereafter cancel and deliver the obligations so retired to the designated paying agent.
  2. No transfers may be made from moneys in any State Treasury fund which are derived from revenue either specifically or generally pledged to the payment of any issued and outstanding bonds.

History. Acts 1963, No. 509, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2533.

24-2-205. Purchase of obligations not cancellation — Trust.

  1. All obligations purchased or received shall be held in trust for the use and benefit of the system, which trust shall be subject only to the right of the board of trustees to sell or otherwise dispose of the obligations as provided in the various plans.
  2. No purchase or receipt of obligations by a board of trustees shall ever be construed as a cancellation of the obligations so purchased or received.

History. Acts 1963, No. 509, § 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2534.

24-2-206. Jurisdiction and custodianship of funds — Interest.

    1. The various retirement system funds, as established in the State Treasury, are created and constituted trust funds.
    2. All assets of the various funds, both cash and securities, shall be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the respective boards of trustees and shall be held by the Treasurer of State as custodian, subject to the orders and direction of the boards of trustees.
  1. The interest received on all investments made from the trust funds shall be considered as trust fund income and shall be deposited into the State Treasury to the credit of the retirement system fund from which the investments were made.

History. Acts 1963, No. 509, § 6; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2535.

24-2-207. Assets and income for retirement systems.

All assets and income of any retirement system of a city or other political subdivision of the State of Arkansas shall be held, invested, or disbursed for the exclusive purpose of providing for benefits, investment management, and administrative expenses and shall not be encumbered for or diverted to any other purposes.

History. Acts 1997, No. 554, § 1.

Subchapter 3 — Correction of Erroneous Memberships

Effective Dates. Acts 1973, No. 667, § 6: Apr. 10, 1973. Emergency clause provided: “It has been found and determined by the General Assembly that a number of individuals have been erroneously enrolled in the wrong State retirement system and that no statutory authority for correcting such erroneous enrollment exists. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1979, No. 576, § 8: Mar. 26, 1979. Emergency clause provided: “It has been found and determined by the General Assembly that Act 667 of 1973 is unclear, that it has been interpreted in different ways, that it is creating unnecessary confusion and is causing hardships for members of the Public Employees Retirement System and the Teacher Retirement System. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1985, No. 790, § 2: Apr. 3, 1985. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that legal retirement status of certain employees of the Arkansas Rehabilitation Services and the Division of Rehabilitation Services for the Blind who have been enrolled in the Non Contributory Plan of the Public Employees' Retirement System is in doubt, that the time for enrolling employees of these agencies in the Public Employees' Retirement System expired January 1, 1985, and that these agencies wish to continue to enroll new employees in the Non Contributory Plan of the Public Employees' Retirement System. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1989, No. 154, § 4: Feb. 21, 1989. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the law providing for correction of erroneous enrollments in state retirement systems causes an undue hardship on some employees; that this Act is designed to alleviate that hardship by allowing the employee a choice. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1991, No. 13, § 5: Feb. 1, 1991. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the law providing for correction of erroneous enrollments in state retirement systems causes an undue hardship on some employees; that this act is designed to alleviate that hardship by allowing the employees a choice. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1999, No. 325, § 17: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly, that certain provisions of the law governing the Public Employees Retirement System need to be amended concerning eligibility, death benefits, and disability benefits, and that the effective administration of state government makes it necessary for these changes to begin at the start of the state's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 2001, No. 151, § 69: Feb. 8, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act makes technical corrections to a number of sections of Arkansas Code Title 24; that other legislation of this session of the General Assembly may also amend some of those sections; that this act should become effective immediately so that other legislation may be amended to reflect the technical corrections made by this act and to avoid conflicts. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2005, No. 146, § 4: July 1, 2005. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the current laws applicable to the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System are unclear regarding certain eligibility and benefit requirements; that revisions are necessary to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the system; and that the most effective time to make changes to the retirement system is at the beginning of the state's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2005.”

Acts 2005, No. 2190, § 24: Apr. 13, 2005. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the services of the county boards of education are no longer needed by the school districts; that there will be no funding available for the operation of the county boards of education; and that this act is immediately necessary because county boards of education need sufficient authority to transfer functions, duties, and records prior the end of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2019, No. 910, § 6346(b): July 1, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act revises the duties of certain state entities; that this act establishes new departments of the state; that these revisions impact the expenses and operations of state government; and that the sections of this act other than the two uncodified sections of this act preceding the emergency clause titled ‘Funding and classification of cabinet-level department secretaries’ and ‘Transformation and Efficiencies Act transition team’ should become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year to allow for implementation of the new provisions at the beginning of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and Sections 1 through 6343 of this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2019”.

24-2-301. Definitions.

As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Eligible retirement system” means the retirement system in which the employee is eligible for membership;
  2. “Employer” means an employing state agency or an employing school district; and
  3. “Retirement system of record” means the system that holds an erroneous membership.

History. Acts 1973, No. 667, § 1; 1979, No. 576, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2571.

24-2-302. Classification of members.

Except as otherwise specifically provided in this subchapter, all employees of the State of Arkansas or any of its political subdivisions who are members or become members of a state retirement system shall be members of the retirement system indicated in this section as follows:

  1. All eligible employees of the Arkansas Department of Transportation shall be members of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System;
  2. All eligible employees of the Division of Arkansas State Police shall be members of the State Police Retirement System;
  3. The following persons shall be members of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System:
    1. Any person employed by a school for the purpose of giving instruction and whose employment requires state certification;
    2. Any other person employed by a school in a regular or special position;
    3. Any person employed by any of the following organizations or agencies:
      1. Arkansas School for the Blind;
      2. Arkansas School for the Deaf;
      3. Arkansas Activities Association;
      4. A local school board;
      5. State Board of Education;
      6. Regional education service cooperatives; and
      7. Arkansas Teacher Retirement System;
    4. Any person employed in a position requiring professional training or certification with an area vocational-technical school or employed by the Arkansas Educational Television Commission, except that employees of area vocational-technical schools and the Division of Career and Technical Education, the Adult Education Section, and the Office of Skills Development, who have elected to participate in an alternate retirement plan established by §§ 24-7-901 and 24-7-903 — 24-7-908 shall be active members of the alternate retirement plan; and
      1. Any person employed in a position requiring professional training or certification with Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, the Division of State Services for the Blind, or the Division of Youth Services except those employees who have elected coverage under § 24-4-101 et seq.
      2. Membership of employees of Arkansas Rehabilitation Services and the Division of State Services for the Blind shall be subject to the following conditions:
        1. Those employees who were employed before January 1, 1985, and who were members of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System on that date shall continue to be members of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, except that in the event the time limit for those employees to change to the noncontributory plan of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System under § 24-4-522 is extended beyond January 1, 1985, those employees shall have the maximum time allowed by law to elect to make the change;
        2. Those employees who were employed before January 1, 1985, and who are members of the noncontributory plan of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System on that date shall continue to be members of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System; and
        3. Persons whose initial employment by either Arkansas Rehabilitation Services or the Division of State Services for the Blind is on or after January 1, 1985, shall be members of the noncontributory plan of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System; and
  4. All eligible employees of the State of Arkansas or any of its political subdivisions except those who are members of another legally established state retirement plan shall be members of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.

History. Acts 1973, No. 667, § 2; 1979, No. 576, § 2; 1985, No. 790, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2572; Acts 1999, No. 325, § 1; 2001, No. 151, § 1; 2005, No. 146, § 1; 2005, No. 2190, § 22; 2007, No. 617, § 43; 2017, No. 707, § 267; 2019, No. 910, §§ 2359-2361.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1993, No. 574, § 1, effective July 1, 1993, transferred the Division of Rehabilitation Services of the Department of Human Services to the Division of Vocational and Technical Education of the Department of Education, and renamed the division as the Arkansas Rehabilitation Services.

Acts 1997, No. 803, effective March 25, 1997, created the Department of Workforce Education, abolished the Division of Vocational and Technical Education of the Department of Education, and transferred the Arkansas Rehabilitation Services to the Department of Workforce Education.

Amendments. The 2017 amendment substituted “Department of Transportation” for “State Highway and Transportation Department” in (1).

The 2019 amendment substituted “Division of Arkansas State Police” for “Department of Arkansas State Police” in (2); substituted “Division of Career and Technical Education, Adult Education Section of the Division of Workforce Services, and the Office of Skills Development” for “Department of Career Education” in (3)(D); and substituted “Division of Workforce Services” for “Department of Career Education” following “Arkansas Rehabilitation Services of the” in (3)(E)(i).

Cross References. Conversion from contributory to noncontributory plan, § 24-3-215.

24-2-303. Erroneous enrollment before January 1, 1979.

  1. Any employee who was erroneously enrolled in a state retirement system before January 1, 1979, and whose contributions have not been refunded prior to March 26, 1979, shall continue to be a member of the retirement system of record.
  2. The member shall receive service credit for all paid membership service in the retirement system, shall be entitled to any free service which was credited to the member prior to March 26, 1979, or which is creditable to the member under existing laws, and shall also be entitled to reciprocal service credits as provided by §§ 24-2-401 — 24-2-405 and 24-2-407.

History. Acts 1973, No. 667, § 3; 1979, No. 576, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2573; Acts 2001, No. 151, § 2.

24-2-304. Erroneous enrollment on or after January 1, 1979.

    1. When it is discovered by an employee, employer, or a state retirement system that an employee became erroneously enrolled in a state retirement system on or after January 1, 1979, the employee may elect to remain a member of the retirement system of record or may become a member of the eligible retirement system.
    2. Subsections (b)-(d) of this section shall apply if the member chooses to become a member of the eligible retirement system.
  1. The retirement system of record shall refund to the employer all contributions, both employee and employer, that were made in behalf of the employee in question.
    1. The employer shall retain the contributions of both the employee and the employer that are refunded under subsection (b) of this section until the member is enrolled in the eligible retirement system.
    2. Upon receipt of the refunded contributions, the employer shall file with the eligible retirement system an application for membership by the employee and a history of covered employment and wages, including service refunded by the retirement system of record.
    1. The eligible retirement system shall furnish to both the employee and the employer a statement of the amount of contributions necessary to establish service credit in the eligible retirement system for the service refunded by the retirement system of record.
    2. In computing the cost of that service, the eligible retirement system shall include both employee and employer contribution rates in its computation.
    3. In paying the cost of establishing credit for the service in the eligible retirement system, the employer shall first use the employee refund from the retirement system of record and then as much of the employer refund as may be necessary. However, if all of the employer refund is not required to establish service credit, the remaining amount shall be paid into the General Education Fund.
    4. In the event the cost of establishing the service credit is in excess of both the employee and the employer contributions refunded by the retirement system of record, the excess amount shall be paid by the employee.

History. Acts 1973, No. 667, § 4; 1979, No. 576, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2574; Acts 1989, No. 154, § 1; 1991, No. 13, § 1.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1979, No. 576, § 5, provided that if, on March 26, 1979, the retirement system of record had refunded the contributions of a member who was erroneously enrolled, but service credit had not yet been established in the eligible retirement system, the service credit was to be granted by the eligible retirement system as provided by this subchapter. Otherwise, all proceedings to correct memberships of employees who were erroneously enrolled before January 1, 1979 were cancelled.

24-2-305. Effect of promotion of nonteacher school employee.

Other provisions of this subchapter to the contrary notwithstanding, a school janitor, bus driver, or cafeteria worker who is enrolled in one (1) of those positions as a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and later is promoted to a position as school maintenance worker or supervisor, as bus mechanic or as transportation supervisor, or as cafeteria manager, respectively, shall continue to be a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System as long as he or she is employed in one (1) of those respective capacities.

History. Acts 1979, No. 576, § 6; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2574.1.

24-2-306. Erroneous enrollment because of concurrent membership.

Any member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who is erroneously enrolled in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System because of concurrent enrollment in another state-funded or state-authorized retirement system, other than Social Security, due to separate and distinct service for a public school or a municipality, may elect to remain a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System subject to the following conditions:

  1. The other system will allow the member to forfeit the concurrent service by refunding all employer and employee contributions respectively; and
  2. The member notifies both the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and the other system that the member will remain in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and forfeit service and accrued benefits in the other system.

History. Acts 1999, No. 325, § 2.

Subchapter 4 — Reciprocal Service Credits

A.C.R.C. Notes. Acts 2005, No. 1962, § 120, provided:

“Uncodified Section 18 of Act 1022 of 2005 is amended to read as follows: It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that for the effective administration of this act and to avoid undue harm to the members and benefit recipients of the Arkansas District Judge Retirement System that this act should become effective immediately. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

References to “this subchapter” in §§ 24-2-40124-2-405 may not apply to § 24-2-407 and § 24-2-408 which were enacted subsequently.

Effective Dates. Acts 1965, No. 488, § 9: July 1, 1975. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that there is urgent need to clarify the present law relating to the reciprocal service credits between the various state supported retirement systems; that under the present reciprocal service law certain members of the various state supported retirement systems are not eligible to establish reciprocal service agreements. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1975.”

Acts 1969, No. 81, § 5: Feb. 21, 1969. Emergency clause provided: “It has been found and is hereby declared by the General Assembly that many public employers are being denied the services of competent help on an extra-help or part-time basis and that retired public employees are being deprived of compensation as an extra-help or part-time employer under existing laws; and only by the immediate operation of this Act may these conditions be alleviated. Therefore an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1971, No. 579, § 5: Apr. 6, 1971. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that members of the reciprocal retirement system should be entitled to disability retirement benefits; that present provisions under the reciprocal retirement system do not provide for disability retirement benefits; and, that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary to correct this situation; therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1973, No. 586, § 11: Became law without Governor's signature, Apr. 3, 1973. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that provisions of this act clarify coverage, service, credits, and eligibility for benefits under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System; and, in order to enable those persons who are eligible for such coverage, service credits, or benefits thereunder to obtain such without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1975, No. 611, § 9: July 1, 1975. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that there is urgent need to clarify the present law relating to the reciprocal service credits between the various state supported retirement systems; that under the present reciprocal service law certain members of the various state supported retirement systems are not eligible to establish reciprocal service agreements. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1975.”

Acts 1977, No. 663, § 8: Mar. 23, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that provisions of this Act clarify coverage, service credits, and eligibility for benefits under the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System; and in order to enable those persons who are eligible for such coverage, service credits, or benefits thereunder to obtain such without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1979, No. 127, § 3: Feb. 13, 1979. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Second General Assembly, that there is a need to prevent loss of benefits for in-service death in connection with reciprocity between state supported retirement systems and that the immediate effectiveness of this Act is essential and delay could work irreparable harm upon system members. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1979, No. 493, § 3: Mar. 21, 1979. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Second General Assembly that some public employees have been denied participation in public retirement systems through no fault of their own and should be granted an opportunity to participate. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1979, No. 821, § 6: July 1, 1979. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the provisions of this Act change the rate of contributions, and benefits under the Arkansas State Highway Employees Retirement System; and, in order to enable persons to receive proper benefits thereunder without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1979.”

Acts 1981, No. 483, § 5: July 1, 1981. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that benefits now being paid to retired members of the State Police Retirement System are not consistent with benefits being paid to retired members of other State supported retirement plans and, therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in force and effect on and after July 1, 1981.”

Acts 1983, No. 679, § 4: July 1, 1983. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the retirement benefits payable under reciprocity by preceding systems are inadequate and unfair to certain retirees having service in more than one state retirement system. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1983.”

Acts 1987, No. 357, § 7: Mar. 23, 1987. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that it is in the best interest of the public health, welfare and safety that members in the public safety category of the Public Employees Retirement System should be permitted to transfer to another employment protecting the public health and safety and that current retirement laws discourage said transfers. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1995, No. 949, § 7: Apr. 6, 1995. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eightieth General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System is not a reciprocal system with other state supported retirement systems; that this creates an inequitable situation for public officials are members of the Judicial Retirement System and who later become members of another state supported retirement system; and that it is necessary to change the laws of Arkansas to correct this inequity. Therefore, in order to promote equity between the public retirement systems of Arkansas, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1997, No. 485, § 12: July 1, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that public safety members for the Public Employees' Retirement System earn credit at one and one-half times the normal rate of service credit; that the dollar cost to the System of this service credit is too expensive and is escalating with the addition of other groups of employees as public safety members; and that it is necessary to restrain the future use and costs to the System of this service credit and to implement this act at the beginning of the States' fiscal year. Therefore, in order to reduce the financial burden on the Public Employees Retirement System, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall become effective July 1, 1997.”

Acts 1997, No. 857, § 7: July 1, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the alternate retirement plans for the state colleges and universities and the state's vocational-technical schools are not reciprocal systems with other state supported retirement systems; that this creates an inequitable situation for the educators and administrators who are members of these alternative retirement systems and who later become members of another state supported retirement system; and that it is necessary to change the laws of Arkansas to correct this inequity and have it effective at the beginning of the state's fiscal year. Therefore, in order to promote equity between the public retirement systems of Arkansas and promote sound fiscal administration, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall become effective July 1, 1997.”

Acts 1997, No. 927, § 8: July 1, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the current laws on the reciprocity of retirement systems does cover deferred retirement option accounts; that the retention of experienced employees, especially in skilled labor positions and highly technical fields, is beneficial to the Arkansas state government and with the hiring of employees at younger ages, more qualified and experienced employees are reaching retirement eligibility earlier in their careers; and that immediate passage of the act is essential to the efficient administration of state government and implementation of the provisions of this act is necessary to begin at the start of the State's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall become effective July 1, 1997.”

Acts 2001, No. 151, § 69: Feb. 8, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act makes technical corrections to a number of sections of Arkansas Code Title 24; that other legislation of this session of the General Assembly may also amend some of those sections; that this act should become effective immediately so that other legislation may be amended to reflect the technical corrections made by this act and to avoid conflicts. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2005, No. 1022, § 18: Mar. 18, 2005. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that for the effective administration of this act and to avoid undue harm to the members and benefit recipients of the Arkansas District Judge Retirement System that this act should become effective immediately. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2007, No. 177, § 15: July 1, 2007. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this bill affects the structure of the Arkansas District Judge Retirement System and the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and the ideal time to make revisions to the retirement systems is at the beginning of the state's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2007.

Acts 2019, No. 910, § 6346(b): July 1, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act revises the duties of certain state entities; that this act establishes new departments of the state; that these revisions impact the expenses and operations of state government; and that the sections of this act other than the two uncodified sections of this act preceding the emergency clause titled ‘Funding and classification of cabinet-level department secretaries’ and ‘Transformation and Efficiencies Act transition team’ should become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year to allow for implementation of the new provisions at the beginning of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and Sections 1 through 6343 of this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2019”.

24-2-401. Definitions.

As used in this subchapter:

  1. “Deferred retirement option plan” means an option for retirement under a reciprocal system whereby the retirement system members, in lieu of terminating employment, can continue with employment with covered employers and can accept a service retirement benefit pursuant to deferred retirement option plan provisions in § 24-7-1301 et seq. for the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System or for any other deferred retirement option plan which might be created by, or authorized for creation by, law under a reciprocal system;
  2. “Public safety service covered by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System” means service as a public safety member as defined in § 24-4-101(34);
  3. “Reciprocal system” means:
    1. The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System in operation June 30, 1957, and continued by §§ 24-7-202 — 24-7-205, 24-7-301 — 24-7-305, 24-7-401 — 24-7-411, 24-7-501, 24-7-502, 24-7-601 — 24-7-604, 24-7-606, 24-7-701, 24-7-702, 24-7-704 — 24-7-713, 24-7-715, and 24-7-716;
    2. The Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System, established by § 24-5-103;
    3. The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, established by § 24-4-103;
    4. The State Police Retirement System, established by § 24-6-203;
    5. The Arkansas Judicial Retirement System, established by § 24-8-201 et seq.;
    6. An alternate retirement plan for:
      1. A college, university, or the Division of Higher Education provided for under § 24-7-801 et seq.; or
      2. A vocational-technical school or the Division of Career and Technical Education, the Adult Education Section, and the Office of Skills Development, provided for under § 24-7-901 et seq.; or
    7. The Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System provided for under § 24-10-101 et seq.; and
  4. “State employer” means:
    1. The public employer whose employees are covered under:
      1. The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System;
      2. The Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System;
      3. The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System; or
      4. The State Police Retirement System;
    2. The public employer whose employees are circuit court judges, judges of the Court of Appeals, and justices of the Supreme Court, whether elected or appointed to office, covered under the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System;
    3. The public employer whose employees are district court judges, whether elected or appointed to office, covered under the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System; or
    4. A public employer who is:
      1. A college, university, or the Division of Higher Education whose employees are covered by an alternate retirement plan provided for under § 24-7-801 et seq.; or
      2. A vocational-technical school or the Division of Career and Technical Education, the Adult Education Section, and the Office of Skills Development, whose employees are covered by an alternate retirement plan provided for under § 24-7-901 et seq.

History. Acts 1965, No. 488, § 1; 1975, No. 611, § 1; 1981, No. 483, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2537; Acts 1987, No. 357, § 2; 1995, No. 949, § 1; 1997, No. 485, § 1; 1997, No. 857, § 1; 1997, No. 927, § 1; 1999, No. 537, § 1; 2001, No. 151, § 3; 2005, No. 1022, § 1; 2007, No. 177, §§ 6, 7; 2011, No. 978, § 1; 2019, No. 910, §§ 2362, 2363.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment deleted “and by a person who was employed prior to July 1, 1997” at the end of (2).

The 2019 amendment substituted “Division of Higher Education” for “Department of Higher Education” in (3)(F)(i) and (4)(D)(i); and substituted “Division of Career and Technical Education, Adult Education Section of the Division of Workforce Services, and the Office of Skills Development” for “Department of Career Education” in (3)(F)(ii) and (4)(D)(ii).

24-2-402. Deferred annuity — Eligibility — Definition.

If a member of a reciprocal system left or leaves a position covered by a reciprocal system, if an employee in a position covered by a reciprocal system left the employ of a state employer before the latter position was covered by a reciprocal system, or if an employee in a position later covered by a reciprocal system leaves that position before it is covered by a reciprocal system, which in this section in each case is called the “preceding system”, and if that person entered or enters a position covered by a reciprocal system, which in this section is called the “succeeding system”, and if the person is a member of the succeeding system after July 1, 1975, then the person shall be entitled to a deferred annuity payable by the preceding system subject to the following conditions:

  1. The person has credited service acquired in the employ of the preceding state employer;
    1. The person does not withdraw his or her accumulated contributions from the preceding reciprocal system, or if he or she has withdrawn his or her accumulated contributions, he or she deposits with the preceding reciprocal system the amount he or she withdrew, together with interest from the date of withdrawal to the date of repayment at the rate in effect for the preceding reciprocal system, but that deposit must be made while he or she is an active member of a reciprocal system.
    2. In addition to the forfeited credited service, the active member of a reciprocal system shall receive credit for his or her previous employment with a public employer upon his or her paying the prescribed employee and employer contributions based upon the rate in effect during the previous employment, together with regular interest from the dates for the previous service to the date of repayment.
    3. The provisions for determining a year of service credit shall be the prevailing rules of each reciprocal system;
  2. The person qualifies for age and service retirement in the succeeding reciprocal system using his or her credited service in force with the preceding reciprocal system plus his or her credited service acquired in the employ of succeeding state employers to meet the minimum service requirements of the succeeding systems;
    1. The person's annuity payable by the preceding reciprocal system shall be upon the basis of the annuity formula of the preceding reciprocal system, exclusive of any minimum amount at the time the person begins to receive monthly retirement benefits from that system.
    2. The final average compensation to be used to determine monthly benefits payable to that person shall be that of the reciprocal system which furnishes the highest final average compensation at the time of retirement, but each reciprocal system shall use the method of computing final average compensation stipulated by its law, and compensation in the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System shall not be used to determine final average compensation.
    3. Any person retiring on or after July 1, 1982, with credited service in more than one (1) reciprocal system shall have his or her benefits recomputed based on the provisions of this section;
    1. It is the expressed intention of this subdivision (5) to provide the same death-in-service benefits that would have been payable had the member died while an active member of a reciprocal retirement system.
    2. A member who dies in service while a member of one (1) reciprocal system shall be considered as currently employed by all systems in which the member retains credited service.
    3. If a member has accrued credited service under the provisions of this subchapter but dies before retirement or before becoming eligible to retire, then the benefits payable shall be those provided by the reciprocal retirement system named in this subchapter, with each system being responsible for the payment of the death-in-service benefits provided by the applicable provisions of its retirement laws.
    4. If death-in-service benefits are payable by more than one (1) reciprocal system to eligible survivors of a deceased member, the survivors shall not receive more, as a percentage of the deceased member's final pay or as a minimum dollar amount, than the largest amount payable by any single reciprocal system.
    5. Each reciprocal system that has a minimum benefit provision in its plan shall pay only a proportionate share of that minimum amount based on the ratio of service in that system to the total service in all reciprocal systems.
    6. If the reciprocal system is an alternate retirement plan under § 24-7-801 et seq. or § 24-7-901 et seq., death-in-service benefits shall be contingent on provision of that benefit having been provided by the alternate retirement plan and having been selected by the member as a benefit;
  3. Both service in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System as a member of the General Assembly and service in another reciprocal system during the same period of time may be counted to meet the service requirements for benefits from the reciprocal system subject to the following:
    1. The benefit payable by a reciprocal system will be based on the credited service in that system and the final average compensation under that system. However, nothing in this subdivision (6)(A) shall diminish the General Assembly member's right to a benefit for which the person is qualified under the provisions of § 24-4-706 [repealed]; and
      1. “Final average compensation” as used in this section means the combined highest salaries from the preceding and succeeding systems equaling thirty-six (36) complete months divided by three (3) if a member has:
        1. Fewer than twenty (20) years of credited service on July 1, 2009; and
        2. Fewer than three (3) years of service in a succeeding reciprocal system.
      2. If the member is a state police officer covered under § 24-6-401 et seq., the combined salaries shall be from the preceding system and State Police Retirement System equaling forty-eight (48) months divided by four (4);
    1. If the preceding or succeeding reciprocal system is the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System and the member's benefits are determined under § 24-8-201 et seq., the benefit payable by the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System shall be determined by multiplying the benefit provided by § 24-8-218 by the following fraction:
      1. The numerator shall be the number of the actual years of service credited in the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System as a justice of the Supreme Court or judge of the circuit or chancery courts or the Court of Appeals; and
      2. The denominator shall be fourteen (14) years.
    2. In no instance shall the benefit payable by the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System exceed the benefit provided by § 24-8-218;
      1. If the preceding or succeeding reciprocal system offers a deferred retirement option plan for its members, both service in the preceding and the succeeding reciprocal system may be counted to meet the minimum service credit requirements for benefits under a system's deferred retirement option plan.
      2. The benefit payable by the preceding reciprocal system shall be based on the annuity formula of the preceding reciprocal system, exclusive of any minimum amount at the time the person begins to receive monthly retirement benefits from that system under its deferred retirement option provisions.
      3. The final average compensation to be used to determine monthly benefits payable to that person shall be that of the reciprocal system which furnishes the highest final average compensation at the time of retirement, but each reciprocal system shall use the method of computing final average compensation stipulated by its law, and compensation in the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System shall not be used to determine final average compensation.
      4. Any interest credited to the deferred retirement account will be paid to the member's account under the deferred retirement option benefit program in effect for that system.
    1. The boards of trustees of each preceding or succeeding system shall promulgate such rules as are necessary to coordinate their benefits with any system providing a deferred retirement option plan; and
  4. If the preceding or succeeding reciprocal system is an alternate retirement plan for a college, university, or the Division of Higher Education provided for under § 24-7-801 et seq., or for a vocational-technical school or the Department of Career Education provided for under § 24-7-901 et seq., the benefits payable shall be in accordance with terms specified in the written alternate retirement plan document for purchasing the insurance policies or annuity contracts, both fixed and variable in nature, for the participants.

History. Acts 1965, No. 488, § 2; 1967, No. 310, § 1; 1971, No. 579, §§ 1, 2; 1975, No. 611, § 2; 1977, No. 663, § 5; 1979, No. 127, § 1; 1979, No. 493, § 1; 1979, No. 821, § 4; 1983, No. 679, §§ 1, 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2538; Acts 1987, No. 357, § 3; 1987, No. 737, § 1; 1991, No. 381, § 1; 1995, No. 949, § 2; 1997, No. 485, § 2; 1997, No. 857, § 2; 1997, No. 927, § 2; 1999, No. 537, §§ 2, 5; 2001, No. 151, § 4; 2005, No. 1022, §§ 2, 3; 2007, No. 177, §§ 8, 9; 2009, No. 742, § 1; 2019, No. 315, §§ 2844, 2845.

A.C.R.C. Notes. Ark. Const., Am. 80, § 19(A)(2) provided that all circuit, chancery, and circuit-chancery judges “in office at the time this Amendment takes effect shall continue in office as Circuit judges…” Amendment 80 further provided in§ 19(B)(1) that the circuit courts would “assume the jurisdiction of Circuit, Chancery, Probate and Juvenile Courts.” Amendment 80 also provides that many of the lower courts will combine into district courts. The first portion of Amendment 80, § 19(B)(2) states: “District Courts shall have the jurisdiction vested in Municipal Courts, Corporation Courts, Police Courts, Justice of the Peace Courts, and Courts of Common Pleas at the time this Amendment takes effect. District Courts shall assume the jurisdiction of these courts of limited jurisdiction and other jurisdiction conferred in this Amendment on January 1, 2005.”

Amendments. The 2009 amendment rewrote (6)(B).

The 2019 amendment substituted “rules” for “regulations” in (2)(C); and deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in (8)(B).

24-2-403. Date of annuity payment.

  1. The date a member's annuity, if any, becomes payable by each reciprocal system shall be determined by those provisions in force for each reciprocal system.
  2. In no case shall any annuity become payable nor be paid prior to the date the member retires from, and ceases to be, in the employ of an employer covered by a reciprocal system as defined in § 24-2-401(3).

History. Acts 1965, No. 488, § 4; 1975, No. 611, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2540; Acts 2001, No. 151, § 5.

A.C.R.C. Notes. Ark. Const., Am. 80, § 19(A)(2) provided that all circuit, chancery, and circuit-chancery judges “in office at the time this Amendment takes effect shall continue in office as Circuit judges . . .” Amendment 80 further provided in § 19(B)(1) that the circuit courts would “assume the jurisdiction of Circuit, Chancery, Probate and Juvenile Courts.” Amendment 80 also provides that many of the lower courts will combine into district courts. The first portion of Amendment 80, § 19(B)(2) states: “District Courts shall have the jurisdiction vested in Municipal Courts, Corporation Courts, Police Court, Justice of the Peace Courts, and Courts of Common Pleas at the time this Amendment takes effect. District Court shall assume the jurisdiction of these courts of limited jurisdiction and other jurisdiction confirmed in this Amendment on January 1, 2005.”

24-2-404. Disbursement of annuities.

  1. The boards of trustees of the reciprocal systems may enter into an agreement whereby the reciprocal system from which a member retires shall be the disbursing system for his or her annuities payable, as provided in this subchapter, by the other reciprocal systems.
  2. The agreement shall provide, but shall not be limited to, the manner and frequency with which the disbursing system shall be reimbursed for the annuities payable by the other reciprocal systems.
  3. Except for provisions of this section regarding the deferred retirement option plan under § 24-7-1301 et seq. for the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, the provisions of this section shall not apply to retirants in the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.

History. Acts 1965, No. 488, § 5; 1967, No. 310, § 2; 1969, No. 81, §§ 2, 3; 1973, No. 586, § 7; 1975, No. 611, § 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2541; Acts 1997, No. 927, § 3.

24-2-405. Disability benefits.

  1. A member of a reciprocal system with five (5) or more years of credited service in two (2) or more reciprocal systems shall be eligible to apply for disability benefits from each reciprocal system in which he or she has credited service.
  2. Each reciprocal system shall make the determination under its respective rules as to whether the member is eligible for disability benefits.
  3. The member shall be eligible for a refund of his or her accumulated contributions plus interest, if any, from any reciprocal system in which he or she does not qualify for disability benefits. This refund shall not alter his or her eligibility for benefits from any other reciprocal system.

History. Acts 1965, No. 488, § 3; 1971, No. 579, § 3; 1975, No. 611, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2539; Acts 2001, No. 151, § 6; 2019, No. 315, § 2846.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in (b).

24-2-406. [Repealed.]

A.C.R.C. Notes. Acts 1987, No. 525, § 1, repealed “Section 5 of Act 488 of 1965, as amended [Ark. Stat. 12-2541.1].” It is deemed that this repeal should refer to § 6 of the 1965 act, which was compiled as A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2541.1 and subsequently codified as this section.

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning resumption of employment, was repealed by Acts 1987, No. 525, § 1. The section was derived from Acts 1965, No. 488, § 6, as added by 1975, No. 611, § 6; 1981, No. 859, § 13; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2541.1.

24-2-407. Benefit enhancements — Restrictions.

  1. No benefit enhancement provided for by this subchapter shall be implemented if it would cause the publicly supported retirement system's unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities to exceed a thirty-year amortization.
  2. No benefit enhancement provided for by this subchapter shall be implemented by any publicly supported system which has unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities being amortized over a period exceeding thirty (30) years until the unfunded actuarial accrued liability is reduced to a level less than the standards prescribed by § 24-1-101 et seq.

History. Acts 1997, No. 927, § 4.

A.C.R.C. Notes. References to “this subchapter” in §§ 24-2-40124-2-405 may not apply to this section which was enacted subsequently.

24-2-408. Concurrence prohibited.

In establishing credited service under this subchapter, persons who receive credited service pursuant to § 24-4-101(17)(B)(xiii) for dual full-time employment in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System under the provisions of this act may count periods of credited service covering the same calendar time only once (1) time.

History. Acts 2001, No. 764, § 2.

Meaning of “this act”. Acts 2001, No. 764, is codified as §§ 24-4-401 and 24-2-408.

Subchapter 5 — Military Service Credit

Effective Dates. Acts 1987, No. 92, § 4: Feb. 27, 1987. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Sixth General Assembly that the law on free military service credit is unclear, that a clarification of Act 634 of 1973 is needed and therefore an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health, welfare, and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1987, No. 218, § 4: Mar. 13, 1987. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Sixth General Assembly that the law on free military service credit is unclear, that a clarification of Act 634 of 1973 is needed and therefore an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health, welfare and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1997, No. 1053, § 28: July 1, 1998.

Acts 2001, No. 151, § 69: Feb. 8, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act makes technical corrections to a number of sections of Arkansas Code Title 24; that other legislation of this session of the General Assembly may also amend some of those sections; that this act should become effective immediately so that other legislation may be amended to reflect the technical corrections made by this act and to avoid conflicts. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2007, No. 177, § 15: July 1, 2007. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this bill affects the structure of the Arkansas District Judge Retirement System and the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and the ideal time to make revisions to the retirement systems is at the beginning of the state's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2007.”

Acts 2009, No. 295, § 4: Mar. 3, 2009. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that many of the citizens of the State of Arkansas are serving our country as active duty military and in the Arkansas National Guard and Armed Forces Reserve; that they should not be penalized for their service to their country; and that current retirement law does not fully provide for our servicemen and servicewomen as provided for in federal law. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) the date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2011, No. 38, § 11: Feb. 16, 2011. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the public retirement systems provide economic security for eligible citizens of Arkansas; that the statutes need amending to update and clarify existing law; and that these changes need to be made immediately. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2011, No. 69, § 22: July 1, 2011. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that certain provisions of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System statutes are in urgent need of revision to bring them into conformance with sound public pension policy; that this revision is of great importance to members of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System and to other citizens of the State of Arkansas; that a member's purchase of service credit currently provides that a member pay the system yesterday's dollars for the value of today's benefits; that such a valuation is unfair to the members as a whole and inconsistent with the prudent management of the system's funds and obligations; that the purchase of service credit in the system should be based upon actuarial equivalents; that the purchase of service credit should be paid in a lump sum to the system; that current service purchase accounts remain unpaid and inactive for many years at a time and create an administrative burden and accounting difficulty on the system that can be remedied by the passage of this act; and that this act is necessary in order to maintain an orderly system of benefits for the members of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2011.”

24-2-501. Free credited service.

    1. Any member of the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System established by § 24-8-201 et seq. shall be entitled to receive free credited service in the system for a period of not to exceed two (2) years for service rendered by him or her in the United States Armed Forces during World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, or the Vietnam Conflict.
    2. Notwithstanding § 24-2-502 or any other law to the contrary, any member of the system may also purchase credited service in the system not to exceed five (5) years for service rendered by him or her in the United States Armed Forces and to be purchased in accordance with the procedures in § 24-2-502.
  1. Any person entitled to receive free credited service in the system under the provisions of this section shall be granted credited service under the system for service in the armed forces during World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, or the Vietnam Conflict upon:
    1. Making application therefor to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System; and
    2. Providing proof satisfactory to the board of that person's military service.
  2. The provisions of this section shall be supplemental to any other laws relating to state-supported retirement systems in this state. Nothing in this section shall be construed to diminish the right of any member of a state-supported retirement system to obtain credited service in the system for military service.
  3. This section shall not apply to the Tier Two Actual Judicial Service Benefit Plan of the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System provided for in § 24-8-701 et seq.

History. Acts 1973, No. 634, §§ 1-3; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2524.1 — 12-2524.3; Acts 1987, No. 92, §§ 1, 2; 1987, No. 218, §§ 1, 2; 1997, No. 1185, § 1; 1999, No. 399, § 2.

24-2-502. Purchased credited service.

  1. Any person who is or was a member of a state-supported retirement system in this state and who was not receiving benefits under the system on July 9, 1975, shall be entitled to purchase credited service in the system for a period not to exceed five (5) years for service rendered by the member in the United States Armed Forces prior to the member's employment in a position covered by a state-supported retirement system, but only if the person:
    1. Has five (5) years of actual service with the retirement system;
    2. Received an honorable discharge from the armed forces; and
      1. For the first three (3) years of credited service, contributes to the members' deposit account a sum of money equal to the amount he or she would have contributed to the account had he or she been a member during his or her term of military service. This amount shall be based upon his or her monthly contributions at the time he or she first became a member of the retirement system and interest thereon at the rate of six percent (6%), together with an amount equal to the employer's matching contribution and interest thereon at the rate of six percent (6%), which interest shall commence January 1, 1976, or six (6) months after eligibility, whichever is later.
      2. For the fourth and fifth year of credited service, contributes to the members' deposit account a sum of money equal to the amount he or she would have contributed to the account had he or she been a member during his or her term of military service. This amount shall be based upon:
        1. His or her salary at the time he or she first became a member of the retirement system;
        2. The employer's contribution in effect at the time he or she first became eligible to purchase the military service; and
        3. Interest thereon on both the employee's and employer's contributions at the rate of six percent (6%), which interest shall commence January 1, 1976, or six (6) months after eligibility, whichever is later.
  2. The benefit program to be applicable to the credited service for members of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, the State Police Retirement System, or the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System shall be:
    1. The benefit program of § 24-4-101 et seq. for members of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
    2. The benefit program based on § 24-6-101 et seq. for members of the State Police Retirement System; or
    3. The benefit program based on § 24-7-101 et seq. for members of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.
  3. The provisions of this section shall be supplemental to any other laws relating to state-supported retirement systems in this state. Nothing in this section shall be construed to repeal or modify any existing provisions of any state-supported retirement system law providing for credited service in the system for military service, nor to diminish the right of any member of a state-supported retirement system to obtain credited service in the system for military service under the provisions of existing laws, but in no event shall any member of a state-supported retirement system be entitled to or receive in excess of five (5) years of credited service for military service rendered by the member. No member shall be eligible for credited military service in more than one (1) state-supported retirement system.
  4. When the applicant can obtain military service credit under this section and also under other laws relating to state-supported retirement systems in this state, then service credit shall be granted under the provisions of the laws in chronological order beginning with the earliest law. However, the laws may not be used to allow duplicate service credit.

History. Acts 1975, No. 573, §§ 1-3; 1985, No. 938, § 8; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2524.4 — 12-2524.6; Acts 1993, No. 1098, § 1; 1995, No. 611, § 1; 1997, No. 1053, § 26; 2001, No. 151, § 7; 2009, No. 295, § 1; 2011, No. 69, § 2.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment deleted (a)(3), redesignated the subsequent subdivision accordingly, and made related changes.

The 2011 amendment inserted “or the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System” in the introductory language of (b); and added (b)(3).

24-2-503. Arkansas National Guard and armed forces reserve service credit.

  1. As used in this section, “armed forces reserve” means one (1) of the reserve components of the United States Armed Forces.
    1. A member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System may purchase credited service in the system for a period not to exceed five (5) years for compensated service rendered by the member in the Arkansas National Guard or in the armed forces reserve if the member:
      1. Makes an application to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
      2. Provides the board with satisfactory proof of that person's service in the Arkansas National Guard or in the armed forces reserve; and
        1. For the years of service credit granted, pays to the system the employee and employer contributions based on the greater of:
          1. The annual salary received by the member for the member's first full year of credited service that precedes the fiscal year in which the service is purchased; or
          2. The average of the three (3) highest annual salaries earned at the time of purchase.
        2. The member shall pay interest from the end of that year of credited service to the date of payment in full.
    2. Payment for service under this section shall be based on the contribution rates in effect at the time of the purchase.
    3. The payment shall be credited to the member's deposit account and is in addition to any regular member contributions.
  2. A member shall receive one (1) year of purchased service credit for every one (1) year of compensated service in the Arkansas National Guard or in the armed forces reserve.
  3. The service in the Arkansas National Guard or in the armed forces reserve shall not become credited service under this system until the member:
      1. Pays for the purchased service in the Arkansas National Guard or in the armed forces reserve.
      2. Service may be purchased under this subdivision (d)(1) in one-month increments; and
    1. Has established five (5) or more years of actual service in the system.
  4. If a member ceases to be an active member before the service in the Arkansas National Guard or in the armed forces reserve has been established as system-credited service, the member payments contributed under this section are refundable, together with regular interest.
    1. This section is supplemental to § 24-2-502, and nothing in this section shall diminish the right of any member of the system to obtain credited service in the system for active duty military service within the limits permitted by § 24-2-502.
    2. However, no member is entitled to receive more than five (5) years of credited service rendered by the member under this section.
    3. No member is eligible to purchase service credit in more than one (1) retirement system, whether federally or state-supported, for service time in the Arkansas National Guard or in the armed forces reserve.
    4. Service credit in the system for active duty military service under § 24-2-502 and for service in the Arkansas National Guard or in the armed forces reserve shall not be given for the same period of time.
    5. A member's service in the Arkansas National Guard or armed forces reserve shall not make the member eligible for any kind of benefit under any other state-supported retirement system except Social Security.

History. Acts 2005, No. 1027, § 1; 2007, No. 176, §§ 1, 2; 2009, No. 295, § 2; 2011, No. 38, § 1.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment substituted “five (5) years” for “one (1) year” in (b)(1); substituted “one (1) year” for “five (5) years” in (c); in (f), substituted “five (5)” for “three (3)” in (f)(2), substituted “retirement system, whether federally or state-supported” for “state-supported retirement system” in (f)(3), and substituted “state-supported retirement system” for “retirement system, including federal systems” in (f)(5); and made related changes.

The 2011 amendment inserted the (A) designation in (d)(1); in (d)(1)(A), substituted “purchased” for “year of” and deleted “at one (1) time in a single lump-sum payment”; and added (d)(1)(B).

24-2-504. Return to covered employment by military personnel.

  1. An active member of the state retirement system who is called to active military duty or state active military duty shall be afforded all employment protections as provided in the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, 38 U.S.C. § 4301 et seq., as in effect on January 1, 2009.
  2. Employer contributions shall be paid for the state retirement system member's period of active military duty by the member's last retirement system employer immediately before the member's active duty in accordance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, as in effect on January 1, 2009.
  3. In order to receive retirement credit in the state retirement system for the time spent in active duty, a member covered by the contributory provisions of the member's state retirement system who returns from active military duty to either the same or a different covered employer shall pay into the state retirement system the employee contributions that would have otherwise been paid into the state retirement system by the member as though the member had never left covered service.

History. Acts 2009, No. 295, § 3; 2019, No. 474, § 1.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment inserted “or state active military duty” in (a).

24-2-505. Compliance with Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008.

    1. In the case of a member who dies while performing qualified military service, including state active military duty, on or after January 1, 2011, and who otherwise would have been entitled to reemployment rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, 38 U.S.C. § 4301 et seq., as in effect on January 1, 2011, the survivors of that member are entitled to any additional benefits that would have been provided under the public employee retirement plan had the member resumed employment with a covered employer on the day preceding his or her death and then terminated employment on the actual date of death.
    2. Subdivision (a)(1) of this section does not apply to benefit accruals relating to the period of qualified military service.
    3. The member's qualified military service shall be counted for purposes of determining whether the individual in issue was vested with the public employee retirement plan.
  1. In the case of a member who becomes disabled while performing qualified military service, including state active military duty, on or after January 1, 2011, and who otherwise would have been entitled to reemployment rights under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, 38 U.S.C. § 4301 et seq., as in effect on January 1, 2011, that member is considered to have resumed employment with a covered employer on the day preceding the onset of his or her disability and then terminated employment on the actual date he or she became disabled.
  2. A member who dies or becomes disabled while performing qualified military service, including state active military duty, is deemed to have made employee contributions for the purpose of determining benefits other than benefit accruals that are contingent on those contributions for the period of qualified military service.
  3. This section applies to each public retirement system unless the system has a specific provision regarding the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-245, already in its law.

History. Acts 2011, No. 38, § 5; 2019, No. 474, §§ 2, 3.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment inserted “including state active military duty” in the introductory language of (a)(1), and in (b) and (c).

Subchapter 6 — State Retirement Systems Investments

Effective Dates. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 69: Feb. 8, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act makes technical corrections to a number of sections of Arkansas Code Title 24; that other legislation of this session of the General Assembly may also amend some of those sections; that this act should become effective immediately so that other legislation may be amended to reflect the technical corrections made by this act and to avoid conflicts. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2013, No. 304, § 2: Mar. 11, 2013. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the boards of trustees of the state retirement systems are bound to invest and manage trust assets under the Prudent Investor Rule, exercising reasonable care, skill, and caution when making investment and management decisions; that each contract to invest and manage system assets is intensely reviewed for favorable terms and executed to provide optimal return on the investment, keeping fees and other expenses to a minimum; that contracts that utilize the highly specialized and competitive skills of investment advisors in the public, private, and real estate markets require expertise that is particular to each state retirement system for which they invest, advise, or manage funds; that contracts are traditionally negotiated for terms that may last for decades for the benefit of the particular state retirement system so that the structure of the investment to receive profit may be fully realized and that this act is immediately necessary to prevent any state retirement system from being unduly burdened and severely financially harmed if it is forced to renegotiate these contracts, exposing the state retirement system to higher fees that total in the millions of dollars. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act, being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

24-2-601. Investment authority and limitations generally.

  1. All investments of the retirement systems covered by this subchapter shall be in strict compliance with the provisions of this subchapter.
  2. The term “trust” as used in this subchapter refers to the following Arkansas retirement systems:
    1. The State Police Retirement System;
    2. The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
    3. The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System;
    4. The Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System; and
    5. The Arkansas Judicial Retirement System.
  3. The term “trustees” as used in this subchapter refers to boards of trustees of the systems referenced in subsection (b) of this section.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8.

24-2-602. Investment authority and limitations — Permissible investments.

  1. The boards of trustees of the State Police Retirement System, the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System, and the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System shall have full power to invest and reinvest the moneys of the respective systems and to hold, purchase, sell, assign, transfer, or dispose of any of the investments so made as well as the proceeds of the investments and moneys.
  2. However, the investments and reinvestments shall only be made in accordance with the prudent investor rule set forth in §§ 24-2-610 — 24-2-619.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8.

24-2-603. Investment authority and limitations — Default setoff.

  1. In the event of default in payment of the principal or interest of any investment obligation held by any state retirement system where the issuer of the obligation receives moneys from the state, the default shall be certified by the board of the respective system to the Treasurer of State.
  2. The Treasurer of State shall withhold all moneys due the issuer from the state until the default, together with regular interest thereon, is satisfied.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8.

24-2-604. Investment authority and limitations — Conflict of interest.

Except as to the rights of a member, retirant, or beneficiary, no trustee and no officer or employee of the board of any state retirement system shall have any interest, directly or indirectly, in the gains or profits of any investment made by the respective board. Nor shall any retirement system trustee, officer, or employee, directly or indirectly for himself or herself or as an agent, in any manner use the assets of the systems except to make such current and necessary payments as are authorized by the respective boards, nor shall any of them become an endorser or surety or, in any manner, an obligor for moneys loaned by or borrowed from any of the respective systems.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8.

24-2-605. Investment authority and limitations — Fidelity bonds.

  1. The boards of trustees of the respective retirement systems shall provide for a blanket fidelity bond of one million dollars ($1,000,000) covering the employees of the systems or such others as may be responsible for administering the funds.
  2. The boards may pay the premiums for the bond from funds of the systems.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8.

24-2-606. Investment authority and limitations — Custodianship of assets.

  1. The Treasurer of State shall be the legal custodian of the securities of the respective retirement systems. However, the systems may deposit with the Treasurer of State, in lieu of securities, safekeeping receipts or evidence of federal bookkeeping entries.
  2. The financial institution or depository issuing the safekeeping receipts, unless issued by an agency of the federal government, shall have on file with the Treasurer of State a letter of the issuer's bonding or insurance company, stating the amount of insurance currently in force covering loss or theft of the securities.
  3. In addition, the boards of trustees of the respective retirement systems, if deemed necessary to facilitate particular investment transactions, the settlement of security transactions, redemption of particular securities, or collection of investment income, may select and designate such banks, trust companies, or central depositories as may be appropriate to act as legal custodian of their securities.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8.

24-2-607. Investment authority and limitations — Trust account.

  1. In addition to the various retirement systems funds established as trust funds in the State Treasury, a bank trust fund or funds may be established and maintained in such depository bank or banks as may be designated by the boards of trustees of the respective retirement systems.
  2. Each bank fund shall consist of and there may be deposited in the fund:
    1. All employer contributions, including any interest;
    2. All employee contributions, including any interest;
    3. Interest, dividend, and other incomes realized from investments and reinvestments;
    4. Interest earned upon any moneys in the fund; and
    5. Such other proceeds as may be derived from the sale, exchange, redemption, transfer, or disposition of any securities or investments.
  3. The following disbursements may be made from the bank funds:
    1. Payments for all securities and investments, the purchase of which is authorized by law, which may include principal, accrued interest, commission, taxes, and fees;
    2. Payments for money manager and custodian bank fees;
    3. The deposit to the appropriate State Treasury fund for the payment of annuities and refunds as authorized by law that are paid on vouchers issued by the respective retirement systems and on warrants issued thereon by the Auditor of State;
    4. The payment of annuities and refunds as authorized by law that are paid on cash fund vouchers issued by the respective retirement systems and on checks or wire transfers issued from bank funds; and
    5. The deposit to the appropriate State Treasury fund for the payments of salaries, maintenance, and operating expenses of the retirement systems supported from investment earnings.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8.

24-2-608. Investment authority and limitations — Arkansas-related investments.

  1. In acquiring, investing, reinvesting, exchanging, retaining, selling, and managing funds held by each of the trusts, fiduciaries administering the systems shall manage the funds so as to favorably impact the economic condition of and maximize capital investment in the State of Arkansas when appropriate investment alternatives are available.
  2. It is the intention of the General Assembly that, as assets become available for investment, the systems shall seek to invest not less than five percent (5%) nor more than ten percent (10%) of their portfolios in Arkansas-related investments.
  3. In calculating the percentage of Arkansas-related investments, the systems shall not include Federal National Mortgage Association investments nor Government National Mortgage Association investments.
  4. Nothing in this section shall in any way limit or impair the responsibility of a fiduciary to invest in accordance with the prudent investor rule set forth in §§ 24-2-610 — 24-2-619.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8.

24-2-609. Registration of securities in name of nominee — Powers and duties of nominee.

  1. The boards of trustees of the various state retirement systems are authorized to register stocks, bonds, notes, and other securities held by and for the systems in the name of a designated nominee.
  2. Such action as is necessary to establish a nominee and a nominee agreement may be taken.
  3. The nominee agreement shall specify that the nominee shall not have or claim any beneficial interest whatsoever in any stocks, bonds, notes, and other securities held in the name of the nominee. That is, all beneficial interest in the stocks, bonds, notes, and other securities and in the interest, dividends, and capital gains derived therefrom shall be vested in the respective state retirement systems.
  4. The nominee shall have no power to undertake any obligation on behalf of the nominee, except upon the direction of the particular state retirement system.
  5. The nominee may endorse securities and take other necessary actions in the purchase, registration, and sale of stocks, bonds, notes, and other securities, subject always to the provisions of this section.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8.

24-2-610. Prudent investor rule.

  1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section, trustees who invest and manage trust assets owe a duty to the beneficiaries of the trust to comply with the prudent investor rule set forth in §§ 24-2-610 — 24-2-619.
    1. The prudent investor rule, a default rule, may be expanded, restricted, eliminated, or otherwise altered by the provisions of a trust.
    2. Trustees are not liable to a beneficiary to the extent that the trustees acted in reasonable reliance on the provisions of the trust.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8.

24-2-611. Standard of care — Portfolio strategy — Risk and return objectives.

  1. Trustees shall invest and manage trust assets as a prudent investor would, by considering the purposes, terms, distribution requirements, and other circumstances of the trust. In satisfying this standard, the trustees shall exercise reasonable care, skill, and caution.
  2. The trustees' investment and management decisions respecting individual assets must be evaluated not in isolation but in the context of the trust portfolio as a whole and as a part of an overall investment strategy having risk and return objectives reasonably suited to the trust.
  3. Among circumstances that trustees shall consider in investing and managing trust assets are such of the following as are relevant to the trust or its beneficiaries:
    1. General economic conditions;
    2. The possible effect of inflation or deflation;
    3. The expected tax consequences of investment decisions or strategies;
    4. The role that each investment or course of action plays within the overall trust portfolio, which may include financial assets, interests in closely held enterprises, tangible and intangible personal property, and real property;
    5. The expected total return from income and the appreciation of capital;
    6. Other resources of the beneficiaries;
    7. Needs for liquidity, regularity of income, and preservation or appreciation of capital; and
    8. An asset's special relationship or special value, if any, to the purposes of the trust or to one (1) or more of the beneficiaries.
  4. Trustees shall make a reasonable effort to verify facts relevant to the investment and management of trust assets.
  5. Trustees may invest in any kind of property or type of investment consistent with the standards of this subchapter.
  6. Trustees who have special skills or expertise, or who are named trustees in reliance upon the trustees' representation that the trustees have special skills or expertise, have a duty to use their special skills or expertise.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8.

24-2-612. Diversification.

Trustees shall diversify the investments of the trust unless the trustees reasonably determine that, because of special circumstances, the purposes of the trust are better served without diversifying.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8.

24-2-613. Duties at inception of trusteeship.

  1. Within a reasonable time after accepting a trusteeship or receiving trust assets, trustees shall review the trust assets and make and implement decisions concerning the retention and disposition of assets in order to bring the trust portfolio into compliance with the purposes, terms, distribution requirements, and other circumstances of the trust and with the requirements of this subchapter.
    1. Trustees shall develop an investment policy. This policy shall be a written statement of goals for the fund and rules to be followed to achieve those goals.
    2. Trustees shall measure performance of the fund and shall measure each manager's performance against benchmarks jointly agreed upon by the trustees and managers.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8.

24-2-614. Loyalty.

Trustees shall invest and manage the trust assets solely in the interest of the members and benefit recipients of the trust.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8.

24-2-615. Impartiality.

If a trust has two (2) or more beneficiaries, the trustees shall act impartially in investing and managing the trust assets, taking into account any differing interests of the beneficiaries.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8.

24-2-616. Investment costs — Limitations on investment authority.

  1. In investing and managing trust assets, trustees may only incur costs that are appropriate and reasonable in relation to the assets, the purposes of the trust, and the skills of the trustee.
  2. Trustees may delegate investment functions to an agent that a prudent trustee of comparable skills could properly delegate as provided in § 24-2-618.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8.

24-2-617. Reviewing compliance.

Compliance with the prudent investor rule is determined in light of the facts and circumstances existing at the time of the trustees' decisions or actions and is not determined by hindsight.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8.

Publisher's Notes. The prudent investor rule, referred to in this section, is codified as §§ 24-2-61024-2-619.

24-2-618. Delegation of investment and management functions.

  1. Trustees may delegate investment and management functions that a prudent trustee of comparable skills could properly delegate under the circumstances. The trustees shall exercise reasonable care, skill, and caution in:
    1. Selecting an agent;
    2. Establishing the scope and terms of the delegation, consistent with the purposes and terms of the trust; and
    3. Reviewing periodically the agent's actions in order to monitor the agent's performance and compliance with the terms of the delegation.
  2. In performing a delegated function, an agent owes a duty to the trust to exercise reasonable care to comply with the terms of the delegation.
  3. Trustees who complied with the requirements of subsection (a) of this section are not liable to the beneficiaries or to the trust for the decisions or actions of the agent to whom the function was delegated.
  4. By accepting the delegation of a trust function from the trustees of a trust that is subject to the law of this state, an agent submits to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state.
  5. Single agent or exclusive agency delegations by the trustees shall be discouraged. Trustees shall delegate investment and management functions to a single agent or an exclusive agency arrangement only after the trustee has determined that the exclusive agency arrangement is in the best interest of the trust, has exercised extraordinary care and caution in selecting the exclusive agent, and has arranged to periodically review in detail the agent's actions to monitor the agent's performance and compliance with the terms of the delegation.
    1. Notwithstanding the Arkansas Procurement Law, § 19-11-201 et seq., the boards of trustees of the respective state retirement systems shall promptly implement their investment directives consistent with the duty of care required of a fiduciary under the prudent investor rules in this chapter.
    2. If in the capacity as fiduciary, the trustees deem it appropriate to immediately retain an investment manager or to alter the terms of an existing agreement with an investment manager, the trustees shall:
      1. Pass a resolution stating the reason for the immediate retention of the investment manager;
      2. State the anticipated date of implementation; and
      3. Provide the Office of State Procurement and the staff of the Review Subcommittee of the Legislative Council the information contained in subdivisions (f)(2)(A) and (B) of this section within five (5) business days.
    3. As required by the Review Subcommittee of the Legislative Council, a member of the board of trustees or the director of the respective retirement system fund shall appear before the next occurring meeting of that body to explain the details of the professional services contracts in question.
    1. The length of a contract or other investment agreement and any renewal or extension of the contract or other investment agreement may be agreed upon by a state retirement system and the other party to the contract or other investment agreement and is exempt from the mandatory expiration provisions under the Arkansas Procurement Law, § 19-11-201 et seq., if the contract or other investment agreement is procured under the Arkansas Procurement Law, § 19-11-201 et seq., and the purpose of the contract or other investment agreement is to:
      1. Invest and manage a system's trust assets under § 24-2-610;
      2. Provide actuarial services to determine the liabilities and financial status of a state retirement plan;
      3. Retain custody of a system's trust assets; or
      4. Protect and recover trust assets of a system.
    2. The board of trustees of a state retirement system shall determine the duration of the contract or other investment agreement and any renewal or extension of the contract or other investment agreement by negotiating with the other party to the contract or other investment agreement for the most favorable rates and terms for the state retirement system based on:
      1. Market competition;
      2. Experience of the other party to the contract or other investment agreement;
      3. Knowledge of the state retirement system's need; and
      4. Compliance with the prudent investor rule set forth in §§ 24-2-610 -- 24-2-619.
    3. The board of trustees of a state retirement system shall submit information requested by the Legislative Council concerning a contract or other investment agreement procured under the Arkansas Procurement Law, § 19-11-201 et seq.
    4. A partial equity ownership agreement between a state retirement system and another party shall be reviewed under § 19-11-1301 et seq.
    5. If a contract with a consultant to provide a state retirement system consulting services, to recommend investment managers and investment funds, or for the investment of trust funds of the state retirement system under this subsection is extended, an amendment, acknowledged by the consultant in writing, shall be added to the contract extension that:
      1. States that the State of Arkansas and the state retirement system have a statutory goal to recruit and hire emerging managers and emerging investment funds consistent with the prudent investor rule;
        1. Requires the consultant to submit a report to the state public retirement system that describes the plan or process the consultant will use to recruit and hire emerging managers and emerging investment funds.
        2. The consultant shall provide an emerging manager update on the progress made in the previous fiscal year to the state retirement system no later than sixty (60) days after the end of the fiscal year that details the consultant's processes in locating, analyzing, evaluating, and performing due diligence activity on emerging managers; and
        1. Allows a state retirement system to refer or recommend a specific emerging manager or emerging investment fund to the consultant.
        2. A state retirement system that makes a referral may request a report concerning the outcome of a referral from the consultant.
    6. At the request of the Joint Committee on Public Retirement and Social Security Programs or the Legislative Council, a state retirement system shall appear and make a presentation concerning the recruitment and hiring of emerging managers and emerging investment funds.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8; 2009, No. 79, § 1; 2013, No. 304, § 1.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment added (f).

The 2013 amendment added (g).

24-2-619. Language invoking standard of subchapter.

The following terms or comparable language in the provisions of a trust, unless otherwise limited or modified, authorizes any investment or strategy permitted under this subchapter:

  1. “Investments permissible by law for investment of trust funds”;
  2. “Legal investments”;
  3. “Authorized investments”;
  4. “Using the judgment and care under the circumstances then prevailing that persons of prudence, discretion, and intelligence exercise in the management of their own affairs, not in regard to speculation but in regard to the permanent disposition of their funds, considering the probable income as well as the probable safety of their capital”;
  5. “Prudent man rule”;
  6. “Prudent trustee rule”;
  7. “Prudent person rule”; and
  8. “Prudent investor rule”.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8.

Subchapter 7 — Arkansas Public Employee Retirement Plans

Effective Dates. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 69: Feb. 8, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act makes technical corrections to a number of sections of Arkansas Code Title 24; that other legislation of this session of the General Assembly may also amend some of those sections; that this act should become effective immediately so that other legislation may be amended to reflect the technical corrections made by this act and to avoid conflicts. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2003, No. 340, § 2: July 1, 2003. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that economic conditions have caused the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System to suffer losses in the value of its financial assets; that the loss of asset value has created an unfunded actuarial accrued liability exceeding the standard thirty (30) year amortization period set by Arkansas law; that increasing the employer contribution rate will add to the asset values for the system and eventually return the system to financial balance; and that this act is immediately necessary because increases in the employer contribution rates can best be implemented over the summer between school years. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2003.”

Acts 2005, No. 1968, § 3: July 1, 2005. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that certain changes are necessary to allow the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System to set employer contribution rates; that the members of the system will benefit from these changes; and that the most effective time to make changes to the retirement system is at the beginning of the state's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2005.”

Acts 2006 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 19, § 10: Apr. 11, 2006. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the Arkansas Supreme Court declared the public school funding system to be inadequate and that public schools are operating under a constitutional infirmity which must be corrected immediately; that to correct the constitutional infirmity and to ensure adequate funding for public education, the General Assembly must revise the public school funding formula, revise laws regarding public school facilities, provide funding for retirement increases and limit additional increases; and enact other necessary reform measures; and that this act is immediately necessary to ensure that reform measures are available to public schools for the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 school years. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2019, No. 427, § 23: July 1, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that certain provisions of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System Act, an act that created a state agency for the purpose of providing retirement benefits to school employees of the state, are in need of revision and updating to maintain the teacher retirement laws in conformance with sound public pension policy; that the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System operates on a fiscal year of July 1 to June 30; that a July 1, 2019 effective date is necessary to allow the provisions of this act to begin on the first day of the fiscal year and to provide for the proper administration of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System; that the updates and revisions to the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System Act are of great importance for actuarial purposes and the protection of member benefits under the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System; and that this act is necessary in order to maintain an orderly system of benefits for the members of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2019”.

Acts 2019, No. 910, § 6346(b): July 1, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act revises the duties of certain state entities; that this act establishes new departments of the state; that these revisions impact the expenses and operations of state government; and that the sections of this act other than the two uncodified sections of this act preceding the emergency clause titled ‘Funding and classification of cabinet-level department secretaries’ and ‘Transformation and Efficiencies Act transition team’ should become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year to allow for implementation of the new provisions at the beginning of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and Sections 1 through 6343 of this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2019”.

24-2-701. Financial objectives and actuarial valuation.

  1. The general financial objective of each Arkansas public employee retirement plan shall be to establish and receive contributions that, expressed as percentages of active member payroll, will remain approximately level from generation to generation of state citizens. More specifically, contributions received each year shall be sufficient both:
    1. To fully cover the costs of benefit commitments being made to members for their service being rendered in that year; and
      1. To make a level payment that if paid annually over a reasonable period of future years will fully cover the unfunded costs of benefit commitments for service previously rendered.
      2. Alternatively, if the costs of benefit commitments for service previously rendered are overfunded, the plan may deduct a level payment that if deducted annually over a reasonable period of future years will fully liquidate the overfunded portion of such costs.
  2. Each state public employee retirement plan shall cause an actuarial valuation of the plan or fund to be made at least biennially, and preferably annually, to determine how well the plan is meeting the objectives set forth in subsection (a) of this section.
  3. The employer contribution rates to the retirement systems shall be as follows:
      1. For the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System shall establish employer contribution rates prospectively each year.
      2. The employer contribution rates shall be based on the actuary's determination of the rate required to fund the plan as necessary to meet the general financial objective set forth in subsection (a) of this section.
      3. The employer contribution rates shall be the rates determined by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System under § 24-7-401(c) and based on the annual actuarial valuation of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System;
    1. For the State Police Retirement System, twenty-two percent (22%); and
      1. For the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall establish employer contribution rates prospectively each year, and the rates shall be based on the actuary's determination of the rate required to fund the plan in accordance with the objectives set forth in subsection (a) of this section.
      2. The employer contribution rates shall be the rates determined by the annual actuarial valuation.
  4. Subsection (c) of this section shall not be construed as affecting in any way the existing methods of determining the years of credited service for computing benefits or determining retirement eligibility.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8; 2003, No. 340, § 1; 2005, No. 1968, § 1; 2006 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 19, § 8; 2007, No. 403, § 1; 2019, No. 427, § 1.

A.C.R.C. Notes. House Concurrent Resolution, No. 1003, Acts 2006 (1st Ex. Sess.), provided:

“WHEREAS, call item 13 allows for the consideration of bills concerning the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System employer contribution rate at the First Extraordinary Session of the 85th General Assembly; and WHEREAS, Arkansas Code § 10-2-115 and Rule 16(d) of the Joint Rules of the House of Representatives and the Senate provides that a bill affecting any publicly supported retirement system or systems shall not be introduced or considered at any special session of the General Assembly unless the introduction and consideration of the bill is first approved by a three-fourths (¾) vote of the full membership of each house of the General Assembly, NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE EIGHTY-FIFTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN:

“That the House of Representatives and the Senate hereby authorize the introduction and consideration of bills providing that for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2006, and June 30, 2007, the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System employer contribution rate shall not exceed fourteen percent (14%).”

The date “June 20, 2009” in subdivision (c)(1)(D) of this section does not appear to be correct. The date should probably be “June 30, 2009”.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment deleted “for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2008, and June 30, 2009” preceding “the Board of Trustees” in (c)(1)(A); substituted “as necessary to meet the general financial objective” for “in accordance with the objectives” in (c)(1)(B); substituted “under § 24-7-401(c) and based on the annual actuarial valuation of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System” for “based on the annual actuarial valuation” in (c)(1)(C); and deleted (c)(1)(D).

24-2-702. Reports.

  1. Each Arkansas public employees' retirement system shall have an annual financial audit performed by Arkansas Legislative Audit and prepared in accordance with the financial accounting and reporting standards set forth for public pension plans by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.
    1. In addition, if approved by the board of trustees of an Arkansas public employees' retirement system, a system may also select another independent auditor to perform a separate financial audit of the respective system.
    2. Prior to entering the contract for the additional audit, the public employees' retirement system shall provide the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee the reasons, in writing, for the need of the additional financial audit.
    3. All contracts for audits shall be in compliance with the state's fiscal laws and rules.
    4. A copy of each audit report prepared by another independent auditor shall be provided to the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee, the Legislative Council, and the Governor.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8; 2019, No. 315, § 2847.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment substituted “rules” for “regulations” in (b)(3).

24-2-703. Tax exemptions.

  1. The assets of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, the State Police Retirement System, the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System, the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System, and the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System are exempt from taxes by the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof.
    1. It is the purpose of this section to provide equitable tax treatment to persons receiving benefits from alternate publicly supported retirement or annuity plans of the state's colleges and universities and the Division of Higher Education.
    2. It is not the intent of this section to reduce the income tax exemption provided by law to any person in regard to retirement or survivor benefits.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 8; 2019, No. 910, § 2364.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment substituted “Division of Higher Education” for “Department of Higher Education” in (b)(1).

Case Notes

System Asset Not Exempt from Ad Valorem Taxation.

Shopping center owned by the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System was not exempt from ad valorem taxation, under Ark. Const. Art. 16, § 5(b), despite this section and § 24-7-204, purportedly exempting the property, because (1) the statutes had to yield to the Arkansas Constitution, under which public property was only exempt if the property was used exclusively for a public purpose, and (2) it was undisputed that the property was leased to private businesses. Ark. Teacher Ret. Sys. v. Short, 2011 Ark. 263, 381 S.W.3d 834 (2011).

24-2-704. Retirement in event of government reorganization.

  1. In the event of any structural reorganization of state government operations, all current employees, appointees, trustees, and commissioners of any affected agency, board, or commission shall remain associated with the state-supported retirement system that existed for them as of the date immediately prior to the reorganization.
    1. Member employers and employees of any state-supported retirement system shall remain covered by their respective systems.
    2. The transition of any state agency or other political subdivision of the state from one state-supported retirement system to another shall be accomplished through enabling legislation in the Eighty-fifth General Assembly.
    3. In the event of a retirement coverage transition, there shall be no transfer of service from one retirement system to another. Instead, the provisions of §§ 24-2-402 — 24-2-405, 24-2-407, and 24-2-408 shall be in full force and effect.

History. Acts 2003, No. 751, § 1.

Chapter 3 Uniform Benefits — Financing, Accounting, and Reporting Standards. [Repealed.]

24-3-101 — 24-3-426. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This chapter was repealed by Acts 2001, No. 151, § 9. The chapter was derived from the following sources:

24-3-101. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3301.

24-3-102. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 2; 1979, No. 650, §§ 1-3; 1983, No. 625, § 1; 1985, No. 271, § 2; 1985, No. 750, § 1; 1985, No. 910, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3302; Acts 1987, No. 493, § 2; 1989, No. 966, § 1; 1991, No. 208, §§ 1-3; 1991, No. 672, § 1; 1991, No. 845, § 2; 1991, No. 970, § 1; 1993, No. 403, § 16; 1993, No. 975, § 1; 1993, No. 1097, § 1; 1997, No. 299, § 26(a); 1997, No. 485, § 3; 1997, No. 1137, § 1; 1999, No. 104, § 1.

24-3-103. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 6; 1981, No. 286, § 6; 1985, No. 994, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3306; Acts 1987, No. 732, §§ 1, 2; 1989, No. 718, § 1; 1991, No. 431, § 1; 1997, No. 299, § 1; 2001, No. 67, § 1.

24-3-104. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 8; 1981, No. 286, § 7; 1985, No. 412, § 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3308; Acts 1987, No. 9, § 2; 1994 (2nd Ex. Sess.), No. 52, § 1; 1997, No. 299, § 2.

24-3-105. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 9; 1979, No. 892, § 1; 1981, No. 468, §§ 1, 2; 1983, No. 618, § 1; 1985, No. 486, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-3309, 12-3310.

24-3-106. Acts 1983, No. 625, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3311; Acts 1989, No. 669, § 1; 1997, No. 485, § 4; 1999, No. 325, § 10.

24-3-201. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 5; 1979, No. 650, § 8; 1985, No. 938, §§ 9, 13; 1985, No. 994, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3305; Acts 1987, No. 951, § 1; 1991, No. 208, § 4; 1991, No. 224, § 1; 1993, No. 432, § 1; 1993, No. 975, § 2; 1995, No. 628, § 1; 1995, No. 962, § 2; 1995, No. 1356, § 1; 1997, No. 299, § 3; 1997, No. 318, § 2; 1997, No. 1053, § 22; 1999, No. 496, § 1.

24-3-202. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 5; 1979, No. 650, § 14; 1981, No. 894, § 6; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3305.

24-3-203. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 5; 1979, No. 650, § 13; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3305; Acts 1991, No. 661, § 1; 1993, No. 1200, § 1; 1997, No. 266, § 1.

24-3-204. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3305.

24-3-205. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3305; Acts 1987, No. 477, § 2; 1991, No. 432, § 1; 1997, No. 299, § 4; 1999, No. 39, § 1.

24-3-206. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 5; 1979, No. 650, § 10; 1985, No. 938, § 10; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3305; Acts 1987, No. 357, § 1; 1987, No. 737, § 2; 1993, No. 432, § 2; 1995, No. 1356, § 2; 1997, No. 299, § 5; 1997, No. 485, § 6; 1997, No. 1053, § 23.

24-3-207. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 5; 1979, No. 650, § 9; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3305; Acts 1995, No. 1356, § 3; 1997, No. 1053, § 24.

24-3-208. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 5; 1981, No. 894, § 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3305; Acts 1995, No. 1356, § 4; 1997, No. 1053, § 25; 1999, No. 325, § 3; 1999, No. 868, § 2.

24-3-209. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 5; 1979, No. 650 § 11; 1981, No. 894, § 3; 1983, No. 637, § 2; 1983, No. 677, § 2; 1985, No. 938, § 12; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3305; Acts 1991, No. 208, § 5; 1991, No. 463, § 1; 1991, No. 845, § 3; 1993, No. 432, §§ 3, 4; 1997, No. 299, § 6; 1999, No. 325, § 4; 1999, No. 1450, § 1.

24-3-210. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3305.

24-3-212. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3305.

24-3-213. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3305.

24-3-214. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 3; 1979, No. 650, § 4; 1980 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 58, § 1; 1981, No. 482, § 1; 1981, No. 894, § 1; 1983, No. 677, § 4; 1985, No. 938, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3303; Acts 1993, No. 432, § 5; 1993, No. 1091, § 1.

24-3-215. Acts 1985, No. 310, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3303.1; Acts 1995, No. 666, § 1.

24-3-216. Acts 1987, No. 187, §§ 3, 4, 8, 9; 1987 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 17, § 1.

24-3-217. Acts 1987, No. 717, §§ 2-4; 1987 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 17, § 2; 1991, No. 1141, § 1.

24-3-218. Acts 1995, No. 738, § 2.

24-3-301. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 4; 1981, No. 894, § 2; 1983, No. 677, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3304; Acts 1991, No. 208, § 6; 1991, No. 845, § 1; 1995, No. 1356, § 5; 1997, No. 485, § 7; 1999, No. 1587, § 1.

24-3-302. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 4; 1979, No. 650, §§ 5, 6; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3304; Acts 1989, No. 160, § 1.

24-3-303. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 4; 1979, No. 650, § 7; 1981, No. 482, § 2; 1983, No. 679, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3304; Acts 1995, No. 949, § 3; 1997, No. 857, § 3; 1999, No. 325, § 5; 1999, No. 537, § 3.

24-3-304. Acts 1999, No. 868, § 1.

24-3-401. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 7; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3307; Acts 1997, No. 1194, § 1.

24-3-402. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 7; 1981, No. 495, §§ 1, 2; 1983, No. 434, § 1; 1983, No. 678, § 1; 1985, No. 412, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3307; Acts 1997, No. 1194, § 2.

24-3-404. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 7; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3307.

24-3-405. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 7; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3307.

24-3-406. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 7; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3307.

24-3-408. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 7; 1981, No. 495, § 4; 1985, No. 412, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3307.

24-3-409. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 7; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3307; Acts 1989, No. 153, § 1; 1991, No. 222, § 1.

24-3-414. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 7; 1985, No. 412, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3307; Acts 1997, No. 1194, § 3.

24-3-415. Acts 1979, No. 522, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3307.1.

24-3-417. Acts 1997, No. 1194, § 4.

24-3-418. Acts 1997, No. 1194, § 4.

24-3-419. Acts 1997, No. 1194, § 4.

24-3-420. Acts 1997, No. 1194, § 4.

24-3-421. Acts 1997, No. 1194, § 4.

24-3-422. Acts 1997, No. 1194, § 4.

24-3-423. Acts 1997, No. 1194, § 4; 1999, No. 555, § 11.

24-3-424. Acts 1997, No. 1194, § 4.

24-3-425. Acts 1997, No. 1194, § 4.

24-3-426. Acts 1997, No. 1194, § 4.

Section 24-3-103 was amended by Acts 2001, No. 67, and repealed by Acts 2001, No. 151. The repeal by Acts 2001, No. 151, was deemed to supersede the amendment by Acts 2001, No. 67.

Section 24-3-107, concerning benefits for State Capitol Police, was repealed by Acts 1999, No. 325, § 11. The section was derived from Acts 1993, No. 1097, §§ 2,3; 1997, No. 485, § 5.

Section 24-3-211, concerning limitations on benefits to employed retirant, was repealed by Acts 1987, No. 525, § 1. The section was derived from Acts 1977, No. 793, § 5; 1979, No. 650, § 12; 1981, No. 894, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3305.

Section 24-3-403, concerning investment authority and limitations and required recommendation, was repealed by Acts 1997, No. 1194, § 7. The section was derived from Acts 1977, No. 793, § 7; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3307; Acts 1989, No. 302, § 1.

Section 24-3-407, concerning investment authority and limitations and competitive awards, was repealed by Acts 1997, No. 1194, § 7. The section was derived from Acts 1977, No. 793, § 7; 1981, No. 495, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3307; Acts 1989, No. 302, § 2.

Sections 24-3-410 — 24-3-413, concerning investment authority and limitations and investment counsel; prudent investor rule; loan of securities and covered call options, were repealed by Acts 1997, No. 1194, § 7. The sections were derived from the following sources:

24-3-410. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 7; 1985, No. 1009, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3307; Acts 1989, No. 302, § 3; 1993, No. 403, § 17.

24-3-411. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 7; 1985, No. 412, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3307.

24-3-412. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 7; 1981, No. 495, § 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3307; Acts 1989, No. 652, § 10.

24-3-413. Acts 1977, No. 793, § 7; 1981, No. 495, § 6; 1983, No. 434, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-3307.

Section 24-3-416, concerning divestment of investments in South Africa, was repealed by Acts 1994 (2nd Ex. Sess.), No. 52, § 1. The section was derived from Acts 1977, No. 793, § 7; 1987, No. 9, § 1.

For present law, see §§ 24-2-601 et seq. and 24-2-701 et seq.

Chapter 4 Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System

A.C.R.C. Notes. References to “this chapter” in §§ 24-4-10124-4-202, 24-4-20524-4-304, 24-4-40124-4-501, 24-4-507, 24-4-508, 24-4-51024-4-514, 24-4-51624-4-603, 24-4-60524-4-619, 24-4-70424-4-707, 24-4-710, 24-4-712, 24-4-714, 24-4-723, 24-4-724, 24-4-726, 24-4-727, 24-4-729, 24-4-732, 24-4-733, 24-4-737, 24-4-73924-4-742, and 24-4-74524-4-747 may not apply to §§ 24-4-108, 24-4-109, 24-4-111,24-4-743 — 24-4-752, 24-4-212, 24-4-80124-4-806, 24-4-901, 24-4-100124-4-1004, and 24-4-110124-4-1109 which were enacted subsequently.

Acts 2019, No. 910, § 6341, provided: “Effect of transfer on retirement system membership and health insurance plan participation.

“(a) As used in this section, ‘retirement system’ means:

“(1) The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, established by the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System Act, § 24-7-201 et seq.;

“(2) The Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System, established by § 24-5-103;

“(3) The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, established by § 24-4-103;

“(4) The State Police Retirement System, established by § 24-6-203;

“(5) The Arkansas Judicial Retirement System, established by § 24-8-201 et seq.;

“(6) An alternate retirement plan for:

“(A) A college, university, or the Department of Higher Education provided for under § 24-7-801 et seq.; and

“(B) A vocational-technical school or the Department of Career Education provided for under § 24-7-901 et seq.;

“(7) The Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System provided for under § 24-10-101 et seq.; and

“(8) A firemen's relief and pension fund or a policemen's pension and relief fund provided for under § 24-11-101 et seq.

“(b) If this act results in an employee who is a current member of a retirement system prior to the effective date of this act being transferred to or affiliated with a cabinet-level department that is covered by a different retirement system than his or her previous state entity, the employee may, within one hundred eighty (180) days of the effective date of this act by written election and notice to the new employer and affected retirement system, make a one-time choice to:

“(1) Remain in his or her same retirement system prior to the effective date of this act, under the same conditions then provided by law or as may later be provided by law; or

“(2) Become a member of the retirement system of the cabinet-level department to which the employee is transferred to or affiliated with under this act, under the same conditions for a reciprocal member to be transferred as an active member to a reciprocal system as currently provided by law under the system to which the reciprocal member is transferred.

“(c) If this act results in an employee being transferred to or affiliated with a cabinet-level department that is covered by a different health insurance plan than his or her previous state entity, the employee may, within one hundred eighty (180) days of the effective date of this act, make a one-time choice between:

“(1) Continuing to participate in his or her health insurance plan prior to the effective date of this act, under the same conditions then provided by law or as may later be provided by law; or

“(2) Participating in the health insurance plan of the cabinet-level department to which the employee is transferred to or affiliated with under this act, under the same conditions then provided by law or as may later be provided by law.

“(d)(1)(A) A retirement system may issue policies establishing the procedure for an employee to exercise benefit options under subsection (b) of this section.

“(B) The State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board may issue policies establishing the procedure for an employee to exercise benefit options under subsection (c) of this section.

“(2) A policy under subdivision (d)(1) of this section is not a rule under the Arkansas Administrative Procedure Act, § 25-15-201 et seq.”

Effective Dates. Acts 1997, No. 299, § 28: July 1, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that certain provisions of law governing the Public Employees' Retirement System need clarification, standardization, and repeal and that the effective administration of State government makes it necessary for these changes to begin at the start of the State's fiscal year. Therefore, in order to promote sound fiscal administration of State government, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall become effective July 1, 1997.”

Research References

Am. Jur. 60 Am. Jur. 2d, Pensions, § 39 et seq.

C.J.S. 67 C.J.S., Officers, § 243 et seq.

70 C.J.S., Pensions, § 1 et seq.

81A C.J.S., States, § 112 et seq.

Subchapter 1 — General Provisions

Cross References. Deferred compensation plans, § 21-5-501 et seq.

Nonteaching public school employees' retirement fund, § 24-7-1101.

Reciprocity of service credits with other retirement systems provided, § 24-2-401 et seq.

Transfer from state employees' retirement system to judicial retirement system, §§ 24-8-214, 24-8-312.

Effective Dates. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 17: Mar. 7, 1957. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that the establishment of a State Employees Retirement System is necessary in order to retain and recruit efficient and skilled state employees and that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary in order that the Board of Trustees herein created be appointed, organize and establish the necessary rules and forms to be followed upon the establishment of the retirement system herein created on July 1, 1957. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1959, No. 42, § 16: Feb. 13, 1959. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that the coverage of county employees in a retirement system is necessary in order to retain and recruit efficient and skilled county employees; that the coverage is best obtained by including the county employees in the membership of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System, established by Act 177 of 1957, as amended; that it is necessary for the Board of Trustees of said Arkansas State Employees Retirement System to organize and establish necessary rules, regulations and forms to effectuate said coverage of county employees. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1961, No. 64, § 9: Feb. 9, 1961. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that the coverage of municipal employees in a retirement system is necessary in order to retain and recruit efficient and skilled municipal employees; that the coverage is best obtained by permitting the inclusion of municipal employees in the membership of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System, established by Act 177 of 1957, as amended; that the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System shall establish necessary rules, regulations and forms to effectuate said coverage of municipal employees. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1965, No. 153, § 15: Mar. 9, 1965. Emergency clause provided: “This act shall take effect and be in force from the date of its approval.”

Acts 1975, No. 907, § 22: Apr. 7, 1975. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that provisions of this Act clarify coverage, service credits, and eligibility for benefits under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System; and in order to enable those persons who are eligible for such coverage, service credits, or benefits thereunder to obtain such without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1975 (Extended Sess., 1976), No. 1159, § 4: Feb. 11, 1976. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that some employees who are receiving benefits from local fire and police benefits, have also been making contributions to the Public Employees Retirement System. It is further determined that the law as it presently stands, will not allow benefits to be paid to those employees, upon reaching normal age and service eligibility, as they otherwise would be entitled to. The immediate passage of this Act is therefore necessary in order for the Public Employees Retirement System to be making benefit payments to such employees immediately upon their retirement. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1979, No. 715, § 9: July 1, 1979. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that various provisions of the Public Retirement laws need further clarification in order for their meaning to be comprehensible to members of the systems and administrators. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1979.”

Acts 1981, No. 859, § 19: Mar. 28, 1981. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that various provisions of Act 177 of 1957, as amended, need further clarification in order for their meaning to be comprehensible to members of the system and administrators. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1983, No. 42, § 5: July 1, 1983. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the Public Employees Retirement System law needs to be amended to allow otherwise eligible employees, who are now denied membership in such System because of previous membership in TIAA, to participate in such retirement system. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1983.”

Acts 1983, No. 575, § 3: Mar. 21, 1983. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that the coverage of LOPFI employees in a retirement system is necessary in order to retain and recruit efficient and skilled LOPFI employees; that the coverage is best obtained by permitting the inclusion of LOPFI employees in the membership of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System, established by Act 177 of 1957, as amended; that the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System shall establish necessary rules, regulations and forms to effectuate said coverage of LOPFI employees. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1985, No. 7, § 3: Jan. 29, 1985. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that only one of the non-State employee members of the Board of Trustees of PERS may be a retired member of the System; that this restriction is obsolete; and that this Act is immediately necessary to allow the filling of a non-State employee vacancy on the Board (which will occur in March 1985) by a non-State employee who is a retired member of PERS. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1987, No. 461, § 5: Mar. 30, 1987. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the current retirement law defining employee is unclear; that such should be revised to specifically include prosecuting attorneys of judicial districts; that the purchase of service credit should be expanded for certain employees; that the immediate passage of this act is necessary to preserve the public health, welfare, and safety. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1987, No. 988, § 4: Apr. 14, 1987. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that because of the case Ricarte v. State, CR 86-31, a question has arisen over the validity of Act 1159 of the Extended Session of 1976; that this Act is a reenactment of the former law; and that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary to clarify the state of the law on this issue. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1989, No. 160, § 6: Feb. 21, 1989. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the present law is not clear in its meaning and could result in inequities; and that this should be remedied immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1991, No. 331, § 6: July 1, 1991. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Eighth General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the effectiveness of this act on July 1, 1991, is essential to the operation of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System and that in the event of an extension of the Regular Session, the delay in the effective date of this act beyond July 1, 1991, could work irreparable harm upon the proper administration and provision of essential governmental programs. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1991.”

Acts 1991, No. 757, § 6: July 1, 1991. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Eighth General Assembly that the effectiveness of this act on July 1, 1991 is essential to the operation of the state agencies and the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System; that in the event of an extension of the Regular Session, the delay in the effective date of this act beyond July 1, 1991 could work irreparable harm upon the proper administration and provision of essential governmental programs. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1991.”

Acts 1995, No. 398, § 9: July 1, 1995. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eightieth General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the effectiveness of this act on July 1, 1995, is essential to the operation of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1995.”

Acts 1995, No. 1292, § 9: July 1, 1995. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that employees of Rural Waterworks Facilities Boards created by Act 617 of 1995 should be entitled to participate in the Public Employees Retirement System at the beginning of the next fiscal year; and that unless this emergency clause is adopted this act might not become effective until after the beginning of the next fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1995.”

Acts 1997, No. 76, § 10: July 1, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the Intergovernmental Juvenile Detention Council of the Tenth Judicial District created by uncodified Act 899 of 1995 should be entitled to participate in the Public Employees Retirement System at the beginning of the next fiscal year; and that unless this emergency clause is adopted this act might not become effective until after the beginning of the next fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be effective from and after July 1, 1997.”

Acts 1997, No. 250, § 258: Feb. 24, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that Act 1211 of 1995 established the procedure for all state boards and commissions to follow regarding reimbursement of expenses and stipends for board members; that this act amends various sections of the Arkansas Code which are in conflict with the Act 1211 of 1995; and that until this cleanup act becomes effective conflicting laws will exist. Therefore an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governer, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 1997, No. 299, § 28: July 1, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that certain provisions of law governing the Public Employees' Retirement System need clarification, standardization, and repeal and that the effective administration of State government makes it necessary for these changes to begin at the start of the State's fiscal year. Therefore, in order to promote sound fiscal administration of State government, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall become effective July 1, 1997.”

Acts 1997, No. 1137, § 9: July 1, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and the Teacher Retirement System were created to benefit the public employees and the employees of the public educational institutions and school districts of Arkansas; that increases in both the retirement system's asset values allow for increases in systems members' benefits; that most retirements under the Public Employees' Retirement System and the Teacher Retirement System are effective on July 1 and any delay in the effective date of this act beyond July 1, 1997 will cause an undue hardship in administering this act. Therefore, in order to promote the sound fiscal administration of State government, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall become effective July 1, 1997.”

Acts 1999, No. 325, § 17: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly, that certain provisions of the law governing the Public Employees Retirement System need to be amended concerning eligibility, death benefits, and disability benefits, and that the effective administration of state government makes it necessary for these changes to begin at the start of the state's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 884, § 6: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that for the effective administration of this act, this act should become effective on July 1, 1999. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 1325, § 14: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that Act 311 of 1999 changes the amount of additional monthly benefits in the State Highway Employees' Retirement System and they are necessary for the continued financial stability of the current retirees, that clarifications are needed in order to make Act 311 take effect in an orderly fashion, that these changes in Act 311 must then take effect at the same time Act 311 becomes effective, and that it is necessary to implement the changes in benefits at the beginning of the current fiscal year. Therefore an emergency is declared to exist and this act, except for Sections 2 and 3, being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 2001, No. 151, § 69: Feb. 8, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act makes technical corrections to a number of sections of Arkansas Code Title 24; that other legislation of this session of the General Assembly may also amend some of those sections; that this act should become effective immediately so that other legislation may be amended to reflect the technical corrections made by this act and to avoid conflicts. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2001, No. 1299, § 2: Apr. 5, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly that there is uncertainty caused by the provision in Arkansas Code 24-4-106 which provides for the elimination of retirement plans by attrition, by issues related to the integration of state and federal retirement laws, and by litigation to interpret the existing law; and that this act is immediately necessary to eliminate uncertainty and to protect the retirement systems, covered employers, and affected employees. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2005, No. 2084, § 5: July 1, 2005. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that for the effective administration of this act and to avoid undue harm to the members and benefit recipients of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System that this act should become effective on July 1, 2005. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2005.”

Acts 2007, No. 799, § 4: July 1, 2007. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act affects the consideration of retirement benefits in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and that the ideal and most efficient time to make revisions to the consideration of retirement benefits is at the beginning of the state's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2007.”

Acts 2009, No. 616, § 3: July 1, 2009. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly that the provisions of this act change the calculation of compensation for retirement purposes and should become effective on July 1, 2009, for consistent application and to avoid confusion; and that unless this emergency clause is adopted, this act will not go into effect until after the beginning of the next fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 2009.”

Acts 2011, No. 20, § 5: Feb. 9, 2011. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System currently requires that retirement contributions be based on a member's base salary plus any multipliers; that retirement contributions and benefits should be determined based on a member's base salary and not any multipliers or special salary allowances; and that this act is immediately necessary to clarify the meaning of the term ‘compensation’ for purposes of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2011, No. 38, § 11: Feb. 16, 2011. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the public retirement systems provide economic security for eligible citizens of Arkansas; that the statutes need amending to update and clarify existing law; and that these changes need to be made immediately. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2013, No. 332, § 13: Mar. 14, 2013. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that it is vital that the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System be permitted to immediately implement policies regarding the termination of employment, eligibility of employees to receive benefits, availability of information, and when to pay interest on employee contributions; and to clarify the meaning of terms in the Arkansas Code of 1987 Annotated to avoid the undue consumption of the system's resources. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2017, No. 311, § 4: Mar. 1, 2017. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that when a vacancy occurs in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, the Governor must be able to immediately appoint a trustee to fill the vacancy; that on the effective date of this act, the provisions of this act should apply to the current members of the board; and that this act shall become effective immediately in order to maintain the stability of the system and to avoid undue harm to the members and benefit recipients of the system. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2019, No. 910, § 6346(b): July 1, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act revises the duties of certain state entities; that this act establishes new departments of the state; that these revisions impact the expenses and operations of state government; and that the sections of this act other than the two uncodified sections of this act preceding the emergency clause titled ‘Funding and classification of cabinet-level department secretaries’ and ‘Transformation and Efficiencies Act transition team’ should become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year to allow for implementation of the new provisions at the beginning of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and Sections 1 through 6343 of this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2019”.

24-4-101. Definitions.

As used in this act:

  1. “Accumulated contributions” means the sum of all amounts deducted from the compensations of a member and credited to his or her individual account in the member's deposit account, together with regular interest as may have been credited thereon;
  2. “Actual service” means service credited at the rate of one (1) month for each month of service;
  3. “Actuarial equivalent” means a benefit of equal reserve value when “reserve” means the present value of all payments to be made on account of any benefit based upon such reasonable rates of interest and tables of experience as a plan shall adopt from time to time;
  4. “Actuary” means a qualified actuary with experience in retirement plan financing. Membership in the American Academy of Actuaries shall be sufficient for a person to be deemed a qualified actuary;
  5. “Age” means age on last birthday;
    1. “Annuity” means a monthly amount payable from funds of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System throughout the life of a person.
    2. All annuities shall be paid in equal monthly installments;
  6. “Annuity reserve” means the present value of an annuity computed upon the basis of mortality and other such tables of experience and regular interest, as the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall adopt;
  7. “Beneficiary” means any person except a retirant who is receiving or is designated by a member to receive a plan benefit;
  8. “Benefit program” means a schedule of benefits or benefit formulas from which the amounts of benefits can be determined;
  9. “Board” means the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, as created in this act;
    1. “Compensation” means the recurring remuneration paid a member by public employers for personal services rendered by a member in a position covered by an employer participating in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
    2. The following are recurring remuneration for personal services for the purposes of determining retirement benefits:
      1. Career service recognition payments paid to a member under § 21-5-106;
      2. Payments made to a member under § 21-5-1101, including without limitation a lump-sum payment;
        1. Except as provided in subdivision (11)(B)(iii)(b) of this section, payments made to a member under § 14-14-1206(a), including without limitation a bonus or lump-sum payment.
        2. The maximum amount of the bonus or lump-sum payment that will be considered to be compensation during the last year of a member's employment is the lesser of five percent (5%) of the current year's salary or the amount of the bonus or lump-sum payment that was received by the member during the previous year of employment;
        1. Except as provided in subdivision (11)(B)(iv)(b) of this section, a bonus or lump-sum payment made to a municipal employee as provided in the municipality's annual budget under § 14-42-308.
        2. The maximum amount of the bonus or lump-sum payment that will be considered to be compensation during the member's last year of employment is the lesser of five percent (5%) of the current year's salary or the amount of the bonus or lump-sum payment that was received by the member during the previous year of employment; and
      3. Lump-sum payments made to a member under §§ 21-5-211 and 21-5-219 [repealed].
    3. If a member's compensation includes either lodging or meals, or both, exclusive of travel expense, the cash value of the lodging and meals shall be fixed by the board, not to exceed the amount the employee is required to report for federal income tax purposes.
    4. Except as provided in subdivision (11)(C) of this section, “compensation” includes only the base salary of the member and does not include a multiplier or other special salary allowance used to increase a person's salary as authorized by the General Assembly;
  10. “Contributory member” means:
    1. A person who was a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System prior to January 1, 1978, and who continues to contribute six percent (6%) of his or her compensation to the system. However, the rate will be five percent (5%) on and after July 1, 2005; or
    2. A member first hired on or after July 1, 2005, or a noncontributory member who elects to become a contributory member under § 24-4-1101 et seq. ;
  11. “County” means any county in the state and includes all agencies, offices, departments, boards, commissions, and county-supported institutions that are duly constituted agencies of the county;
    1. “County employees” means all employees whose compensations are payable, either directly or indirectly, by county participating public employers and includes employees of the Association of Arkansas Counties.
    2. In any case of doubt as to who is a county employee within the meaning of this act, the board shall have the final power to decide the question;
    1. “Credited service” means the sum of the prior service and current service to the extent credited a member by the board, in accordance with the provisions of § 24-4-521.
    2. Any member first hired on or after July 1, 2005, to a covered position whose service is credited at a rate other than that defined in subdivision (2) of this section shall accrue that credit on no more than ten (10) actual years of service;
    1. “Current service” means service rendered to a public employer by a member from and after the date he or she became a member.
    2. In the case of a nonstate employee, service rendered by the employee to a public employer in the period from June 30, 1957, to the date his or her employer became a participating public employer, which period is called interim current service, shall be included as current service, but only if the employee satisfies the conditions set forth in Acts 1965, No. 153, § 10 [repealed];
        1. “Employees” means all officers and employees of any office, agency, board, commission, including the Division of Higher Education, or department of a public employer whose compensations were or are payable from funds appropriated by the public employer and all otherwise eligible employees whose compensations were or are payable in whole or part from federal funds, as well as the official court reporters and stenographers of the circuit and chancery courts of the state and all of the prosecuting attorneys of the judicial districts of Arkansas.
        2. In addition, effective July 1, 1983, the term “employees” shall include those persons who are eligible for benefits from the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association but who are otherwise eligible for participation in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System due to employment with a public employer.
      1. Any person who has previously been denied coverage under the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System because the person was or is paid from a grant instead of funds appropriated by the public employer shall from July 1, 1991, become a member of the system if in an otherwise eligible position due to being an employee of a public employer, and a member may at his or her option receive credit for service rendered before that date as an employee paid from a grant, subject to the following conditions:
        1. The member is a participating employee covered under the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System at the time of the purchase;
        2. The member furnishes proof in a form required by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System of the service and compensation received;
        3. The member pays or causes to be paid all employee contributions at the rate and on the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time, all employer contributions based on the employer normal cost from the most recently completed regular annual actuarial valuation and the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time, and regular interest on the employee and employer contributions. The interest shall be computed from the date the service was rendered to the date the payment is received by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System. The member may purchase all of the service or any portion thereof in multiples of one (1) year;
        4. The payment of funds shall be made in one (1) lump sum; and
        5. Any person who, prior to the effectiveness of this provision, has been removed from membership in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System because of eligibility for membership in a local firemen's pension fund as a volunteer firefighter may restore the refunded service and establish subsequent service by paying or causing to be paid to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System the refunded contributions and the legally required contributions for subsequent service.
    1. Excepting members of the General Assembly and those persons participating in a local firemen's pension fund because of their status as volunteer firefighters and those persons who have dual full-time employment in separate positions covered by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System respectively, the term “employees” shall not include persons who are members of any other retirement system, excepting Social Security, which retirement system is supported by state funds or is authorized by the laws of the state. In addition, the term “employees” specifically shall not include the following:
      1. Persons in the employ of the Division of Arkansas State Police who are members of the State Police Retirement System;
      2. Persons in the employ of the Department of Education or the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, except as otherwise provided by law;
      3. Persons in the employ of the University of Arkansas or any other state-supported institution of higher learning, except as otherwise provided by law;
      4. Justices of the Supreme Court, judges of circuit courts, or judges of chancery courts;
      5. Persons in the employ of the General Assembly who are employed on a less than full-time regular annual salary basis, except that any person who has served or who shall serve during at least six (6) legislative sessions as Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives and who has served in the employ of the General Assembly during at least twelve (12) previous legislative sessions shall be eligible to receive credited service in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System for any period of employment with the General Assembly since July 1, 1957, but only if the employee is, or was, an active member of the system with at least ten (10) years of credited service and only if the employee pays or causes to be paid all employee contributions at the rate and on the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member of the system during those periods of time, all employer contributions based on the employer normal cost from the most recently completed regular annual actuarial valuation and the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during those periods of time, and regular interest on the employee and employer contributions computed from the date of service to the date the payment is received by the system;
      6. Persons who are in the employ of the Arkansas Department of Transportation;
      7. Persons employed with the intent of working less than ninety (90) calendar days;
      8. Persons who are employed for a period of more than ninety (90) consecutive calendar days but who do not qualify as full-time employees shall be excluded from membership. A person shall be considered a full-time employee if that person works at least eighty (80) hours per month during a period of ninety (90) consecutive calendar days;
          1. Persons whose rate of pay does not constitute employment that is substantially gainful shall be excluded from membership.
          2. A rate of pay less than the federal minimum wage for the year shall not be considered employment that is substantially gainful.
        1. A tipped food service employee of the Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism who is guaranteed the prevailing minimum wage by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq., as it existed on January 1, 2009, is in employment that is substantially gainful.
        2. The employee and employer contributions for a tipped food service employee of the Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism is computed based on the tipped food service employee's hourly rate of pay;
      9. Persons who are first employed or those who are reemployed as participants on or after July 1, 1979, under the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act [repealed]. However, those persons participating in the program prior to July 1, 1979, shall continue to be members of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System while employed by a participating public employer;
      10. Any person previously denied coverage by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System because that person was eligible for membership in but did not participate in another retirement system that is supported by state funds or that is authorized by the laws of the state, shall become a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System from the date of July 1, 1999, if in an otherwise eligible position due to employment with a participating employer. Any person previously denied coverage by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System because that person was eligible for or receiving benefits from another retirement system supported by state funds or that is authorized by the laws of the state shall become a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System from the date of July 1, 1999, if in an otherwise eligible position due to employment with a participating employer. That person may receive, at the employee's option, credit for service rendered to a participating public employer before that date, subject to the following conditions:
        1. The member is a participating employee covered under the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System at the time of the purchase;
        2. The member furnishes proof in a form required by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System of the service and compensation received;
        3. The member pays or causes to be paid all employee contributions at the rate and on the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time, all employer contributions based on the employer normal cost from the most recently completed regular annual actuarial valuation and the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time, and regular interest on the employee and employer contributions. The interest shall be computed from the date the service was rendered to the date the payment is received by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System. The member may purchase all of the service or any portion thereof in multiples of one (1) year; and
        4. The payment of funds shall be made in one (1) lump sum;
      11. The surviving spouse of any person deemed erroneously enrolled due to receipt of a benefit from another retirement system supported by state funds or that is authorized by the laws of the state but whose service had not been refunded at or before the date of death shall be eligible to receive a benefit under the provisions of § 24-4-608, provided that the person was an employee of the participating employer on the date of death. The monthly annuity shall be payable on the first day of the month following the month of application and shall be retroactive to the date the benefit would have been otherwise payable as provided for in § 24-4-608; and
      12. Any person previously denied coverage by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System because that person was employed in dual full-time positions covered by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System, respectively, shall become a member of both systems from and after the date of July 1, 2001, if in otherwise eligible positions with participating employers. The person may receive at the employee's option credit for service rendered to a participating public employer before that date, subject to the following conditions:
        1. The member is a participating employee covered under the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System at the time of the purchase;
        2. The member furnishes proof in a form required by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System of the service and compensation received;
        3. The member pays or causes to be paid all employee contributions at the rate and on the compensation that would have been paid had the person been a member during that time, all employer contributions based on the employer normal cost from the most recently completed regular annual actuarial valuation and the compensation that would have been paid had the person been a member during that time, and regular interest on the employee and employer contributions. The interest shall be computed from the date the service was rendered to the date the payment is received by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System. The member may purchase all of the service or any portion thereof in multiples of one (1) year; and
        4. The payment of funds shall be made in one (1) lump sum.
    2. In any case of doubt as to who is an employee within the meaning of this act, the board shall have the final power to decide the question;
      1. “Final average compensation” means the average of the highest annual compensations paid a member during any period of three (3) years of credited service with a public employer.
      2. The three-year average shall be the greatest of the following:
        1. One-third (1/3) of the following: The total of the highest compensations paid during the two (2) completed fiscal years when added to the total third-highest compensation paid during the completed fiscal year; or
        2. One-third (1/3) of the following: The total of the highest compensations paid during the two (2) completed fiscal years added to the total of the compensation paid for the months of credited service within the incomplete fiscal year in which the member retires, provided there are some, and the total third-highest compensation paid during the completed fiscal year which has been multiplied by the number of months remaining in the fiscal year in which retirement occurs and divided by twelve (12).
      3. Should the member have less than the minimum three (3) years of credited service, “average compensation” means the annual average compensations to the member during his or her total years of actual service.
    1. Any other provision to the contrary notwithstanding:
      1. If a member's rate of pay is set by Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 70, § 1, then the member's “average compensation” shall not be less than the member's rate of pay at the time of separation from covered employment;
      2. If a member's rate of pay is set by Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 70, § 1, then the member's “average compensation” shall not be less than the member's highest rate of such pay; or
      3. If a member served at any time in an office whose rate of pay is set by Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 70, § 1, and that member was a member of the General Assembly on December 31, 1978, then the member's “average compensation” shall not be less than the rate of pay currently set for the highest legislative office the member held;
  12. “General Assembly” means the General Assembly of the state;
  13. “Intergovernmental Juvenile Detention Council” means the Intergovernmental Juvenile Detention Council of the Tenth Judicial District created by uncodified Acts 1995, No. 899, which has chosen by a majority vote of the council to participate in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
  14. “Joint county and municipal sanitation authority” means any sanitation authority created under the Joint County and Municipal Solid Waste Disposal Act, § 14-233-101 et seq., which has chosen by a majority vote of its full-time employees to participate in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
  15. “Local units of government” means those entities participating in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System under the provisions of § 24-4-746;
  16. “Member” means any person who is included in the membership of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
    1. “Municipal employees” means all employees whose compensations are payable, either directly or indirectly, by participating municipal public employers and includes employees of the Arkansas Municipal League, employees of the water and sewer system of any city divided by a state line, and employees of the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System.
    2. “Municipal employees” shall not include members of a municipal firemen's or policemen's pension fund while the member is accruing credited service in that system, excepting those members of a municipal firemen's pension fund who are members solely because of their status as volunteer firefighters.
    3. In any case of doubt as to who is a municipal employee within the meaning of this act, the board shall have the final power to decide the question;
  17. “Municipality” means any incorporated city or town in the state and includes all agencies, offices, departments, and commissions of the city or town;
  18. “Noncontributory member” means a person who does not contribute a portion of his or her compensation to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
  19. “Nonstate employees” means county employees, municipal employees, rural waterworks facilities board employees, regional airport authority employees, public facilities board employees, regional solid waste management board employees, joint county and municipal sanitation authority employees, regional water distribution board employees, the employees of economic development districts recognized as planning and development districts under § 14-166-202, school employees, public water authority employees, and the employees of the Intergovernmental Juvenile Detention Council;
  20. “Normal retirement age” means, for a member, the youngest of the following ages:
    1. Age sixty (60) and with twenty (20) or more years of actual service commencing before January 1, 1978, for a contributory member; or
    2. Age sixty-five (65) with five (5) or more years of actual service, except for a member of the General Assembly who must have ten (10) or more years of actual service if he or she only has service as a member of the General Assembly;
    3. If the provisions of § 24-4-521 are used to determine any portion of total credited service, then the age upon completion of thirty-five (35) years of credited service, but in no event to an age younger than fifty-five (55);
    4. For a noncontributory member with credited service for employment as a public safety employee or as a sheriff, age sixty-five (65) reduced by one (1) month for each two (2) months of such credited service, but in no event to an age younger than fifty-five (55), except in the case of a sheriff who has a minimum of ten (10) years of actual service as a sheriff or who has eight (8) years of actual service as a sheriff and a minimum of two (2) years of service in another state-supported retirement system, for whom the minimum retirement age shall be fifty-two (52);
    5. The age upon completion of twenty-eight (28) years of credited service, if the provisions of § 24-4-521 are not used to determine any portion of the credited service;
    6. For a member of the General Assembly with twelve (12) years of actual service, ten (10) of which must be as a member of the General Assembly, at age fifty-five (55). A member of the General Assembly who was either serving in the General Assembly on July 1, 1979, or held an elected office on July 1, 1979, shall be eligible to retire with seventeen and one-half (17½) years of actual service regardless of age;
    7. An elected state constitutional officer shall be eligible to retire with twenty-eight (28) years of credited service at age fifty-five (55); and
    8. Notwithstanding subdivision (28)(C) of this section, in the case of a deputy sheriff who has a minimum of twenty-five (25) years of actual service as a deputy sheriff, the minimum retirement age shall be fifty-two (52);
  21. “Participating public employer” means:
    1. Any county, municipality, rural waterworks facilities board, regional airport authority, public facilities board, regional solid waste management board, joint county and municipal sanitation authority, suburban improvement district under § 14-92-502, public water authority, or regional water distribution board in the state whose employees are included in the membership of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
    2. The employees of the Intergovernmental Juvenile Detention Council of the Tenth Judicial District who are included in the membership of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System; or
    3. A public rehabilitative services corporation or local unit of government as provided for in § 24-4-746;
    1. “Prior service”, in the case of a state or municipal employee, means personal service rendered by the employee to a public employer prior to July 1, 1957.
    2. The term “prior service”, in the case of a county employee, means personal service rendered by the employee to a public employer prior to July 1, 1959;
  22. “Public employer” means the State of Arkansas or any participating public employer;
  23. “Public facilities board” means any public facilities board created under the Public Facilities Boards Act, § 14-137-101 et seq., which has chosen by a majority vote of the full-time employees to participate in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
  24. “Public Rehabilitation Services Corporations” means those entities participating in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System under the provisions of § 24-4-746;
    1. “Public safety member” means, except public safety members covered under § 24-4-1004, a member whose covered employment:
      1. Is for personal services as a police officer or firefighter; and
      2. Began before July 1, 1997.
        1. “Police officer” means a permanent employee whose primary duty is law enforcement of a municipal police department, a county sheriff's office, or the Division of Arkansas State Police, including a probationary police officer.
        2. “Police officer” includes a wildlife officer of the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission, a drug enforcement officer of a judicial drug taskforce, a civilian firefighter of the Department of the Military covered under § 24-4-1004, and all officers and the Chief of the State Capitol Police within the office of the Secretary of State.
        3. “Police officer” does not include a person who has not satisfied the training requirements to be a police officer established by the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training under § 12-9-106.
      1. A police officer who, although assigned to administrative duties, is still subject to call for service at patrol duty or duty in the field or is subject to call for duties in emergency situations requiring the officer to be armed with a firearm shall be considered to have the primary duty of law enforcement for the purpose of this subdivision (34)(B).
      2. The term “police officer” shall not include any civilian employee of a police department or any person temporarily employed as a police officer during an emergency.
      1. “Firefighter” means any regular employee of a fire department whose primary duty is fire fighting, including probationary firefighters.
      2. “Firefighter” shall not include any civilian employee of a fire department or any person temporarily employed as a firefighter during an emergency.
      1. “Public safety member” shall not include a member whose employment as a police officer or firefighter commenced on or after July 1, 1997, except as provided for public safety members covered under § 24-4-1004.
        1. If a public safety member leaves his or her employment as a police officer or firefighter for employment as a police officer or firefighter in a position covered by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System, State Police Retirement System, or Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System and returns to his or her previous employment as a police officer or firefighter, the public safety member shall resume receiving credited service at one and one-half (1½) times the regular rate for crediting service.
        2. A person eligible to resume receiving public safety credit prior to July 31, 2007, shall receive credited service for his or her return to employment as a police officer or firefighter at one and one-half (1½) times the regular rate for crediting service.
    2. A public safety member who receives or has received credited service at one and one-half (1½) times the regular rate for crediting service may change employers and continue to receive credited service at one and one-half (1½) times the regular rate for crediting service, provided:
      1. The person is employed as a public safety officer within six (6) months of termination from employment as a public safety member; and
      2. The employer provides public safety officers credited service at one and one-half (1½) times the regular rate for crediting service;
  25. “Public water authority” means a public water authority created under the Water Authority Act, § 4-35-101 et seq., that has elected by a majority vote of its board of directors to participate in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
  26. “Regional airport authority” means any regional airport authority created under the Regional Airport Act, § 14-362-101 et seq., which was formed after January 1, 1990, and which has chosen to participate in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
  27. “Regional solid waste management board” means any regional solid waste management board defined under § 8-6-701 et seq. which has chosen by a majority vote of the full-time employees to participate in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
  28. “Regional water distribution board” means any regional water distribution board created under The Regional Water Distribution District Act, § 14-116-101 et seq., which has chosen by a majority vote of the full-time employees to participate in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
    1. “Regular interest” means such rates of interest per annum, compounded annually, as the board shall prescribe from time to time.
    2. However, for circumstances entered into July 1, 1985, or later, when payments are payable to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System by a member together with regular interest thereon, the rate of interest shall be the same for all circumstances and shall be six percent (6%) per annum unless changed by the board;
  29. “Retirant” means a person who:
    1. Is a vested member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
    2. Has filed an effective retirement application with the system that has not been cancelled; and
    3. Is entitled to a plan annuity upon properly terminating employment under § 24-4-520;
  30. “Retirement” means a member's withdrawal from the service of a public employer, with an annuity payable from funds of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
  31. “Rural waterworks facilities board” means a rural waterworks facilities board created under the Rural Waterworks Facilities Boards Act, § 14-238-101 et seq.;
  32. “Social Security” means the Social Security old age, survivors', and disability insurance program;
  33. “State” means the State of Arkansas and includes all agencies, offices, departments, boards, commissions, and state-supported institutions that are duly constituted agencies of the state;
    1. “State employees” means all otherwise eligible employees whose compensations were, or are, payable from funds appropriated by the state and includes all employees whose compensations were, or are, payable in whole or in part from federal funds.
    2. In any case of doubt as to who is a state employee within the meaning of this act, the board shall have the final power to decide the question; and
  34. “System” means the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 1; 1959, No. 42, § 1; 1961, No. 64, § 1; 1965, No. 47, § 1; 1967, No. 289, § 1; 1975, No. 907, § 7; 1975 (Extended Sess., 1976), No. 1159, §§ 1, 2; 1979, No. 715, § 8; 1981, No. 859, § 1; 1983, No. 42, §§ 1, 2; 1983, No. 575, § 1; 1985, No. 910, § 1; 1985, No. 938, § 7; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2501; Acts 1987, No. 461, § 1; 1987, No. 493, § 1; reen. 1987, No. 988, §§ 1, 2; 1989, No. 160, § 3; 1991, No. 331, § 1; 1991, No. 757, § 2; 1993, No. 286, §§ 1-3; 1993, No. 432, §§ 6, 7; 1993, No. 975, § 3; 1995, No. 398, §§ 1-3; 1995, No. 846, § 1; 1995, No. 1292, §§ 1-3; 1997, No. 76, §§ 2-4; 1997, No. 299, § 7; 1997, No. 639, § 1; 1997, No. 1137, § 2; 1999, No. 325, § 6; 1999, No. 865, § 1; 2001, No. 151, § 10; 2001, No. 764, § 1; 2001, No. 1616, § 1; 2005, No. 2084, §§ 2, 3; 2007, No. 176, § 3; 2007, No. 295, § 1; 2007, No. 299, § 1; 2007, No. 799, § 3; 2007, No. 850, § 1; 2009, No. 616, § 2; 2009, No. 774, § 1; 2009, No. 1277, § 1; 2011, No. 20, § 3; 2011, No. 38, § 2; 2011, No. 140, § 1; 2011, No. 978, § 2; 2013, No. 332, §§ 1-5; 2017, No. 707, § 268; 2019, No. 449, §§ 2-4; 2019, No. 910, §§ 2365, 2366.

A.C.R.C. Notes. Part of this section was reenacted by Acts 1987, No. 988, §§ 1, 2. Acts 1987, No. 834, provided that 1987 legislation reenacting acts passed in the 1976 Extended Session should not repeal any other 1987 legislation and that such other legislation would be controlling in the event of conflict.

Acts 1991, No. 331, § 2, provided: “Effective July 1, 1991, all current employees of the Association of Arkansas Counties shall elect within thirty (30) days whether to become a member of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System. Thereafter, all newly hired employees of the Association of Arkansas Counties shall become members of APERS.”

Amendments. The 2009 amendment by No. 616 inserted (11)(B)(iii), redesignated the subsequent subdivision accordingly, and made a related and a stylistic change.

The 2009 amendment by No. 774 inserted (17)(B)(ix) (b) and (17)(B)(ix) (c) , and redesignated the remainder of (17)(B)(ix) accordingly.

The 2009 amendment by No. 1277 rewrote (34)(B)(i).

The 2011 amendment by No. 20 added (11)(D).

The 2011 amendment by No. 38 added the (40)(A) designation and (40)(B).

The 2011 amendment by No. 140 deleted “within six (6) months from July 1, 2005” at the end of (12)(B).

The 2011 amendment by No. 978 inserted “except as provided for public safety members covered under § 24-4-1004” at the end of (34)(A) and (34)(D)(i); and inserted “civilian firefighters of the State Military Department covered under § 24-4-1004” in (34)(B)(i) (b)

The 2013 amendment inserted “commencing before January 1, 1978” in (28)(A); rewrote (34)(A); substituted “officer” for “officers” throughout (34)(B); substituted “a” for “any regular or” in (34)(B)(i) (a) ; in (34)(B)(i) (b) , substituted “firefighter” for “firefighters,” “officer” for “officers” and “Chief” for “Director”; added (34)(B)(i) (c) ; substituted “A police” for “An” at the beginning of (34)(B)(ii); rewrote (39); and repealed (40)(B).

The 2017 amendment substituted “Department of Transportation” for “State Highway and Transportation Department” in (17)(B)(vi).

The 2019 amendment by No. 449 inserted “public water authority employees” in (27); inserted “public water authority” in (29)(A); and added the definition for “Public water authority”.

The 2019 amendment by No. 910 substituted “Division of Higher Education” for “Department of Higher Education” in (17)(A)(i) (a) ; and substituted “Department of the Military” for “State Military Department” in (34)(B)(i) (b)

Meaning of “this act”. Acts 1957, No. 177, codified as §§ 24-4-10124-4-105, 24-4-201, 24-4-202, 24-4-205, 24-4-20724-4-209, 24-4-30124-4-304, 24-4-401, 24-4-402, 24-4-507, 24-4-508, 24-4-51024-4-513, 24-4-60124-4-603, 24-4-605, 24-4-606.

U.S. Code. The Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, referred to in this section, was repealed by Pub. L. No. 97-300.

Case Notes

Constitutionality.

School superintendents not considered state employees pursuant to subdivision (9) were not denied equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution by their exclusion from the class of public employees authorized to take early retirement under § 24-4-732, as there was a rational basis for classifications drawn by the general assembly in that superintendents were on payroll of local school districts and not state employees, and primary purpose of early retirement legislation was to facilitate a savings in state revenues by lowering number of employees on state payroll. Haley v. Hall, 733 F. Supp. 1275 (E.D. Ark. 1990).

County Employees.

All three definitions (“County employees”, “Employees”, and “Nonstate employees”) in this section had to be applied to determine the county nursing home employees' eligibility for membership in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System. Bd. of Trs. of the Ark. Pub. Emples. Ret. Sys. v. Garrison, 2019 Ark. App. 245, 576 S.W.3d 485 (2019).

There is no irreconcilable conflict that compels a disjunctive reading of the language in the introductory paragraph of § 24-4-302 that refers to three definitions in this section; read together, the definitions of “County employees” and “Employees” in this section harmoniously provide that “county employees” means all employees who are paid, either directly or indirectly, from funds appropriated by county participating public employers. Bd. of Trs. of the Ark. Pub. Emples. Ret. Sys. v. Garrison, 2019 Ark. App. 245, 576 S.W.3d 485 (2019).

Assuming that the nursing-home administrative boards and their respective counties were synonymous under the definitions of “County employees” and “Employees” in this section, the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System's finding that the former employees of county-owned nursing homes were not paid from appropriated funds as required by the definition of “Employees” in this section was affirmed as no ordinances in the record specifically designated county money for their compensation. Bd. of Trs. of the Ark. Pub. Emples. Ret. Sys. v. Garrison, 2019 Ark. App. 245, 576 S.W.3d 485 (2019).

Cited: Hall v. Board of Trustees, 671 F.2d 269 (8th Cir. 1982).

24-4-102. Penalty.

Any person who knowingly makes any false statements or who falsifies or permits to be falsified any record in an attempt to defraud the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System as the result of such an act shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 5; 1959, No. 42, § 5; 1965, No. 153, § 5; 1981, No. 859, § 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2505; Acts 2005, No. 1994, § 362.

24-4-103. Creation of retirement system.

  1. There is created and established a retirement system for the employees of the State of Arkansas and participating public employers to be known as the “Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System”.
  2. All business of the system shall be transacted through a board of trustees as provided for in this act.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 2; 1959, No. 42, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2502.

Meaning of “this act”. See note to § 24-4-101.

24-4-104. Board of trustees — Creation — Members.

  1. The administration and control of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall be vested in a board called the “Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System”.
  2. The board shall consist of nine (9) trustees, as follows:
    1. The Auditor of State, the Treasurer of State, and the Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration shall be ex officio members; and
      1. Three (3) members who are state employees and three (3) members who are nonstate employees to be appointed by the Governor.
      2. Each nonstate employee trustee and each state employee trustee shall have at least five (5) continuous years of service with a public employer or employers and shall be a member of the system.
      3. No more than one (1) of the three (3) members who are nonstate employee trustees and no more than one (1) of the three (3) members who are state employee trustees may be a retired member of the system.
    1. The term of office of appointed trustees shall be six (6) years.
      1. The Governor shall declare a vacancy on the board when a:
        1. Nonstate employee trustee leaves the employ of a participating public employer;
        2. State employee trustee leaves state employment;
        3. Member who is a nonstate employee trustee retires and there is another retired member of the system who is a nonstate employee trustee on the board; and
        4. Member who is a state employee trustee retires and there is another retired member of the system who is a state employee trustee on the board.
      2. A vacancy declared under subdivisions (c)(2)(A)(iii) and (iv) of this section shall be for the seat of the newly retired trustee.
      3. The Governor shall appoint a state employee member or a nonstate employee member to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term within thirty (30) days of the date on which the vacancy is declared.
    1. Annually, the board shall select from its membership a chair and a vice chair.
    2. The board shall appoint an executive director who shall be the executive administrative officer of the system and shall also be ex officio secretary of the board, but who shall have no vote on questions before the board and who shall be directly responsible to the board.
    3. By resolution duly adopted, the board may delegate to the executive director any of the powers and duties vested in or imposed upon it by law.
    4. Within such limitations as may be contained in legislative appropriations therefor, the executive director, subject to the approval of the board, may employ and fix the compensation of such secretarial, clerical, professional, and other personnel as may be required for the proper administration of the system.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 3; 1959, No. 42, § 3; 1965, No. 153, § 4; 1975, No. 732, § 1; 1985, No. 7, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2503; Acts 2017, No. 311, §§ 1, 2.

A.C.R.C. Notes. Acts 2017, No. 311, § 3, provided: “This act applies to a member currently serving on the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System as of the effective date of this act [March 1, 2017].”

Amendments. The 2017 amendment redesignated (b)(2) as (b)(2)(A) and (B); deleted “each nonstate employee trustee and” following “Governor” in (b)(2)(A); in (b)(2)(B), substituted “five (5)” for “ten (10)” and deleted “or retired member” following “shall be a member”; added (b)(2)(C); and rewrote (c)(2).

24-4-105. Board of trustees — Meetings — Powers and duties.

    1. The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall hold meetings regularly, at least one (1) meeting in each quarter year, and shall designate the time and place of the meeting.
    2. Special meetings may be held in accordance with such rules as the board shall adopt from time to time.
    3. Five (5) trustees shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of the board, and at least five (5) concurring votes shall be necessary for a decision by the board at any of its meetings.
  1. In addition to such other duties as are imposed upon the board by this act, the board shall:
    1. Make all rules as it shall deem necessary from time to time in the transaction of its business and in administering the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
    2. Provide for the administrative direction and control of the Executive Director of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and such clerical staff as may be required in the administration of the system;
    3. Provide for an actuarial valuation of the system as may be deemed necessary by the board;
    4. Exercise discretionary power and authority in the investments of, and disbursements of, the funds of the system, subject to the provisions of this act;
    5. Adopt such mortality and other tables of experience, and a rate or rates of interest, as shall be required in the proper operation of the system;
    6. Perform the duties of trustee without additional compensation therefor, but may receive expense reimbursement in accordance with § 25-16-901 et seq.; and
    7. Do any and all things necessary for the proper administration of the system and for carrying out and making effective the provisions of this act.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 3; 1959, No. 42, § 3; 1965, No. 153, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2503; Acts 1997, No. 250, § 228; 2019, No. 315, §§ 2848, 2849.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in (a)(2) and (b)(1).

Meaning of “this act”. See note to § 24-4-101.

24-4-106. Limitations — Definition.

      1. Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary, it is considered sound public policy to limit contributions by public employers to one (1) state-authorized retirement plan. Accordingly, effective July 1, 1999, employers participating in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall not establish any other state-authorized plan that requires contributions by the employer.
      2. The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall promulgate such rules as are required to prohibit the establishment of such plans in the future.
    1. An employer that, in addition to participating in the system, has another state-authorized plan that was in existence on July 1, 1999, shall not be prohibited from:
      1. Changing vendors for the plan;
      2. Adding employees to the plan; or
      3. Modifying a plan pursuant to federal guidelines.
    2. If an employer merges with another employer and either employer has a plan that was in existence on July 1, 1999, then the merged entity may continue to provide the plan for employees of the entity.
  1. The system shall notify all participating employers on an annual basis of the requirements of this section and the board rules governing this subject.
  2. For the purpose of this section, “state-authorized plan” means any retirement plan authorized by state or federal law.

History. Acts 1999, No. 884, § 1; 2001, No. 1299, § 1; 2019, No. 315, §§ 2850, 2851.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in (a)(1)(B) and (b).

24-4-107. Proposals to establish or revise.

The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall present to the Joint Committee on Public Retirement and Social Security Programs information concerning the statutory authority and actuarial appropriateness of proposed board actions to establish or revise a multiplier, any benefit, or a provision of a deferred retirement option plan.

History. Acts 1999, No. 1325, § 4.

24-4-108. Implementation of contributory component.

    1. It shall be considered sound public policy to encourage public employees in the State of Arkansas to participate in the development and growth of their individual retirement benefits.
    2. In order that the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System continues to maintain a strong funded status while ensuring that benefits provided to the annuitants and beneficiaries of the system maintain a constant purchasing power, it is incumbent upon the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System to consider reintroducing employee contributions as a required provision of the plan structure.
    1. In accordance with the rules of the board, there shall be an annual review of the actuarial valuation of the plan as provided by its actuary.
    2. During each annual review, the board shall consider the actuarial appropriateness of establishing a contributory component within the system.
    3. Issues to be considered are to include, but not be limited to:
      1. Mitigating additional increases in the employer contribution rate;
      2. The establishment of a tax deferral of employee contributions under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, 26 U.S.C.S. § 414(h), as in effect on January 1, 2003;
      3. The establishment of a time horizon in which current system members may elect contributory status; and
      4. The extent of benefit portability.
    1. Beginning July 1, 2005, the board shall implement and establish a contributory plan for members of the system.
    2. The board shall develop policies and rules from its annual review of the contributory component of the system and, as a minimum, the board's rules shall provide for:
      1. The member contribution rate;
      2. The annual multiplier rate for benefits that a contributory member of the system shall receive upon becoming eligible to receive a retirement benefit;
      3. The combining of contributory and noncontributory service together to receive a retirement benefit from the system; and
      4. Any other contributory qualifications or requirements necessary to implement the contributory plan for the system.

History. Acts 2003, No. 339, § 1; 2019, No. 315, §§ 2852, 2853.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in (b)(1); and substituted “rules” for “regulations” twice in (c)(2).

24-4-109. Compliance with federal regulation.

  1. The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall promulgate rules as it deems necessary from time to time in order to fully comply with federal requirements that may affect the members or the members' benefits under this subchapter.
  2. In meeting its obligation to its members, the board may promulgate rules to:
    1. Establish the regular retirement age for members consistent with the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C.S. § 411; and
    2. Maintain the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System's retirement plan tax qualification status by the federal government to remain tax exempt and tax qualified under the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 401(a).

History. Acts 2009, No. 745, § 1.

A.C.R.C. Notes. References to “this chapter” in §§ 24-4-10124-4-107 and subchapters 2-10 of this chapter may not apply to this section, which was enacted subsequently.

24-4-110. Failure to terminate — Commencement of annuity payments — Election to retire.

A retirant shall not begin receiving annuity payments until all requirements for terminating qualified employment are satisfied.

History. Acts 2013, No. 332, § 6.

24-4-111. Failure to meet termination requirements — Member's retirement election.

The failure to meet termination requirements does not revoke a member's retirement election.

History. Acts 2013, No. 332, § 7.

Subchapter 2 — Funds and Management of Assets

Effective Dates. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 17: Mar. 7, 1957. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that the establishment of a State Employees Retirement System is necessary in order to retain and recruit efficient and skilled state employees and that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary in order that the Board of Trustees herein created be appointed, organize and establish the necessary rules and forms to be followed upon the establishment of the retirement system herein created on July 1, 1957. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1959, No. 42, § 16: Feb. 13, 1959. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that the coverage of county employees in a retirement system is necessary in order to retain and recruit efficient and skilled county employees; that the coverage is best obtained by including the county employees in the membership of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System, established by Act 177 of 1957, as amended; that it is necessary for the Board of Trustees of said Arkansas State Employees Retirement System to organize and establish necessary rules, regulations and forms to effectuate said coverage of county employees. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1961, No. 64, § 9: Feb. 8, 1961. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that the coverage of municipal employees in a retirement system is necessary in order to retain and recruit efficient and skilled municipal employees; that the coverage is best obtained by permitting the inclusion of municipal employees in the membership of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System, established by Act 177 of 1957, as amended; that the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System shall establish necessary rules, regulations and forms to effectuate said coverage of municipal employees. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1965, No. 153, § 15: Mar. 9, 1965. Emergency clause provided: “This act shall take effect and be in force from the date of its approval.”

Acts 1977, No. 663, § 8: Mar. 23, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that provisions of this Act clarify coverage, service credits, and eligibility for benefits under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System; and in order to enable those persons who are eligible for such coverage, service credits, or benefits thereunder to obtain such without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1977, No. 754, § 3: July 1, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the present method of collecting funds by the Public Employees Retirement System from counties for the payment of benefits to retired County Constitutional Officers is inadequate and resulting in an extreme financial burden on the Public Employees Retirement System, and that the provisions of this Act will relieve the Public Employees Retirement System of such financial strain; that under Amendment 7 to the Arkansas Constitution, Acts without an emergency clause become effective 90 days after final adjournment of the General Assembly; that it may be necessary to extend the Session, as authorized in Article 5, Section 17 of the Constitution and that an extension of the Session might result in this Act not becoming effective until after July 1, 1977, unless an emergency is declared; and that it is essential that this Act go into effect on July 1, 1977. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1977.”

Acts 1977, No. 793, § 12: July 1, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the establishment of a uniform retirement policy for the State of Arkansas is essential to maintain employee morale and a stable and improved retirement system commensurate with the ability of the taxpayers of this State to finance, yet without jeopardizing retirement benefits of persons now employed by the State who do not elect to participate in the new retirement plan. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1977.”

Acts 1977 (Ex. Sess.), No. 14, § 3: Aug. 15, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that if Arkansas Counties are required to fully fund the retirement reserve fund for County-Elected Constitutional Officers during one fiscal year, Arkansas Counties will be unable to maintain their necessary operations and fund the retirement reserve fund at the same time. It is also hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that some confusion has arisen regarding the full intent of the General Assembly when it enacted Act 754 of 1977 relating to the retirement of county-elected constitutional officers; that it is essential to the proper administration of the provisions of the Public Employees Retirement System that the intent of Act 754 be clarified at the earliest possible date; that this Act is designed to provide such clarification and should be given effect immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1979, No. 373, § 3: Mar. 12, 1979. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that it is essential to the financial solvency of the County and Municipal Divisions of the Public Employees Retirement System that adequate provision be made by law for the orderly funding of the actuarial liabilities incurred by new legislative enactments which expand or increase the liabilities of said Division, and that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary to provide procedures for such funding with respect to retirement enactments by the General Assembly which may incur greater actuarial liabilities than contemplated by the General Assembly at the time such legislation is enacted. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1979, No. 653, § 2: Mar. 29, 1979. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the present procedure for funding the Retirement Reserve Fund for County Elected Constitutional Officers who retired prior to July 1, 1978 over a period of five (5) years is causing a serious financial hardship on some counties; that this Act is designed to provide for such funding over a period of ten (10) years and to thereby partially alleviate this problem and should be given effect immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1979, No. 715, § 9: July 1, 1979. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that various provisions of the Public Retirement laws need further clarification in order for their meaning to be comprehensible to members of the systems and administrators. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1979.”

Acts 1981, No. 859, § 19: Mar. 28, 1981. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that various provisions of Act 177 of 1957, as amended, need further clarification in order for their meaning to be comprehensible to members of the system and administrators. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1983, No. 677, § 10: Mar. 22, 1983. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that various provisions of the Public Employees Retirement System law need further clarification in order for their meaning to be comprehensible to members of the system and administrators. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1993, No. 1093, § 6: Apr. 13, 1993. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that immediate passage and approval of this act is necessary to render finality to annuity determinations made by the Public Employees Retirement System Board and to prevent the hardship and instability that results from the recoupment of the overpayments of incorrectly calculated annuity payments to retired State employees for a protracted period of time. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1995, No. 398, § 9: July 1, 1995. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eightieth General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the effectiveness of this act on July 1, 1995, is essential to the operation of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1995.”

Acts 1995, No. 1292, § 9: July 1, 1995. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that employees of Rural Waterworks Facilities Boards created by Act 617 of 1995 should be entitled to participate in the Public Employees Retirement System at the beginning of the next fiscal year; and that unless this emergency clause is adopted this act might not become effective until after the beginning of the next fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1995.”

Acts 1997, No. 76, § 10: July 1, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the Intergovernmental Juvenile Detention Council of the Tenth Judicial District created by uncodified Act 899 of 1995 should be entitled to participate in the Public Employees Retirement System at the beginning of the next fiscal year; and that unless this emergency clause is adopted this act might not become effective until after the beginning of the next fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be effective from and after July 1, 1997.”

Acts 1997, No. 299, § 28: July 1, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that certain provisions of law governing the Public Employees' Retirement System need clarification, standardization, and repeal and that the effective administration of State government makes it necessary for these changes to begin at the start of the State's fiscal year. Therefore, in order to promote sound fiscal administration of State government, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall become effective July 1, 1997.”

Acts 1999, No. 308, § 6: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that the creation of a Local Government Division will improve the financial position of the system resulting in more stable contribution rates for non-state participating employers with enhanced benefits for members and retirees of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System and for the effective administration of the system in this act must be effective at the beginning of the fiscal year because computations are made at the beginning of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 2001, No. 67, § 4: July 1, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly that for the effective administration of this act and to avoid undue harm to the members and benefit recipients of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System this act should become effective on July 1, 2001. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2001.”

Acts 2001, No. 151, § 69: Feb. 8, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act makes technical corrections to a number of sections of Arkansas Code Title 24; that other legislation of this session of the General Assembly may also amend some of those sections; that this act should become effective immediately so that other legislation may be amended to reflect the technical corrections made by this act and to avoid conflicts. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2011, No. 38, § 11: Feb. 16, 2011. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the public retirement systems provide economic security for eligible citizens of Arkansas; that the statutes need amending to update and clarify existing law; and that these changes need to be made immediately. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2013, No. 332, § 13: Mar. 14, 2013. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that it is vital that the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System be permitted to immediately implement policies regarding the termination of employment, eligibility of employees to receive benefits, availability of information, and when to pay interest on employee contributions; and to clarify the meaning of terms in the Arkansas Code of 1987 Annotated to avoid the undue consumption of the system's resources. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2019, No. 448, § 13: Mar. 13, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the operations of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System must be able to meet the needs of its members as anticipated by the General Assembly; that certain provisions of the system are in imminent need of revision; and that this act is immediately necessary in order to maintain an orderly system of benefits for the members of the system. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto”.

Acts 2019, No. 910, § 6346(b): July 1, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act revises the duties of certain state entities; that this act establishes new departments of the state; that these revisions impact the expenses and operations of state government; and that the sections of this act other than the two uncodified sections of this act preceding the emergency clause titled ‘Funding and classification of cabinet-level department secretaries’ and ‘Transformation and Efficiencies Act transition team’ should become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year to allow for implementation of the new provisions at the beginning of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and Sections 1 through 6343 of this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2019”.

24-4-201. Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund — Creation — System accounts.

    1. There is established on the books of the Treasurer of State, the Auditor of State, and the Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration a fund to be known as the “Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund”.
    2. This fund shall consist of trust funds as provided by law and shall be used for the payment of personal services, operating expenses, investments, benefits, refunds, and for such other purposes as may be authorized by law.
    1. The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall have the authority to establish a division or divisions for the various participating employers as necessary to administer the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
    2. The retirement system accounts shall be the members' deposit account, the employers' accumulation account, the retirement reserve account, the income account, and such other accounts as the board shall establish from time to time.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 4; 1959, No. 42, § 4; 1961, No. 64, § 2; 1981, No. 859, § 16; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2504; Acts 1997, No. 299, § 8; 1999, No. 308, § 1; 2001, No. 67, § 2; 2001, No. 151, § 11; 2019, No. 910, § 3551.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment substituted “Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration” for “Director of the Department of Finance and Administration” in (a)(1).

Case Notes

Cited: Alltel Ark., Inc. v. Arkansas Pub. Serv. Comm'n, 76 Ark. App. 547, 69 S.W.3d 889 (2002).

24-4-202. Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund — Contributions.

    1. On or after July 1, 2017, the state employer contributions made by a state agency which employs each member provided for in § 24-2-701 shall be:
      1. Reported electronically by the state agency through the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System portal; and
      2. Paid by electronic transfer by the state agency.
    2. The employer's contribution shall be paid to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund at the time and with the frequency established by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and shall be paid concurrently with the contributions made by its employees to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund.
    1. In the case of employees receiving part or all of their compensation from federal funds, the disbursing officer of the agency receiving the federal funds shall transmit such sums to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund from federal funds of the agency.
    2. These sums shall be those sums of money which are necessary to provide the employer contributions provided for in § 24-2-701, based on the portions of the employees' compensation payable from federal funds.
    1. In the case of the Local Government Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, each participating public employer shall pay into the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund such sums of money as are necessary to provide the participating public employer's contributions provided for in § 24-2-701.
      1. The participating public employer's contributions shall be paid at the time and with the frequency established by the board and shall be paid concurrently with the contributions made by its employees to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund.
      2. On or after July 1, 2017, the contributions made by a participating public employer shall be made by electronic transfer.
    2. The employer's contributions shall be transmitted to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund in such form and manner, together with such supporting data, as the board shall prescribe from time to time.
  1. In the case of circuit court reporters, the public employer contributions shall be paid, when directed by the board, by the respective counties in the proportion that each county pays the total salaries of the circuit court reporters.
    1. If any participating public employer fails to remit to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System those moneys which are required by law or rule by the date and at the frequency established by the board, the system shall impose a penalty equal to the actuarially assumed rate of return on investments of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund in the form of interest on an annual basis on the moneys due.
    2. This interest shall be computed on the actual days of delinquency and shall be paid to the system for the purpose of reimbursing the trust fund for the money which would have been earned on the moneys had they been paid when due.
    3. The interest penalty shall be determined by the system on the date the delinquent funds are received, and a statement of the interest shall be sent to the participating public employer.
    4. If the interest penalty or delinquent moneys are not received by the system by the last business day of the month in which the moneys were originally due, then the system shall cause the sums of moneys, including interest, to be transferred from any moneys due the participating public employer from the office of the Treasurer of State or the Department of Education as approved in § 19-5-106(a)(5).
    1. If any participating public employer fails to file with the system the retirement report by the date established by the board, the system shall impose a penalty of one hundred fifty dollars ($150) for each time the report is late.
    2. A statement of the penalty shall be sent to the participating employer.
    3. If the penalty is not received by the last business day of the month in which the report was due, then the system shall cause the amount to be transferred from any moneys due the participating public employer from the office of the Treasurer of State or the Department of Education as provided in § 19-5-106(a)(5).
    1. A participating public employer shall submit a written request for a temporary waiver to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System on or before July 1, 2017, when the participating public employer is unable to:
      1. Report contributions electronically through the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System; or
      2. Pay contributions by electronic transfer.
    2. A request for a temporary waiver shall include a timeline for when the participating public employer will be able to comply with payment and reporting requirements under this section.
  2. A participating public employer shall promptly upon request by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System provide all information requested concerning the status of an employee to the system.
  3. It is the sole responsibility of the reporting participating public employer to ensure that the information provided by the participating public employer, including without limitation the participating public employer's wage reporting and contribution remittances, is accurate.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 4; 1959, No. 42, § 4; 1961, No. 64, § 2; 1967, No. 108, § 1; 1977, No. 663, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2504; Acts 1993, No. 286, § 4; 1995, No. 398, § 4; 1995, No. 1292, § 4; 1997, No. 76, § 5; 1997, No. 299, § 9; 2001, No. 151, § 12; 2013, No. 332, § 8; 2015, No. 91, § 1; 2019, No. 315, § 2854.

A.C.R.C. Notes. The Local Government Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, referred to in this section, may no longer exist as a separate division of the system. For present organizational structure of the system, see § 24-4-201.

Amendments. The 2013 amendment added (g).

The 2015 amendment rewrote (a)(1); added (c)(2)(B) and redesignated former (c)(2) as (c)(2)(A); inserted (g); redesignated former (g) as (h); and added (i).

The 2019 amendment substituted “rule” for “regulation” in (e)(1).

Meaning of “this act”. Acts 1957, No. 177, codified as §§ 24-4-10124-4-105, 24-4-201, 24-4-202, 24-4-205, 24-4-20724-4-209, 24-4-30124-4-304, 24-4-401, 24-4-402, 24-4-507, 24-4-508, 24-4-51024-4-512, 24-4-513 [repealed], 24-4-60124-4-603, 24-4-605, 24-4-606.

24-4-203, 24-4-204. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. These sections, concerning penalties for delinquency and audit of officers, were repealed by Acts 1997, No. 299, § 26. They were derived from the following sources:

24-4-203. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 4; 1959, No. 42, § 4; 1961, No. 64, § 2; 1979, No. 715, § 7; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2504; Acts 1989, No. 407, § 1; 1991, No. 234, § 1.

24-4-204. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 4; 1959, No. 42, § 4; 1961, No. 64, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2504.

24-4-205. State as trustee.

The promulgation of this chapter shall constitute an offer by the state to serve as trustee for the funds collected under the provisions of this chapter, as well as a guarantee that the disbursement thereof shall be in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and that none of the funds shall be used for any purpose except the purposes provided for in this Act.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 12; 1959, No. 42, § 12; 1961, No. 64, § 6; 1965, No. 153, § 13; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2512; Acts 2001, No. 151, § 13.

Meaning of “this act”. See note to § 24-4-202.

24-4-206. Funding — Additional liabilities — Local Government Division.

    1. Whenever the General Assembly shall enact any laws which create additional eligibility or liabilities for county constitutional officers or for county employees or municipal employees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall determine, based upon actuarial valuation, that the method of funding the additional liabilities is not sufficient to meet the unfunded obligations created by the additional benefit or eligibility provision, then the procedures established in this section shall be followed in providing the necessary moneys to actuarially fund the additional liabilities.
      1. The Executive Director of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall cause an actuarial valuation to be made of the additional liabilities created by the laws.
      2. In the event the actuary determines that the employee and employer contributions are actuarially insufficient to pay the benefits of the elected county constitutional officer members or county or municipal employee members of the Local Government Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, the director shall establish accounts and records to identify the estimated contributions and other income available to actuarially fund the members' benefits when they mature, as well as the extent that each county's member liabilities will exceed the amount of employee and employer contributions and interest thereon.
    1. The director shall then calculate, with the assistance of the actuary, the amount of funds required annually or on a lump-sum basis to actuarially fund the additional unfunded liabilities created by the laws with respect to members from each county or municipality. He or she shall annually or on a lump-sum basis certify to the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State the amount required for the year or on a lump-sum basis to establish sufficient funds and reserves to meet the actuarial requirements of the additional benefits.
    2. The certificate of the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State shall reflect the amount of the annual extra payment to be charged against each of the several counties and municipalities, based on the unfunded liabilities with respect to their officials and employee members of the Local Government Division.
    3. The Chief Fiscal Officer of the State shall cause the amount so certified to be transferred from the County Aid Fund or from the Municipal Aid Fund, as the case may be, from general revenues allocated thereto for turnback to counties or municipalities to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund for credit to the Local Government Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
    4. From the general revenues allocated thereto for turnback to counties or municipalities, the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State shall deduct from the County Aid Fund turnback to be received by each county an amount as computed pursuant to this section required to pay retirement benefits for its elected county constitutional officer members, and for its county employee members of the Local Government Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
    5. From general revenues allocated thereto for turnback to municipalities, the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State shall deduct from the Municipal Aid Fund turnback to be received by each municipality an amount, payable upon actuarial determination, required to pay retirement benefits for their municipal employee members from each of the respective municipalities.
      1. The moneys to be transferred from the County Aid Fund and the Municipal Aid Fund shall not be charged against the total of the county aid or municipal aid funds available for distribution to counties or municipalities.
      2. It is the intent of this section that each county pay annually from its County Aid Fund general revenues turnback, and that each municipality pay annually from its Municipal Aid Fund general revenues turnback, the amount of money required to meet the unfunded liability deficit in behalf of its respective county and municipal employee members of the system resulting from the enactment of the laws.

History. Acts 1979, No. 373, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2504.1; Acts 1999, No. 308, § 2.

A.C.R.C. Notes. The Local Government Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, referred to in this section, may no longer exist as a separate division of the system. For present organizational structure of the system, see § 24-4-201.

24-4-207. Bonds — Payments on vouchers and warrants — Adjustment of erroneous payments.

    1. The Executive Director of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and other employees shall make bonds to cover their liability for the faithful performance of their duties, from time to time as provided for by law.
    2. The cost of the bonds shall be paid from moneys provided for the administrative expenses of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
    3. The Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration is authorized and directed to designate such additional personnel within his or her office and to provide for such services as are necessary for the proper operation of the system.
    1. The Treasurer of State shall pay annuities and make other disbursements authorized by this act only on vouchers signed by the Executive Director of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and on warrants issued thereon by the Auditor of State.
    2. No voucher or warrant shall be drawn on funds of the system unless it has been previously authorized by a specific or general resolution adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
      1. Should any change or error in the records of the system or any audit of a member's annuity calculations result in any person's receiving more or less than the person would have been entitled to receive had the records or the calculations been correct, the board shall correct the error and, as far as is equitable and practicable, shall adjust the payment in accordance with the provisions of this subsection and in such a manner that the actuarial equivalent of the benefit to which the person was correctly entitled shall be paid.
      2. However, no monthly adjustment of less than one dollar ($1.00) shall be made.
      1. The board shall have the right to recover any overpayment that any person may have received from funds of the system, provided the overpayment is determined and the person is so notified within one (1) year of the date of the last overpayment.
      2. If the overpayment is determined at a date later than one (1) year after the date of the last overpayment, the overpayment shall not be recouped by the board unless the overpayment is a result of an error on the part of a member, retirant, or beneficiary.
      3. In all instances where an overpayment is determined, any subsequent payments shall be adjusted to the correct amount.
    1. If it is determined that any person has received an underpayment from the funds of the system, regardless of the date of the determination, the system shall pay in a lump sum to the person the total of any underpayments made prior to the date of determination, and any subsequent payments shall be adjusted to the correct amount.
      1. If the annuity amount is decreased upon the reconsideration, the matters involved in the decrease shall be set forth in writing and shall be subject to review upon the filing of an appeal thereof by the member or annuity recipient.
      2. The redetermination shall be deemed to be final and binding on all parties unless, within twenty (20) days after the mailing of notice of the redetermination to the member's last known address, or twenty (20) days after personal delivery of the notice to the member, an appeal thereof is filed with the Executive Director of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
      3. The Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration shall promptly hear all appeals of annuity determinations or redeterminations and shall conduct such hearings in accordance with procedures set forth by the board.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 5; 1959, No. 42, § 5; 1965, No. 153, § 5; 1981, No. 859, § 5; 1983, No. 677, § 6; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2505; Acts 1993, No. 1093, § 1; 2001, No. 151, § 14; 2011, No. 38, § 3; 2019, No. 448, § 1; 2019, No. 910, §§ 3552, 3553.

A.C.R.C. Notes. The operation of subdivisions (a)(1) and (a)(2) was suspended by adoption of a self-insured fidelity bond program for public officers, officials and employees, effective July 20, 1987, pursuant to § 21-2-701 et seq. The subdivisions may again become effective upon cessation of coverage under that program. See § 21-2-703.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment by No. 38 substituted “last” for “first” in (c)(2)(A).

The 2019 amendment by No. 448 substituted “last” for “first” in (c)(2)(B).

The 2019 amendment by No. 910 substituted “Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration” for “Director of the Department of Finance and Administration” in (a)(3) and (c)(4)(C).

Meaning of “this act”. See note to § 24-4-202.

24-4-208. Reduction of annuities when funds inadequate.

    1. If, at the end of any fiscal year, the total of the annuities paid during the fiscal year from the State Division of the retirement reserve account is more than twelve percent (12%) of the sum of the balances in the State Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System of the employers' accumulation account and the retirement reserve account at the end of the fiscal year, the annuities payable to state retirants and beneficiaries in the ensuing fiscal year shall be reduced pro rata.
    2. This reduction shall be made in such a manner that the total of the annuities so reduced shall not exceed twelve percent (12%) of the sum of the balances in the State Division of the employers' accumulation account and the retirement reserve account.
    3. The pro rata reduction shall be applied to all annuities payable to state retirants and beneficiaries during the ensuing fiscal year.
    1. If, at the end of any fiscal year, the total of the annuities paid during the fiscal year from the Local Government Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System of the retirement reserve account is more than twelve percent (12%) of the sum of the balances in the Local Government Division of the employers' accumulation account and the retirement reserve account at the end of the fiscal year, then the annuities payable to county retirants and beneficiaries in the ensuing fiscal year shall be reduced pro rata.
    2. This reduction shall be made in such a manner that the total of the annuities so reduced shall not exceed twelve percent (12%) of the sum of the balances in the Local Government Division of the employers' accumulation account and the retirement reserve account.
    3. The pro rata reduction shall be applied to all annuities payable to local government retirants and beneficiaries during the ensuing fiscal year.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 12; 1959, No. 42, § 12; 1961, No. 64, § 6; 1965, No. 153, § 13; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2512; Acts 2001, No. 151, § 15.

A.C.R.C. Notes. The State Division and Local Government Divisions of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, referred to in this section, may no longer exist as a separate division of the system. For present organizational structure of the system, see § 24-4-201.

24-4-209. Interest.

  1. At the end of each fiscal year, the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System may allow the crediting of interest at an amount to be determined on the balance at the beginning of the fiscal year in the members' deposit account and the employers' accumulation account.
  2. The board shall be required to allow regular interest at the end of each fiscal year on the year's mean balance in the retirement reserve account.
  3. The interest allowed under subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be credited annually by the board to the accounts and shall be paid from the income account.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 13; 1959, No. 42, § 13; 1977, No. 793, § 11; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2513; Acts 1997, No. 299, § 10.

24-4-210. Transfer of funds to cover retired county constitutional officers.

    1. On July 1, 1979, the actuary for the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall make a determination of the amount necessary to be collected on a monthly basis during the ensuing one hundred twenty (120) months to set up the Retirement Reserve Fund for all persons retired as elected county constitutional officers on July 1, 1978.
    2. The amount, as determined by the actuary, shall be certified by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System to the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State. He or she shall in turn cause the amount so certified to be transferred in equal monthly installments from the County Aid Fund or from any other general revenue fund authorized by law for the purpose, from general revenues allocated thereto to counties, to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund for credit to the County Constitutional Officers' Subdivision.
    3. The amounts so certified shall also include regular interest which would have been collected by the system.
    1. As additional persons are retired under the provisions of the County Constitutional Officers' Subdivision after July 1, 1978, the retirement reserve amount as determined by the system's actuary shall be certified to the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State by the board.
    2. The Chief Fiscal Officer of the State shall then cause the amount so certified to be transferred in one (1) lump sum from the County Aid Fund or from any other general revenue fund authorized by law for the purpose, from general revenues allocated thereto to counties, to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund for credit to the County Constitutional Officers' Subdivision.

History. Acts 1977, No. 754, § 1; 1977 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 14, § 1; 1979, No. 653, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2577.1; Acts 1997, No. 299, § 11.

A.C.R.C. Notes. The County Constitutional Officers' Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, referred to in this section, may no longer exist as a separate division of the system. For present organizational structure of the system, see § 24-4-201.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1977 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 14, § 2, provided that: “The purpose and intent of Acts 1977, No. 754 was to provide an appropriate method of funding the current liabilities of the County Elected Constitutional Officer Division (now Subdivision) of the Public Employees' Retirement System and of funding future liabilities of that division (now subdivision) which might accrue as a result of the retirement after June 30, 1977 of persons who had credited county elected constitutional officer service in the system on June 30, 1977. The section provided further that the repeal of the acts specifically referred to in Acts 1977, No. 754, § 2 would preclude persons who first served in a county elected constitutional office after July 1, 1977 from participating in or becoming eligible for the special county elected constitutional officer benefits prescribed in those acts and that it was not the intention of the General Assembly in repealing those acts to affect the rights of any person to retire and receive benefits thereunder if the person had retired and was receiving benefits thereunder on June 30, 1977, or had met the service requirements for retirement thereunder on June 30, 1977, or had any county elected constitutional officer credited service in the system on June 30, 1977, and if the person thereafter met the minimum service requirements for retiring and receiving benefits under the County Elected Constitutional Officer Division (now Subdivision). Rather, those persons were to continue to have the right to accumulate credited service and to receive benefits under those acts and the survivors of those persons had the right to receive benefits thereunder the same as if those acts had not been repealed.”

24-4-211. Disposition of funds returned to hospitals withdrawing from system.

Any hospital excluding its employees from the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and receiving a return of any funds as provided in § 24-4-302(3) shall immediately invest the funds in a retirement system or plan for the employees of the hospital.

History. Acts 1971, No. 303, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2506.1.

24-4-212. No waiver of sovereign immunity.

Nothing in this chapter shall be taken or interpreted as a waiver of the state's sovereign immunity.

History. Acts 2011, No. 38, § 4.

24-4-213. Socially responsible investments.

A decision on whether to invest, not invest, or withdraw from investment the funds of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall not be based on a consideration that the location of the investment, fund, company, or any other type of investment vehicle is in the State of Israel.

History. Acts 2017, No. 770, § 1.

Subchapter 3 — Membership

Cross References. Employees of state colleges included in membership, § 24-7-1001.

Preambles. Acts 1959, No. 264 contained a preamble which read:

“Whereas, under the provisions of Act 177, approved March 7, 1957, a ‘member’ of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System is defined as a person who has, by due process, had issued to him a certificate of membership in said System; and

“Whereas, said Act does not cover certain agencies of this State operating out of cash funds; and

“Whereas, under said Act, membership in the System may be terminated only by retirement, by permanent and total disability, by superannuation, by death, or by withdrawal, either voluntary or involuntary, from active service in the State of Arkansas; and

“Whereas, such Act is silent as to those persons who, on the effective date of said Act 177, became members of the System and who later transferred their employment from an agency of State covered by said System to another agency of State not so covered, which said latter agency is not covered by any retirement system or plan other than Social Security; and

“Whereas, the apparent oversight in the aforementioned respect in the drafting of said Act 177 has had the unintended effect of denying certain prospective benefits to members of the System who have not withdrawn their contributions in the System but who, nevertheless, have been continuously employed by an agency of this State whose employees are not otherwise covered by a retirement system or plan authorized by the laws of this State other than Social Security;

“Now, therefore….”

Effective Dates. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 17: Mar. 7, 1957. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that the establishment of a State Employees Retirement System is necessary in order to retain and recruit efficient and skilled state employees and that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary in order that the Board of Trustees herein created be appointed, organize and establish the necessary rules and forms to be followed upon the establishment of the retirement system herein created on July 1, 1957. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1959, No. 42, § 16: Feb. 13, 1959. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that the coverage of county employees in a retirement system is necessary in order to retain and recruit efficient and skilled county employees; that the coverage is best obtained by including the county employees in the membership of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System, established by Act 177 of 1957, as amended; that it is necessary for the Board of Trustees of said Arkansas State Employees Retirement System to organize and establish necessary rules, regulations and forms to effectuate said coverage of county employees. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1959, No. 264, § 4: July 1, 1959.

Acts 1961, No. 64, § 9: Feb. 9, 1961. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that the coverage of municipal employees in a retirement system is necessary in order to retain and recruit efficient and skilled municipal employees; that the coverage is best obtained by permitting the inclusion of municipal employees in the membership of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System, established by Act 177 of 1957, as amended; that the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System shall establish necessary rules, regulations and forms to effectuate said coverage of municipal employees. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1971, No. 228, § 3: Mar. 5, 1971. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the providing of reasonable and adequate retirement benefits is necessary for municipalities to attract qualified personnel as employees; that programs or plans for such retirement benefits may be available by which certain municipalities may enhance their prospects of attracting and retaining such personnel; and that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary to provide such municipalities with more flexibility in adopting any such available program at the discretion of such municipalities. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1973, No. 586, § 11: Became law without the Governor's signature, Apr. 3, 1973. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that provisions of this act clarify coverage, service, credits, and eligibility for benefits under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System; and, in order to enable those persons who are eligible for such coverage, service credits, or benefits thereunder to obtain such without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1975 (Extended Sess., 1976), No. 1187, § 3: Feb. 11, 1976. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that existing law relating to membership in the Public Employees Retirement System of employees of a county owned and operated hospital places a serious financial burden on certain hospitals owned and operated by counties within this State; that this Act is designed to permit the governing bodies of such hospitals to elect to exclude their employees from such membership and should be given effect immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1981, No. 882, § 5: Mar. 28, 1981. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that municipalities of this State are allowed to enter and withdraw at will from the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System and this is deemed to be contrary to good public policy. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1987, No. 57, § 4: Feb. 18, 1987. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the democratic process is being unnecessarily burdened by Act 470 of 1977; that the repeal of that Act is immediately necessary; that an undue hardship will result to the detriment of the public health, welfare and safety if this Act does not become effective immediately upon passage thereof. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1987, No. 376, § 3: Mar. 23, 1987. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that state law should be revised to provide for refunds of employer contributions for municipal water and sewer departments in cities of the first class if the department becomes leased from the municipality and withdrawn from the Public Employees Retirement System and that the immediate refund of the contribution will assist certain municipalities in meeting their financial obligation for providing services to the public. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act, being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1987, No. 998, § 3: Apr. 14, 1987. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that because of the case Ricarte v. State, CR 86-31, a question has arisen over the validity of Act 1187 of the Extended Session of 1976; that this Act is a reenactment of the former law; and that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary to clarify the state of the law on this issue. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1989, No. 50, § 4: Feb. 13, 1989. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that existing law relating to membership by county owned and operated hospitals in the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System is not clear due to the passage of various Acts pertaining thereto and the effect of Act 13 of the first Extraordinary Session of 1977; that hospitals owned and operated by counties are unsure as to their status with regard to the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System and the present law places a serious financial burden on the hospitals and employees of the hospital within this State; and that this Act is designed to permit the governing bodies of such hospitals to elect to exclude their employees from such membership and should be given effect immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1989, No. 160, § 6: Feb. 21, 1989. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the present law is not clear in its meaning and could result in inequities; and that this should be remedied immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1997, No. 299, § 28: July 1, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that certain provisions of law governing the Public Employees' Retirement System need clarification, standardization, and repeal and that the effective administration of State government makes it necessary for these changes to begin at the start of the State's fiscal year. Therefore, in order to promote sound fiscal administration of State government, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall become effective July 1, 1997.”

Acts 2001, No. 151, § 69: Feb. 8, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act makes technical corrections to a number of sections of Arkansas Code Title 24; that other legislation of this session of the General Assembly may also amend some of those sections; that this act should become effective immediately so that other legislation may be amended to reflect the technical corrections made by this act and to avoid conflicts. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2011, No. 737, § 2: Mar. 25, 2011. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that there is confusion as to whether Arkansas Code § 24-4-302 applies to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other health care facilities owned but not operated by counties; that this confusion has resulted in litigation against the counties; and that this act is immediately necessary because county-owned nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other health care facilities that are not operated by the county provide essential services to citizens of the state that are substantially similar to the services of hospitals, and without this clarification these facilities may cease to exist, which will cause irreparable harm to the people who depend on these facilities for day-to-day care. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2019, No. 448, § 13: Mar. 13, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the operations of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System must be able to meet the needs of its members as anticipated by the General Assembly; that certain provisions of the system are in imminent need of revision; and that this act is immediately necessary in order to maintain an orderly system of benefits for the members of the system. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto”.

24-4-301. Membership as condition to employment.

    1. Except as set forth in this subsection, all state employees, as defined in § 24-4-101(17) and (45), shall become members of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System as a condition of employment.
          1. A person who is first elected as a member of the General Assembly on or after July 1, 1999, shall have his or her employment covered as a regular state employee member in lieu of coverage under special provisions relating to General Assembly members or to elected officials.
          2. However, if the member's only service under an Arkansas retirement plan, as provided under § 24-2-401 et seq., is service as a member of the General Assembly, then the member must have ten (10) or more years of actual service to be eligible for benefits.
          1. A person who was first elected as a member of the General Assembly before July 1, 1999, may elect to have his or her employment covered as a regular state employee member in lieu of coverage under special provisions relating to General Assembly members or to elected officials. The member may make the election at any time.
          2. However, if the member's only service under an Arkansas retirement plan is service as a member of the General Assembly, then the member must have ten (10) or more years of actual service to be eligible for benefits.
      1. Any member of the General Assembly who was serving in that capacity at the commencement of the Eighty-fourth General Assembly and who had elected not to participate in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System under the provisions of § 24-4-301(a)(2)(A) prior to its amendment by Acts 2003, No. 1403, may elect to participate and receive current credit in the system. The member is eligible to receive prior service credit for the time he or she was first elected to the General Assembly until the date of election to participate provided that:
        1. The member pays, or causes to be paid, all employer contributions based on the employer's normal cost from the most recent actuarial valuation and the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member of the system during that time and regular interest on the employer contributions computed from the date the service was rendered to the date payment is received by the system;
        2. The payment shall be made in a lump sum; and
        3. The member may pay for all prior service, or a portion of the prior service, consisting of one-year increments.
  1. All county employees, as defined in § 24-4-101(14), (17), and (27), who are in the employ of a county July 1, 1959, and all persons who became or become county employees in the employ of a county after June 30, 1959, shall become members of the system as a condition of continuing in or obtaining county employment, as the case may be.
  2. All municipal employees, as defined in § 24-4-101(17), (24), and (27), who are in the employ of a municipality as of the date the municipality becomes a participating public employer and all persons who become municipal employees in the employ of a municipality on or after the date it becomes a participating public employer shall become members of the system as a condition of continuing in or entering the employ of the municipality. However, no employee shall be included whose compensation is less than one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) per annum.
  3. All nonstate employees, as defined in § 24-4-101(17), (22), (27), and (33), who are in the employ of a nonstate employer as of the date the nonstate employer becomes a participating public employer and all persons who become nonstate employees in the employ of a nonstate employer on or after the date it becomes a participating public employer shall become members of the system as a condition of continuing in or entering the employ of the nonstate employer.
    1. From and after July 1, 1973, all elected and appointed state and county constitutional officials shall be or become members of the system.
    2. Any current member of the system who has service prior to July 1, 1973, as an elected or appointed constitutional official, which service is not credited to his or her retirement account because the member elected not to become a member of the system during that time, shall receive credited service for that time, but only if:
      1. The person is a contributing member of the system on the date the service is purchased and the person has at the time of purchase at least two (2) years of credited service in the system;
      2. The member buys all of the service rendered during the period of time in which he or she did not participate in the system; and
      3. The member pays or causes to be paid all employee contributions at the rate and on the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member of the system during that period of time, all employer contributions based on the employer normal cost from the most recently completed regular annual actuarial valuation and the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time, and regular interest on the employee and employer contributions computed from the date the service was rendered to the date the payment is received by the system.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 6; 1959, No. 42, § 6; 1961, No. 64, § 3; 1973, No. 586, § 1; 1975, No. 577, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2506; Acts 1987, No. 57, § 1; 1997, No. 299, § 12; 1999, No. 705, § 1; 2001, No. 151, § 16; 2003, No. 1403, § 1; 2007, No. 176, § 4; 2019, No. 448, § 2.

A.C.R.C. Notes. The reference in (a)(2)(B) to “the provisions of § 24-4-301(a)(2)(A) prior to its amendment by Acts 2003, No. 1403” is a reference to the version of subdivision (a)(2)(A) repealed by Acts 2003, No. 1403. Acts 2003, No. 1403 also redesignated former subdivision (a)(2)(C) as present subdivision (a)(2)(A). Former subdivision (a)(2)(A) read as follows:

“Membership in the system shall not be mandatory for any member of the General Assembly who notifies the system in writing of his or her decision not to participate. The member may elect not to participate for all or any part of his or her service or benefits as a member of the General Assembly. The member may make the election at any time.”

Amendments. The 2019 amendment inserted “as provided under § 24-2-401 et seq.” in (a)(2)(A)(i) (b)

24-4-302. County employees included — Exceptions.

All counties in this state shall be subject to the provisions of this act as participating public employers, and all counties shall, from and after July 30, 1959, include their employees, as defined in § 24-4-101(14), (17), and (27), in the membership of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, except as follows:

  1. Any newly constructed county-owned and operated hospital which was first placed in use after December 1, 1975, may elect, by at least a two-thirds (2/3) vote of its governing body, to exclude the employees of the hospital from membership in the system, but only if the election was certified to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System prior to July 1, 1976. However, any hospital electing to exclude its employees from membership under the provisions of this subdivision (1) shall require its employees to become members of the system effective July 1, 1978;
  2. A hospital which is owned but not operated by a county and which, subsequent to June 30, 1963, becomes operated by a county, may elect, by at least a two-thirds (2/3) vote of its governing body, to exclude its employees of the hospital from membership in the system, but only if the election is certified to the board within a period of one (1) year from and after the date the hospital becomes operated by a county;
    1. In the event the governing body of a county-owned and operated hospital elects to exclude its employees from membership in the system, the employees of the hospital shall thereupon cease to be members of the system.
    2. Any balances standing to the credit of the members in the members' deposit account shall be returned to the members.
    3. If any hospital elects, after February 1, 1971, and prior to July 1, 1972, to exclude its members from the system, the contributions made to the system by or on behalf of the hospital that are in excess of the amounts determined by actuarial calculations to be necessary to fund the outstanding obligations of the system to employees of the withdrawing hospital shall be returned to the withdrawing hospital;
    1. A hospital which, as of June 30, 1988, is owned and operated by a county and which has failed to participate in the system may elect to exclude the employees of the hospital from membership in the system by at least a two-thirds (2/3) vote of its governing body.
    2. Neither employees of the hospital nor the hospital itself shall be liable or eligible to pay any past contribution which may have been due the system, but only if the election is certified to the board prior to July 1, 1990; and
  3. A nursing home, assisted living facility, or healthcare facility that is:
    1. Owned but not operated by a county may elect by a vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of its governing body to exclude employees of the facility from membership in the system but only if the election is certified to the board within one (1) year from March 25, 2011; and
    2. Constructed or acquired by a county after March 25, 2011, but not operated by a county may elect by a vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of its governing body to exclude employees of the facility from membership in the system but only if the election is certified to the board within one (1) year from the date of the beginning of operations after construction or acquisition.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 6; 1959, No. 42, § 6; 1961, No. 64, § 3; 1963, No. 56, § 1; 1969, No. 476, § 1; 1971, No. 303, § 1; 1975 (Extended Sess., 1976), No. 1187, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2506; reen. Acts 1987, No. 998, § 1; 1989, No. 50, § 1; 2001, No. 151, § 17; 2011, No. 737, § 1.

A.C.R.C. Notes. Part of this section was reenacted by Acts 1987, No. 998, § 1. Acts 1987, No. 834, provided that 1987 legislation reenacting acts passed in the 1976 Extended Session should not repeal any other 1987 legislation and that such other legislation would be controlling in the event of conflict.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment added (5).

Meaning of “this act”. Acts 1957, No. 177, codified as §§ 24-4-10124-4-105, 24-4-201, 24-4-202, 24-4-205, 24-4-20724-4-209, 24-4-30124-4-304, 24-4-401, 24-4-402, 24-4-507, 24-4-508, 24-4-51024-4-512, 24-4-513 [repealed], 24-4-60124-4-603, 24-4-605, 24-4-606.

Case Notes

Eligibility.

All three definitions (“County employees”, “Employees”, and “Nonstate employees”) in § 24-4-101 had to be applied to determine the county nursing home employees' eligibility for membership in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System. Bd. of Trs. of the Ark. Pub. Emples. Ret. Sys. v. Garrison, 2019 Ark. App. 245, 576 S.W.3d 485 (2019).

There is no irreconcilable conflict that compels a disjunctive reading of the language in the introductory paragraph of this section that refers to three definitions in § 24-4-101 with “and”; read together, the definitions of “County employees” and “Employees” in § 24-4-101 harmoniously provide that “county employees” means all employees who are paid, either directly or indirectly, from funds appropriated by county participating public employers. Bd. of Trs. of the Ark. Pub. Emples. Ret. Sys. v. Garrison, 2019 Ark. App. 245, 576 S.W.3d 485 (2019).

Substantial evidence supported the finding of the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System that former employees of nursing homes owned by counties were not “county employees” under the relevant statutes and were not eligible for membership in the retirement system because their compensation was payable from patient revenues rather than from appropriated funds. Bd. of Trs. of the Ark. Pub. Emples. Ret. Sys. v. Garrison, 2019 Ark. App. 245, 576 S.W.3d 485 (2019).

Assuming that the nursing-home administrative boards and their respective counties were synonymous under the definitions of “County employees” and “Employees” in § 24-4-101, the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System's finding that the former employees of county-owned nursing homes were not paid from appropriated funds as required by the definition of “Employees” in § 24-4-101 was affirmed as no ordinances in the record specifically designated county money for their compensation. Bd. of Trs. of the Ark. Pub. Emples. Ret. Sys. v. Garrison, 2019 Ark. App. 245, 576 S.W.3d 485 (2019).

24-4-303. Membership — Election by municipalities — Leased water and sewer utilities.

      1. Any municipality may elect to become a participating public employer and to cover its employees under the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System either by a three-fifths (3/5) vote of its governing body or by a majority vote of the qualified voters of the municipality.
      2. However, the mayor and city clerk of a city of the first class who are serving in a municipality that participates in the system shall become participating employees under the system upon taking office.
        1. If the employee elects not to continue participation in the system and opts to participate in the local retirement plan as provided under § 24-12-121 or § 24-12-123, instead, written notice of the election shall be presented to the system in a form determined acceptable by the system not later than ninety (90) calendar days after first assuming office.
        2. The election under subdivision (a)(1)(C)(i) of this section is irrevocable.
        3. Employer contributions made to the system on behalf of employees who elect not to continue participation will be refunded to the city without interest, and the associated service credit in the system is forfeited.
    1. If a newly elected city attorney or city treasurer of a city of the first class is otherwise covered under a local retirement fund, then the provisions of subdivisions (a)(1)(B) and (C) of this section also apply to those offices.
    2. The clerk or recorder of each municipality electing to become a participating public employer shall certify the vote to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System within ten (10) days after the vote of the governing body or the canvass of the votes of the electorate, as the case may be.
    3. The effective date of coverage under the system shall be either the first day of the calendar month next following receipt by the board of the election results or the July 1 next following the receipt, as determined by the vote.
      1. If a municipal employee or a former municipal employee covered by the system in a municipality with a city administration of justice fund created under § 16-10-308 that exists to provide a pension fund for the position held by the employee or former employee elects to establish participation in the public retirement system under § 24-12-101 et seq., and to waive any rights the employee or former employee may have had, or would otherwise have, in the local retirement system, then:
        1. The employee or former employee may transfer his or her service credit to the system; and
        2. The municipality for which he or she is or was serving in the capacity as a district judge, may use the funds within the city's administration of justice fund to pay all contributions and interest required by the system to transfer the service credit to the system.
      2. In addition, if any employee or former employee covered by the city's administration of justice fund has transferred or does transfer service credit to the system anytime after January 1, 2000, and if the municipality has used general revenue funds to pay the contribution required to fund the transfer, or if the municipality has used the city's administration of justice fund to fund the transfer, then the city's administration of justice fund shall not be refunded. However, if general funds were used, the city may reimburse the general fund from the city's administration of justice fund for the contribution paid on behalf of the employee or former employee.
        1. In addition to paying for the transfer of service credit for the position for which the fund is created, the municipality may also pay from the city's administration of justice fund on behalf of the employee or former employee for any additional transfer of service credit the employee or former employee elects to make regarding time as city attorney for the municipality.
        2. The municipality may reimburse itself for any payment from the city's administration of justice fund to fund the transfer made from its general fund after January 1, 2000, on behalf of the employee or former employee to purchase city attorney service credit in the system.
        3. If any payment for the service has been made directly from the city's administration of justice fund after January 1, 2000, the municipality shall not be required to reimburse the city's administration of justice fund for those transfers.
        4. If a transfer from the general fund is made to the city's administration of justice fund after payment from the city's administration of justice fund for the service credit transfers and before the effective date of this subdivision (a)(5), the municipality is entitled to reimburse the general fund from the city's administration of justice fund for the amount of the transfers.
    1. Any municipality which has as of March 28, 1981, taken its first vote to withdraw from participation shall be eligible to withdraw under the provisions of this section if the final vote to withdraw is certified to the board before July 1, 1981.
    2. The effective date of withdrawal must be before January 1, 1982.
    1. When the water and sewer department of a municipal participating public employer in a city of the first class becomes leased from the municipality and operated by a nonprofit corporation, the mayor shall notify the board in writing within ten (10) days after the utility ceases to be operated by the municipality and may request a refund of the employer contributions paid to the system by the municipality on behalf of the utility employees during their period of employment with the utility.
    2. As soon as practicable after notification and request, the board shall arrange for a determination by its actuary or investment counselor of the lump sum present value of future system benefits for retirants, beneficiaries, and inactive members entitled to a deferred annuity from the employment with the utility while it was operated by the municipality.
    3. The refund requested shall be subject to the following:
        1. If the present value is more than the present system assets arising from the municipality's applicable contributions, then the difference determined by the system's actuary shall be paid to the system by the municipality, either in a single sum or in a series of actuarially equivalent payments over a period not to exceed ten (10) years.
        2. The payment method shall be elected by the municipality from reasonable optional payment methods to be offered by the board;
      1. If the present value is less than the present system assets arising from the municipality's applicable contributions, then the difference determined by the system's actuary shall be paid by the system to the municipality, either in a single sum or in a series of actuarially equivalent payments over a period not to exceed ten (10) years as the board shall determine;
      2. The board shall withhold twenty percent (20%) from the municipality's applicable employer contributions and shall maintain that amount in the employer accumulation account for noncontributory utility employees who may reenter the system and have their forfeited utility service restored to their credit; and
      3. From and after the date the utility ceased to be operated by the municipality:
        1. The system shall have no further obligation for payment of benefits for the municipality's employees, which benefits would be based on service with the utility, except for any refund of contributions due a former member from the members' deposit account; and
        2. The system shall retain the obligation for payment of benefits for the retirant and beneficiaries and inactive members entitled to a deferred annuity from employment with the utility while it was operated by the municipality, except that the retained obligation shall be reduced by any payment overdue or not paid to the system by the municipality for service of its utility employees before the municipality ceased operating the utility.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 6; 1961, No. 64, § 3; 1971, No. 228, § 1; 1973, No. 586, § 2; 1981, No. 882, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2506; Acts 1987, No. 376, § 1; 2003, No. 1281, § 1.

A.C.R.C. Notes. As enacted, subsection (c) began:

“From and after April 1, 1985.”

24-4-304. Credited service — Cessation of employment — Reemployment.

      1. When a member is no longer employed in a position covered by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, he or she shall thereupon cease to be a member.
      2. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, upon termination of his or her membership, a member's credited service is forfeited.
    1. If the person is not a retirant and becomes reemployed in a position covered by the system, the person shall become a member of the system, and the person's credited service which did not require member contributions and then was forfeited by him or her at termination of covered employment shall be restored to his or her credit.
    1. Upon a member's retirement, he or she shall cease to be a member.
    2. Except as provided otherwise in this chapter, he or she shall not again become a member.
  1. Should a former member entitled to a deferred annuity provided for in § 24-4-510 become employed in a position covered by the system before becoming a retirant, the member shall thereupon cease to be entitled to a deferred annuity and shall become a member with his or her last credited service reinstated.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 7; 1959, No. 42, § 7; 1971, No. 190, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2507; Acts 1989, No. 160, § 2; 1993, No. 1104, § 1; 2001, No. 151, § 18.

Case Notes

Eligibility After Retirement.

Retired employee ceased to be a member of system and was not eligible for pension increase enacted after his retirement. Snuggs v. Board of Trustees, 241 Ark. 402, 407 S.W.2d 933 (1966).

24-4-305. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning restoration to system of persons transferred to noncovered agencies, was repealed by Acts 1997, No. 299, § 26. The section was derived from Acts 1959, No. 264, §§ 1-3; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2519 — 12-2521.

Subchapter 4 — Employer and Employee Contributions

Effective Dates. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 17: Mar. 7, 1957. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that the establishment of a State Employees Retirement System is necessary in order to retain and recruit efficient and skilled state employees and that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary in order that the Board of Trustees herein created be appointed, organize and establish the necessary rules and forms to be followed upon the establishment of the retirement system herein created on July 1, 1957. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1959, No. 42, § 16: Feb. 13, 1959. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that the coverage of county employees in a retirement system is necessary in order to retain and recruit efficient and skilled county employees; that the coverage is best obtained by including the county employees in the membership of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System, established by Act 177 of 1957, as amended; that it is necessary for the Board of Trustees of said Arkansas State Employees Retirement System to organize and establish necessary rules, regulations and forms to effectuate said coverage of county employees. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1961, No. 64, § 9: Feb. 8, 1961. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that the coverage of municipal employees in a retirement system is necessary in order to retain and recruit efficient and skilled municipal employees; that the coverage is best obtained by permitting the inclusion of municipal employees in the membership of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System, established by Act 177 of 1957, as amended; that the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System shall establish necessary rules, regulations and forms to effectuate said coverage of municipal employees. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1965, No. 153, § 15: Mar. 9, 1965. Emergency clause provided: “This act shall take effect and be in force from the date of its approval.”

Acts 1969, No. 632, § 7: May 27, 1969. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that Act 185 of 1969 which provides for an increase in contributions to and benefits payable under the State Employees Retirement System to be effective on July 1, 1969 did not contain an emergency clause and therefore will not be effective until ninety (90) days after adjournment of the Regular Session; that due to the extension of the Regular Session as authorized in the Constitution, acts not having an emergency clause will not be effective until well after July 1; and that it is essential to the proper administration of the State Employees Retirement System that the increase in contributions to and benefits payable under the State Employees Retirement System take effect on July 1, 1969. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1971, No. 103, § 8: Feb. 17, 1971. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that in order to provide for an orderly retirement for public employees in Arkansas and for the Board of Trustees of the Public Employees Retirement System to have ample time for the implementation of the provisions of this act, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1973, No. 666, § 14: Apr. 10, 1973. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the provisions of this Act change the rate of contributions, change the value of service credits and establish new types of benefits under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System; and, in order to enable persons to receive proper benefits thereunder without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1975, No. 907, § 22: Apr. 7, 1975. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that provisions of this Act clarify coverage, service credits, and eligibility for benefits under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System; and in order to enable those persons who are eligible for such coverage, service credits, or benefits thereunder to obtain such without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1997, No. 299, § 28: July 1, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that certain provisions of law governing the Public Employees' Retirement System need clarification, standardization, and repeal and that the effective administration of State government makes it necessary for these changes to begin at the start of the State's fiscal year. Therefore, in order to promote sound fiscal administration of State government, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall become effective July 1, 1997.”

Acts 2001, No. 151, § 69: Feb. 8, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act makes technical corrections to a number of sections of Arkansas Code Title 24; that other legislation of this session of the General Assembly may also amend some of those sections; that this act should become effective immediately so that other legislation may be amended to reflect the technical corrections made by this act and to avoid conflicts. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2005, No. 2084, § 5: July 1, 2005. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that for the effective administration of this act and to avoid undue harm to the members and benefit recipients of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System that this act should become effective on July 1, 2005. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2005.”

Acts 2011, No. 558, § 3: Effective on and after Jan. 1, 2012.

24-4-401. Contributions of members.

    1. The members' deposit account shall be the account in which members' contributions shall be accumulated with interest as stipulated by § 24-4-209(a) and from which shall be made transfers and refunds of contributions or accumulated contributions as provided in this act.
    2. Upon the retirement of a member, his or her accumulated contributions standing to his or her credit in the members' deposit account shall be transferred to the retirement reserve account.
      1. Until July 1, 2005, the contributions of a contributory member shall be six percent (6%) of the member's annual compensation.
      2. Beginning July 1, 2005, the contribution rate shall be five percent (5%) of the member's annual compensation for a contributory member.
      3. The member's deposit account shall be credited interest at a rate of four percent (4%) per annum beginning July 1, 2005.
    1. The officer responsible for making up the payroll for each public employer shall cause the contributions provided for in this section to be deducted from the compensation of each member in the employ of a public employer.
    2. The contributions shall be deducted on every payroll, for every payroll period, from the date of the member's entrance into the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System to the date his or her membership terminates.
    3. When deducted, each of the amounts shall be paid by the public employer to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund and shall be credited to the individual account in the members' deposit account of the member from whose compensation the contributions were deducted.
    4. The contributions provided for in this section shall be made notwithstanding that the minimum salary or wages for any member shall be thereby changed.
    5. Each member shall be deemed to consent and agree to the deductions made and provided for in this section.
    6. Payment of a member's compensation less deductions shall be a full and complete discharge and acquittance of all claims and demands whatsoever for services rendered to a public employer by the member, except as to benefits provided by this act.
    1. The official designated by the board of each participating public employer shall remit to the board the contributions deducted from the compensations of members in the employ of the employer.
    2. The remittances shall be made in such manner and form, shall be made in such frequency, and shall from time to time be accompanied by such supporting data as the board shall prescribe.
  1. It is expressly guaranteed that all members' contributions shall be held in trust for the exclusive benefit of the individual members and that no part of the funds shall ever be used for any other purpose.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 8; 1959, No. 42, § 8; 1965, No. 153, § 6; 1967, No. 108, § 2; 1969, No. 632, § 1; 1971, No. 103, § 2; 1973, No. 666, § 2; 1975, No. 907, § 10; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2508, 12-2508.1; Acts 1997, No. 299, § 13; 2001, No. 151, § 19; 2005, No. 2084, § 1.

Meaning of “this act”. Acts 1957, No. 177, codified as §§ 24-4-10124-4-105, 24-4-201, 24-4-202, 24-4-205, 24-4-20724-4-209, 24-4-30124-4-304, 24-4-401, 24-4-402, 24-4-507, 24-4-508, 24-4-51024-4-512, 24-4-513 [repealed], 24-4-60124-4-603, 24-4-605, 24-4-606.

Case Notes

Effect of Retirement.

Employee who retired prior to pension increase no longer had individual account when increase became effective and was not eligible for increased benefits. Snuggs v. Board of Trustees, 241 Ark. 402, 407 S.W.2d 933 (1966).

Settlement Proceeds.

Substantial evidence supported the finding that a school district was responsible for paying the employer contribution to the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System (ATRS) on settlement proceeds a teacher received and that a school district failed to follow the calculation of damages designated in the settlement as back pay because a 14% employer contribution had to be paid on all salary, and ATRS could treat as salary any remuneration paid to a member for settlement with an employer. Palestine-Wheatley Sch. Dist. v. Hopkins, 2016 Ark. App. 112, 484 S.W.3d 682 (2016).

24-4-402. Contributions of state and local government division employers — Accounts of retirement system.

    1. The employers' accumulation account shall be the account in which shall be accumulated the contributions made by public employers to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
    2. Upon the retirement of a member, the difference between the member's annuity reserve and his or her accumulated contributions standing to his or her credit in the members' deposit account shall be transferred from the employers' accumulation account to the retirement reserve account.
    1. The state employer contributions shall be a set percentage rate of the compensations of state employees who are active members as well as those retired members who have returned to work under § 24-4-520. The rate of percentage shall be set by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System as provided for by § 24-2-701.
    2. The state's contributions, when paid into the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund, shall be credited to the employers' accumulation account.
    1. The employer contributions to be paid by each participating public employer, other than the state, shall be a set percentage rate of the compensations of its employees who are active members as well as those retired members who have returned to work under § 24-4-520. The rate of percentage shall be set by the board as provided for by § 24-2-701.
    2. The participating public employers' contributions, when paid into the fund, shall be credited to the employers' accumulation account.
    1. The retirement reserve account shall be the account from which all annuities shall be paid as provided for in this act.
    2. If a disability retirant returns to the employ of a public employer, the retirant's annuity reserve at that time shall be transferred from the retirement reserve account to the members' deposit account and the employers' accumulation account in the same proportion as the annuity reserve was originally transferred to the retirement reserve account.
    1. The income account shall be the account to which shall be credited all interest, dividends, and other income from investments of the system, all gifts and bequests received by the system, and all other moneys, the disposition of which is not specifically provided for in this act.
    2. There shall be paid or transferred from the income account all amounts required to credit regular interest to the various divisions of the members' deposit account, employers' accumulation account, and the retirement reserve account, as provided in this act.
    3. Whenever the board determines that the balance in the income account is more than sufficient to cover current charges to the account, the excess may be transferred by the board to any of the other accounts of the system to cover special needs of the accounts.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 9; 1959, No. 42, § 9; 1961, No. 64, § 4; 1967, No. 175, § 1; 1969, No. 632, § 2; 1971, No. 103, § 3; 1973, No. 666, § 3; 1975, No. 907, § 11; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2509, 12-2509.1; Acts 1997, No. 299, § 14; 2001, No. 151, § 20; 2011, No. 558, § 1.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment substituted “active members as well as those retired members who have returned to work under § 24-4-520” for “members” in (b)(1) and (c)(1).

Meaning of “this act”. See note to § 24-4-401.

Subchapter 5 — Credited Service and Eligibility for Benefits

Cross References. Law enforcement officers, effect of emergency duty on benefits, § 12-75-130.

Effective Dates. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 17: Mar. 7, 1957. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that the establishment of a State Employees Retirement System is necessary in order to retain and recruit efficient and skilled state employees and that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary in order that the Board of Trustees herein created be appointed, organize and establish the necessary rules and forms to be followed upon the establishment of the retirement system herein created on July 1, 1957. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1959, No. 42, § 16: Feb. 13, 1959. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that the coverage of county employees in a retirement system is necessary in order to retain and recruit efficient and skilled county employees; that the coverage is best obtained by including the county employees in the membership of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System, established by Act 177 of 1957, as amended; that it is necessary for the Board of Trustees of said Arkansas State Employees Retirement System to organize and establish necessary rules, regulations and forms to effectuate said coverage of county employees. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1965, No. 153, § 15: Mar. 9, 1965. Emergency clause provided: “This act shall take effect and be in force from the date of its approval.”

Acts 1967, No. 308, § 4: Became law without Governor's signature, Mar. 13, 1967. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that it is essential to the efficient operation of good government that qualified employees be recruited and retained; that a liberal retirement system is conducive to retaining such qualified employees; that the giving of a prior service credit will encourage employees to continue in the State's service; that it is necessary for the Board of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System to draft special forms and institute new procedures in order to implement the terms of this Act; and that it is necessary, in order to assure the retention and recruitment of skilled employees, that this Act become effective immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary to the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1969, No. 228, § 3: Mar. 10, 1969. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the providing of reasonable and adequate retirement benefits for members of the General Assembly is essential to encourage qualified citizens of this State to seek election to serve in the General Assembly; that the existing provisions of the State Employees Retirement Law deprive members of the House and Senate who have long tenure in the General Assembly of receiving benefits commensurate with the benefits of members having fewer years of service; and that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary to correct this situation. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1969, No. 313, § 5: Became law without Governor's signature, Mar. 25, 1969. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that a number of the members of the State Employees Retirement System have not obtained credited service in the retirement system for prior service rendered as a State or County employee and that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary to enable such employees to obtain necessary credit and to pay such necessary contribution therefor. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after the date of its passage and approval.”

Acts 1973, No. 586, § 11: Became law without Governor's signature, Apr. 3, 1973. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that provisions of this act clarify coverage, service, credits, and eligibility for benefits under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System; and, in order to enable those persons who are eligible for such coverage, service credits, or benefits thereunder to obtain such without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1975, No. 907, § 22: Apr. 7, 1975. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that provisions of this Act clarify coverage, service credits, and eligibility for benefits under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System; and in order to enable those persons who are eligible for such coverage, service credits, or benefits thereunder to obtain such without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1977, No. 663, § 8: Mar. 23, 1973. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that provisions of this Act clarify coverage, service credits, and eligibility for benefits under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System; and in order to enable those persons who are eligible for such coverage, service credits, or benefits thereunder to obtain such without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1979, No. 210, § 6: Feb. 23, 1979. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that some county elected constitutional officers in the State served in the armed forces of the United States prior to their election as a county officer; that it is appropriate that such officials who are serving as county elected constitutional officers on the effective date of this Act be permitted to purchase county elected constitutional officer credited service in the Public Employees Retirement System for up to two (2) years of such military service; that this Act is designed to authorize such purchase and to prescribe the procedure therefor, and should be given effect immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1981, No. 592, § 5: Became law without Governor's signature, Mar. 19, 1981. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that under the present law, municipalities are authorized to withdraw from the Public Employees Retirement System and to establish their own retirement system; that some municipalities have withdrawn and upon withdrawal, the employee and employer contributions to the System after making certain adjustments for accrued liabilities to the System are returned to the municipality and/or the respective employees and the employee's credited service in the system is forfeited; that in many instances employees of such withdrawing municipalities withdraw from the Public Employees Retirement System; that some of such employees are subsequently employed by another participating public employer and are required to again become a member of the Public Employees Retirement System and the present law is not clear with respect to the right of such employees to have their forfeited credited service reinstated; that this Act is designed to assure this right to such employees and should be given effect immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1981, No. 859, § 19: Mar. 28, 1981. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that various provisions of Act 177 of 1957, as amended, need further clarification in order for their meaning to be comprehensible to members of the system and administrators. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1991, No. 757, § 6: July 1, 1991. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Eighth General Assembly that the effectiveness of this act on July 1, 1991 is essential to the operation of the state agencies and the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System; that in the event of an extension of the Regular Session, the delay in the effective date of this act beyond July 1, 1991 could work irreparable harm upon the proper administration and provision of essential governmental programs. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1 1991.”

Acts 1993, No. 1093, § 6: Apr. 13, 1993. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that immediate passage and approval of this act is necessary to render finality to annuity determinations made by the Public Employees Retirement System Board and to prevent the hardship and instability that results from the recoupment of the overpayments of incorrectly calculated annuity payments to retired State employees for a protracted period of time. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1995, No. 882, § 5: Apr. 3, 1995. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eightieth General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that certain members of the Public Employees' Retirement System are being denied retirement service credit due to lost time at work from disabling diseases or physical injuries through no fault of their own; that this restriction is inequitable and should be changed to allow those employees to purchase the service credit for the equivalent amount of that leave without pay time; and that this restriction should be removed as soon as practicable to avoid an undue hardship to injured public employees. Therefore, in order to reduce the inequities of the Public Employees' Retirement System, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1995, No. 962, § 6: July 1, 1995. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eightieth General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the certain members of the Public Employees' Retirement System are being denied retirement service credit due to work-related injuries through no fault of their own; that this restriction is inequitable and should be changed to allow those employees to recover the service credit for that time; and that this restriction should be removed as soon as practicable without delay in order to avoid an undue hardship to retiring public employees. Therefore, in order to reduce the inequities of the Public Employees' Retirement System, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1995.”

Acts 1999, No. 325, § 17: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly, that certain provisions of the law governing the Public Employees Retirement System need to be amended concerning eligibility, death benefits, and disability benefits, and that the effective administration of state government makes it necessary for these changes to begin at the start of the state's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 870, § 6: Mar. 25, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that Act 846 of 1995 permitted elected count sheriffs who are retirants in the state police retirement system to accumulate credited service in the Public Employees' Retirement System; that the act failed to provide for the purchase of prior service; and that this has caused an inequity that should be immediately corrected. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 1999, No. 1460, § 6: Apr. 15, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly, that for the effective administration of this act and to avoid undue harm to members of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System it is necessary for this act to become effective immediately. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2001, No. 151, § 69: Feb. 8, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act makes technical corrections to a number of sections of Arkansas Code Title 24; that other legislation of this session of the General Assembly may also amend some of those sections; that this act should become effective immediately so that other legislation may be amended to reflect the technical corrections made by this act and to avoid conflicts. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2001, No. 154, § 3: Feb. 8, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the thirty-day requirement for termination of employment applies to all members of the Public Employees' Retirement System; that members of the retirement system earn service credit at different rates; that the same requirement for termination of employment is inequitable and this change must be implemented to correct that inequity; and this act should therefore have immediate effect. Therefore an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2001, No. 1297, § 3: July 1, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly that early retirement penalties for the Public Employees' Retirement System are overly harsh, that incentives for public employees to retire will improve staff morale and the working environment, and that the beginning of the fiscal year is the most advantageous time to implement benefit changes with the Public Employees' Retirement System. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2001.”

Acts 2005, No. 652, § 3: Mar. 7, 2005. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that there are elected public officials that are eligible for retirement from that office but run for public office in another form of government; that once a retiree begins receiving retirement benefits current law requires a break in service before assuming another elected office; and that this act will allow an elected public official in one form of government to retire and to begin serving as an elected official in another form of government without a break in service. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2009, No. 657, § 2: July 1, 2009. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the country is in a recession, that the state retirement systems have suffered from the failing economy, that increasing the time period that a member must be terminated from employment in order not to rescind his or her retirement benefits will benefit the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, and that it is considered sound public policy to increase this time period. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2009.”

Acts 2011, No. 38, § 11: Feb. 16, 2011. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the public retirement systems provide economic security for eligible citizens of Arkansas; that the statutes need amending to update and clarify existing law; and that these changes need to be made immediately. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2011, No. 40, § 2: Feb. 16, 2011. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that recent reports indicate that some members of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System were merely taking themselves off of the payroll for the specified period of time while continuing to perform their duties so that they could draw retirement in addition to their wages; that clarification is needed to prevent this from happening; and that this clarification is needed immediately. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2011, No. 563, § 2: July 1, 2011. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the nation is in an economic downturn; that the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System has suffered significant losses in its portfolio; that allowing elected public officials to accrue two (2) years of service for every year worked costs the system additional funds; and that all other employees in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System receive one (1) year of service for every year worked. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2011.”

Acts 2011, No. 774, § 2: Mar. 30, 2011. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the state retirement systems have suffered from recent economic conditions; that increasing the time period that a member must be terminated from employment in order not to rescind his or her retirement benefits will benefit the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System; that it is sound public policy to increase this time period; and that this act is immediately necessary to avoid further depletion of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System assets. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) the date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2013, No. 288, § 2: Jan. 1, 2014.

Acts 2013, No. 332, § 13: Mar. 14, 2013. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that it is vital that the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System be permitted to immediately implement policies regarding the termination of employment, eligibility of employees to receive benefits, availability of information, and when to pay interest on employee contributions; and to clarify the meaning of terms in the Arkansas Code of 1987 Annotated to avoid the undue consumption of the system's resources. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2019, No. 910, § 6346(b): July 1, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act revises the duties of certain state entities; that this act establishes new departments of the state; that these revisions impact the expenses and operations of state government; and that the sections of this act other than the two uncodified sections of this act preceding the emergency clause titled ‘Funding and classification of cabinet-level department secretaries’ and ‘Transformation and Efficiencies Act transition team’ should become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year to allow for implementation of the new provisions at the beginning of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and Sections 1 through 6343 of this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2019”.

24-4-501. Prior service credit generally — Straight life annuity.

    1. Any member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who became a member of the system on July 1, 1957, in the case of a state employee, or who became a member of the system on July 1, 1959, in the case of a county employee, and who was continuously employed by a public employer to June 8, 1961, upon application and submission of proper proof to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, as authorized by this chapter, may receive prior service credit for any service rendered a public employer, as defined in § 24-4-101, in the State of Arkansas in a position covered by some other existing retirement system of this state authorized by law, other than Social Security.
    2. Prior service credit may be received only if the member does not have standing to his or her credit in the other retirement system for the same period of time and is no longer a member of, or eligible for membership in, or receiving benefits from, the other retirement system or systems.
  1. Any active member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who would otherwise be eligible for free prior service credit under the provisions of this chapter because of employment with a public employer or with the public schools but who was drafted and was serving in the military on active duty on a date which would have made the member eligible for the free prior service had the member been an employee on that date shall receive, upon application and submission of proper proof to the board, free prior service credit for employment prior to July 1, 1957, in the case of a state, municipal, or school employee, or prior to July 1, 1959, in the case of a county employee, if the following conditions are met:
    1. The member was an employee of a public employer immediately preceding his or her involuntary service in the armed forces; and
    2. The member was reemployed as an employee within six (6) months of his or her discharge from the United States Armed Forces.
  2. For the purposes of this subsection, prior service credit eligibility dates are:
    1. July 1, 1957, for state employees;
    2. July 1, 1959, for county employees;
    3. October 1, 1957, and October 1, 1965, for school employees;
    4. July 1, 1957, and January 1, 1963, for colleges and universities; or
    5. The date the employer begins participation in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, for municipalities.

History. Acts 1961, No. 119, §§ 1, 2; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2522, 12-2523; Acts 1987, No. 32, § 1; 2001, No. 151, § 21.

24-4-502 — 24-4-506. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. These sections, concerning credit for prior service as public school teacher; military service credit generally; military service credit for elected county constitutional officers; actuarial valuation of impact of military service credit; provision for unfunded liability deficit; and restoration of credited service to employee of withdrawing municipality upon subsequent covered employment, were repealed by Acts 1997, No. 299, § 26. They were derived from the following sources:

24-4-502. Acts 1967, No. 308, §§ 1, 2; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2547, 12-2548.

24-4-503. Acts 1947, No. 56, §§ 1-3; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2323 — 12-2325.

24-4-504. Acts 1979, No. 210, §§ 1-3; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2524.7 — 12-2524.9.

24-4-505. Acts 1979, No. 210, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2524.10.

24-4-506. Acts 1981, No. 592, §§ 1, 2; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2506.8, 12-2506.9.

24-4-507. Eligibility for benefits — Credited service.

    1. The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall determine, by appropriate rules consistent with the provisions of this chapter, the amount of service to be credited any member for any fiscal year.
      1. For periods of time prior to July 1, 1991, in no case shall less than ten (10) days of service rendered by a member in any calendar month be credited as a month of service, nor shall less than eleven (11) months of service rendered by a member in any fiscal year be credited as a year of service unless the member is employed by the Arkansas School for the Blind or the Arkansas School for the Deaf, the state colleges and universities, or the public schools of the state, in which case nine (9) months would constitute a year of credited service.
      2. For periods of time prior to July 1, 1991, in no case can less than nine (9) months of service rendered in any fiscal year be credited as a full year of service, nor shall more than one (1) year of service be credited any member for all service rendered by him or her in a fiscal year.
      1. Beginning July 1, 1992, and thereafter, service rendered by a member in any calendar month shall be credited as service based upon the member's number of hours of service in that month and in accordance with the following schedule:
      2. Beginning July 1, 1991, in no case shall less than eleven (11) months of service rendered by a member in any fiscal year be credited as a full year of service, except that the minimum shall be lowered to nine (9) months for a member whose covered employment is employment with the Arkansas School for the Blind or the Arkansas School for the Deaf, the state colleges and universities, or the public schools.
      3. Any member who retires on or after July 1, 1999, shall receive six (6) months of service credit for each full semester of service rendered in any fiscal year for covered employment with the Arkansas School for the Blind or the Arkansas School for the Deaf, the state colleges and universities, or the public schools of the state.
    2. Prior service credits shall not be granted to any member who did not become a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System on the date his or her public employer became a participating public employer, nor shall current service credit be granted any member for any period of time not covered by accumulated contributions standing to his or her credit in the members' deposit account, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
    1. A member's credited service shall include periods of time, not to exceed a total of five (5) years, during which the member's employment with a public employer was, or is, interrupted due to service rendered by him or her in the United States Armed Forces during a national emergency, but only if:
      1. The person was, or is, an employee of a public employer at the time he or she entered, or enters the armed services;
      2. The person was, or is, reemployed by a public employer within six (6) years from and after the termination of the armed service required of him or her; and
      3. The person returns to the members' deposit account the amounts withdrawn by him or her, together with regular interest from the date of withdrawal to the date of repayment.
    2. In any case of doubt as to the period to be so credited any member, the board shall have the final power to determine the period.
    3. During the period of a member's armed service and until his or her return to the employ of a public employer, a member's contributions to the system shall be suspended.
    4. In no case shall the period of armed service be included in computing a member's average compensation.

Eighty (80) or more hours of service One (1) month Sixty (60) hours up to less than eighty (80) hours Three-fourths (¾) month Forty (40) hours up to less than sixty (60) hours One-half (½) month Twenty (20) hours up to less than forty (40) hours One-quarter (¼) month Less than twenty (20) hours No credit.

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History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 10; 1959, No. 42, § 10; 1965, No. 153, §§ 9, 10; 1969, No. 313, § 3; 1975, No. 907, § 6; 1981, No. 859, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2510; Acts 1991, No. 757, § 1; 1999, No. 325, § 7; 2001, No. 151, § 22; 2011, No. 38, § 6; 2019, No. 315, § 2855.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment added “nor shall more than one (1) year of service be credited any member for all service rendered by him or her in a fiscal year” at the end of (a)(2)(B).

The 2019 amendment deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in (a)(1).

24-4-508. Eligibility for benefits — Retirement generally.

  1. Any member may voluntarily retire upon his or her written application filed with the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System setting forth at what time, not less than thirty (30) days nor more than ninety (90) days subsequent to the execution and filing of the application, that he or she desires to be retired if that member has:
    1. Twenty-eight (28) or more years of credited service regardless of age;
    2. Attained or attains age sixty (60) and has twenty (20) or more years of actual contributory service commenced prior to January 1, 1978; or
    3. Attained or attains age sixty-five (65) and has five (5) or more years of actual service, except for a member of the General Assembly who must have ten (10) or more years of actual service if he or she only has service as a member of the General Assembly.
    1. Total credited service to qualify for a benefit may be service with the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and service with the University of Arkansas System, which service is covered by the retirement system recognized by the University of Arkansas.
    2. The benefit payable by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall be based on credited service in the system and on the final average compensation in the system. However, should a member have less than four (4) years of credited service in the system, “final average compensation” means the monthly average of pays to the member during his or her total years of service in the system.
    1. An annuity determination shall be made promptly by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System upon a member's filing a written application for retirement in accordance with subsection (a) of this section.
    2. The determination shall include the member's total years of credited service, the specific factors used to make the determination, the base annuity payable to the member, and the amount of annuity payments, if any, payable under the annuity options of § 24-4-606.
    3. If the member is not eligible for a retirement annuity, the determination shall state the reasons for the determination.
  2. A member's retirement election is irrevocable except under circumstances as may be permitted by the board by rule.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 10; 1959, No. 42, § 10; 1965, No. 153, § 7; 1969, No. 228, § 1; 1985, No. 938, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2510; Acts 1993, No. 1093, § 2; 1997, No. 299, § 15; 1999, No. 104, § 2; 1999, No. 627, § 1; 2001, No. 151, § 23; 2007, No. 176, § 5; 2011, No. 38, § 7; 2019, No. 315, § 2856.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment added (d).

The 2019 amendment substituted “rule” for “regulation” in (d).

24-4-509. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning eligibility for benefits — mandatory retirement, was repealed by Acts 1997, No. 299, § 26. The section was derived from Acts 1957, No. 177, § 10; 1959, No. 42, § 10; 1985, No. 938, § 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2510.

24-4-510. Eligibility for benefits — Deferred and early annuities.

      1. Any member or former member with sufficient years of actual service to qualify for a vested termination annuity who has not attained his or her normal retirement age may retire with an early annuity provided for in subsection (b) of this section upon his or her written application to the plan setting forth at what time, not less than thirty (30) days nor more than ninety (90) days subsequent to the execution and filing of his or her application, he or she desires to be retired.
      2. The member or former member eligible for a vested termination annuity must have at least five (5) years of actual service and be within ten (10) years of normal retirement age, except for members of the General Assembly who must have at least ten (10) years of actual service and be within ten (10) years of normal retirement age.
      1. Upon early retirement, a member shall receive a certain percentage of an annuity for life provided for in § 24-4-601. The percentage shall be one hundred percent (100%) reduced by one-half of one percent (0.5%) multiplied by the number of months by which the member's age at early retirement is younger than his or her normal retirement age, using what his or her normal retirement age would have been under the provisions of § 24-4-508 if he or she had continued covered employment from the time of early retirement.
        1. However, if the member or former member has at least twenty-five (25) years of actual service but less than twenty-eight (28) years of actual service and has not reached age sixty-five (65), then upon early retirement the member shall receive a percentage of a life annuity as provided in § 24-4-601. The percentage shall be one hundred percent (100%) reduced by one percent (1%) multiplied by the number of months by which the time of early retirement precedes the earlier of either the completion of twenty-eight (28) years of actual service or the attainment of age sixty-five (65).
        2. If the reduction set forth under this subdivision (a)(2)(B) is greater than the reduction that would have otherwise been imposed except for this subdivision (a)(2)(B), then the lesser reduction shall apply.
    1. The early annuity shall be effective the first day of the calendar month next following the later of termination of public employer employment or thirty (30) days after receipt by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System of the written application.
    1. A member who terminates covered employment before attaining his or her normal retirement age for a reason other than death or early retirement or disability retirement shall be entitled to an annuity computed in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (b)(2) of this section as it provides at time of last termination of employment, subject to the member's satisfying all of the following conditions:
      1. Except for members of the General Assembly, who must have at least ten (10) years of actual service, the member has five (5) or more years of total actual service with the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System or in combination with reciprocal systems under the provisions of §§ 24-2-401 — 24-2-405, and 24-2-407. In establishing the minimum total credited service, periods of credited service covering the same calendar time shall be counted only one (1) time. However, both service in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System as a member of the General Assembly and service in another reciprocal system during the same period of time may be counted to meet the service requirements for benefits from the reciprocal systems, subject to the following:
        1. The provisions of § 24-4-521 may not be used to meet the service requirements; and
        2. The benefit payable by a reciprocal system will be based on the credited service in that system and on the final average compensation under that system;
      2. If a member has fewer years of service than the final average compensation requirement in a reciprocal system, then “final average compensation” means the monthly average of pay to the member during his or her total years of service in that system;
      3. The member lives to his or her annuity starting date; and
      4. The member makes written application for retirement in accordance with this section.
      1. A contributory member with twenty (20) or more years of actual service who left or leaves the employ of a public employer prior to the member's attainment of age sixty (60) for any reason except his or her retirement or death shall be entitled to an annuity provided for in § 24-4-601, but only if the member does not withdraw his or her accumulated contributions from the members' deposit account.
      2. The member's annuity shall begin the first day of the calendar month next following the month after his or her attainment of age sixty (60) upon written application filed with the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System setting forth at what time, not less than thirty (30) days nor more than ninety (90) days subsequent to the execution and filing of the application, the member desires to be retired.
      1. A contributory member who has at least five (5) years but less than twenty (20) years of actual service who leaves the employ of a public employer prior to his or her attainment of age sixty-five (65) for any reason except his or her retirement or death and who does not withdraw his or her accumulated contributions from the members' deposit account shall be entitled to an annuity provided for in § 24-4-606.
      2. A noncontributory member who has at least five (5) years but less than twenty-eight (28) years of actual service who leaves the employ of a public employer prior to the attainment of age sixty-five (65) for any reason except retirement or death shall be entitled to an annuity provided for in § 24-4-606.
      3. The member's annuity shall begin the first day of the calendar month next following the month of attainment of age sixty-five (65) upon written application filed with the board setting forth at what time, not less than thirty (30) days nor more than ninety (90) days subsequent to the execution and filing thereof, the member desired to be retired.
    2. The monthly amount of vested termination annuity shall be computed in the same manner as a normal annuity amount provided for in § 24-4-601, but it shall be based upon the member's credited service and final average compensation at the time of termination of employment covered by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
    3. The member shall have the right to elect an option provided for in § 24-4-606.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 10; 1959, No. 42, § 10; 1965, No. 153, § 8; 1973, No. 586, § 3; 1975, No. 907, § 14; 1979, No. 715, § 3; 1985, No. 938, §§ 3, 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2510; Acts 1999, No. 627, § 2; 2001, No. 151, § 24; 2001, No. 1297, § 1.

24-4-511. Eligibility for benefits — Disability retirement — Definitions.

        1. Except for members of the General Assembly who need at least ten (10) years of actual service, any active member with five (5) or more years of actual service, including actual service for at least eighteen (18) of the twenty-four (24) calendar months immediately preceding his or her disability, who becomes totally and permanently physically or mentally incapacitated for any suitable job or position as an employee as a result of a personal injury or disease may be retired by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System upon written application filed with the board by or on behalf of the member.
          1. As used in subdivision (a)(1)(A)(i) of this section, “disease” includes without limitation cancer that a firefighter or volunteer firefighter is diagnosed with while he or she is in the line of duty.
          2. A finding that a firefighter or volunteer firefighter was diagnosed with cancer while he or she was in the line of duty may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence.
        2. As used in subdivision (a)(1)(A)(ii) of this section, “cancer” means:
          1. Leukemia, lymphoma, mesothelioma, or multiple myeloma;
          2. Cancer of the brain, urinary tract, liver, skin, breast, cervix, thyroid, prostate, testicle, colon, or digestive tract; or
          3. A cancer that has been found by research and statistics to show higher instances of occurrence in firefighters than in the general population, if the firefighter was exposed to a known carcinogen, as determined by the Department of Health with consideration to the findings of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, while in the official line of duty.
      1. This may occur only if after a medical examination of the member made by or under the direction of a physician or physicians designated by the board, the physician reports to the board in writing that the member is physically or mentally totally incapacitated for any suitable job or position, that the incapacity will probably be permanent, and that the member should be retired.
    1. Upon filing the proper application and meeting the requirements stated in this section, the disability annuity shall be effective the first day of the calendar month following the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System's approval of the disability application.
    1. Upon disability retirement as provided in subsection (a) of this section, a member shall receive an annuity provided for in § 24-4-601, and his or her disability retirement and annuity shall be subject to the provisions of subsections (c) and (d) of this section.
    2. When a person retired on disability under this chapter reaches the age required for full age and service retirement benefits, the person's retirement status shall be changed from that of disability to superannuation.
        1. A person who receives or who is receiving a benefit solely because of disability but who meets or has met the elected credited service and total credited service requirement but not the age requirement for a benefit provided for a member with elected service, upon attaining the required age, may have his or her disability retirement status changed to superannuation.
        2. The person's benefit shall be the age and service amount provided by his or her credited service in effect before termination of employment because of disability.
      1. The change must be made by formal request of the retirant to the board on a form to be furnished by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and filed with the system setting forth at what time, not less than thirty (30) days nor more than ninety (90) days subsequent to the execution and filing thereof, he or she desires the change to be effective.
      2. In no event shall the change be effective earlier than the first of the month following attainment of the age required for the age and service benefit provided by his or her amount of credited service, and, after the effective date, he or she shall be eligible to return to employment subject to the provisions of § 24-4-520.
    1. At least one (1) time each year during the first five (5) years following a member's retirement on account of disability and at least one (1) time in each three-year period thereafter, the board may require any disability retirant who has not attained the normal retirement age for full age and service retirement benefits to undergo a medical examination to be made by or under the direction of a physician or physicians designated by the board.
    2. If a retirant refuses to submit to a medical examination in any period, his or her disability annuity may be suspended by the board until his or her withdrawal of the refusal.
    3. If the refusal continues for one (1) year, all of the retirant's rights in and to a disability annuity may be revoked by the board.
    4. If, upon the medical examination of the retirant, the physician reports to the board that the retirant is physically and mentally able and capable for a suitable job or position as an employee, his or her disability retirement shall terminate.
    5. If a disability retirant secures employment with an employer not considered a public employer, as defined in § 24-4-101, for the purpose of determining whether he or she is capable of returning to employment, then the disability retirant shall be allowed to earn compensation from the employment for a period of time not to exceed nine (9) months, during which period of time the retirant shall receive no monthly benefits from the system.
    6. If the retirant becomes unable to continue his or her employment before the nine-month period expires, then the retirant's disability retirement benefits from the system shall be reinstated and shall be effective the first day of the month after terminating his or her employment.
    7. Only one (1) trial work period is allowed any disability retirant, but the nine (9) months need not be consecutive.
    8. The trial work period does not prevent the consideration of any medical evidence which may demonstrate recovery before the ninth month of trial work.
    1. If at the end of the nine-month trial work period the retirant wishes to continue his or her employment outside the system, then the retirant's disability retirement status shall terminate. For the purpose of determining his or her eligibility for any other benefit, the retirant shall be considered to have terminated active membership as of the time of disability retirement but for a reason other than disability or death.
    2. If the former disability retirant again becomes an employee of a public employer, as defined in § 24-4-101, the retirant shall immediately again become a member of the system, his or her credited service at the time of his or her disability retirement shall be restored to the retirant's credit, and the amount of his or her accumulated contributions at the time of his or her disability retirement shall be restored to his or her credit in the members' deposit account.
    3. In no event shall the retirant be given service credit for the period he or she was in receipt of the disability annuity.
    4. Should the former disability retirant again become totally and permanently disabled within twenty-four (24) months immediately following his or her return to membership or should the retirant qualify for benefits by reason of age and service, the eighteen (18) months' credited service requirement specified in this section shall be waived.
    1. As used in this section, “suitable job or position” means a job or position, the requirements of which can be physically or mentally performed, as determined by a physician, and for which the remuneration would be substantially gainful.
    2. In case of doubt as to what would be substantially gainful, the board shall have the final power to decide the question.
    3. Any former member who is or was approved for disability by the Social Security Administration but whose onset date does not meet the provision of subdivision (a)(1)(A) of this section that requires credited service for eighteen (18) of the twenty-four (24) months immediately preceding the disability, may be retired by the board upon written application to the board subject to the following:
      1. The onset date determined by the Social Security Administration is within twenty-four (24) months of the date of termination from covered employment;
      2. The former member furnishes a written statement to the board from a physician approved by the board that the former member was suffering at the time of termination from an illness or injury that subsequently led to the disability determination; and
      3. Retirement payments authorized under this section shall be effective on the first day of the next month following approval by the board of the written application and shall not be retroactive.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 10; 1959, No. 42, § 10; 1973, No. 586, § 4; 1975, No. 907, § 8; 1977, No. 663, § 3; 1981, No. 859, § 4; 1985, No. 448, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2510; Acts 1999, No. 325, § 8; 1999, No. 868, § 3; 2001, No. 151, § 25; 2013, No. 332, § 9; 2019, No. 638, § 1.

Amendments. The 2013 amendment substituted “Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System's approval of the disability application” for “later of either the member's termination of active membership or the onset date of the qualifying disability” in (a)(2).

The 2019 amendment redesignated (a)(1)(A) as (a)(1)(A)(i), and added (a)(1)(A)(ii) and (a)(1)(A)(iii).

24-4-512. Eligibility for benefits — Prior service credit for county members.

Any member of the County Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System may, upon application and submission of proper proof to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, receive credit for any service rendered a public employer, as defined in § 24-4-101, prior to July 1, 1959, subject to the following conditions:

  1. That he or she was employed by a county participating public employer on July 1, 1957; and
  2. That he or she was employed by a state department participating public employer on July 1, 1959.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 10; 1967, No. 175, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2510.

24-4-513. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning the minimum period of service for the payment of benefits, was repealed by Acts 2001, No. 151, § 26. The section was derived from Acts 1957, No. 177, § 14; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2514.

24-4-514. Credit for educational leave.

  1. As used in this section:
    1. “Educational leave” means a leave of absence from employment in a position covered by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System to pursue a degree from an institution of higher education; and
    2. “System” means the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
  2. On or after July 1, 1987, any person who is a member of the system and who is not receiving benefits under the system on July 1, 1987, shall be entitled to purchase credited service in the system for a period not to exceed twelve (12) months for actual time spent on educational leave, provided that the person:
    1. Has ten (10) or more years of actual service with the system;
    2. Was paid a stipend during the period of educational leave;
    3. Had creditable service before and for at least two (2) years after the period of educational leave; and
    4. Pays or causes to be paid the sum of all employee contributions at the rate and on the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member of the system during that period of time, all employer contributions based on the employer normal cost from the most recently completed regular annual actuarial valuation and the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time, and regular interest on the employee and employer contributions computed from the date of the educational leave to the date the payment is received by the system.

History. Acts 1987, No. 33, §§ 1, 2; 1997, No. 299, § 16; 2001, No. 151, § 27.

24-4-515. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning credit for lost credited service due to physical injury or disabling disease, was repealed by Acts 1997, No. 299, § 26. The section was derived from Acts 1995, No. 882, § 1.

24-4-516. Credit for lost credited service due to work-related injury.

  1. Any member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who suffers from or who has suffered in the past from a work-related injury for which workers' compensation benefits were paid under the workers' compensation laws, and whose annuity from the system would otherwise be reduced due to the reduced salary and lost credited service, shall be entitled to obtain credited service for the actual time period of reduced salary and lost service credit by paying to the system all employee contributions at the rate and on the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member of the system during that time, all employer contributions based on the employer normal cost from the most recently completed regular annual actuarial valuation and the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time, and regular interest on the employee and employer contributions computed from the date the service would have been rendered to the date the payment is received by the system.
  2. Provided, however, at the discretion of the employer, any employer under the system may elect to implement a policy to pay the employer's portion of any contributions that an employee would otherwise be responsible to pay under this section to receive the service credit.

History. Acts 1995, No. 962, § 1; 1997, No. 299, § 17.

24-4-517. State service under a federal grant — Definition.

  1. As used in this section, “state service under a federal grant” means service rendered to any state agency while detailed or assigned to the agency under the terms of a federal grant agreement between an agency of the federal government and a state agency to perform services for the state agency and to be under the supervision of state administrators while being paid from federal grant funds awarded to the state agency and withheld from the federal grant moneys.
  2. From and after January 1, 1995, any person who is or was a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall be entitled to purchase credited service in the system for a period not to exceed three (3) years for state service under a federal grant, but only if the person:
    1. Has at least ten (10) years of actual service with the system;
    2. Is not receiving or was not eligible to receive any retirement benefits paid by another retirement system for the period of time for which he or she is claiming state service under a federal grant, except for Social Security benefits, if the person had left on deposit the contributions to the other system;
      1. Pays or causes to be paid all employee contributions at the rate and on the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member of the system during that time, all employer contributions based on the employer normal cost from the most recently completed regular annual actuarial valuation and the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time, and regular interest on the employee and employer contributions computed from the date the service was rendered to the date payment is received by the system.
      2. The member may purchase all of the service or any portion thereof in multiples of one (1) year.
      3. The payment of funds shall be made in one (1) lump sum; and
    3. Has otherwise complied with all other rules as the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System may from time to time adopt under this section.

History. Acts 1995, No. 1264, § 1; 1997, No. 239, § 1; 1997, No. 299, § 18; 2001, No. 151, § 28; 2019, No. 315, § 2857.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in (b)(4).

24-4-518. Credit for service as sheriff.

A sheriff or former sheriff who became a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System pursuant to Acts 1995, No. 846, § 1, may purchase his or her time as an elected sheriff prior to July 28, 1995. At his or her option, the sheriff or former sheriff may receive credit for the service, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The person is a participating employee covered under the system at the time of the purchase or was a sheriff who became a member pursuant to Acts 1995, No. 846, § 1;
  2. The person furnishes proof in a form required by the system of the service and compensation received;
  3. The person pays or causes to be paid:
    1. All employee contributions at the rate and on the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time;
    2. All employer contributions based on the employer normal cost from the most recently completed regular annual actuarial valuation and the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time; and
    3. Regular interest on the employee and employer contributions. The interest shall be computed from the date the service was rendered to the date the payment is received by the system. The person may purchase all of the service or any portion thereof in multiples of one (1) year; and
  4. The payment of funds shall be made in one (1) lump sum.

History. Acts 1999, No. 870, § 1; 2001, No. 151, § 29.

24-4-519. Current service credit — Nonuniformed employees.

      1. A person who on December 31, 1998, was a nonuniformed employee of a municipality that participates in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System or a former nonuniformed employee of a municipality that participates in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who was an active member of the system on December 31, 1998, may waive all rights to receive benefits under § 24-12-101 et seq. and apply for and receive current service credit in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System for service rendered as a paid nonuniformed employee of the municipality.
      2. A former nonuniformed employee of a municipality or municipalities who had at least six (6) years of service as a nonuniformed employee, ten (10) years of service as a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System or a reciprocal system as defined by § 24-2-401, and is in a position of policy-making authority for a state agency may waive all rights to receive benefits for the service under any retirement plan and apply for and receive current service credit in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System for service rendered as a paid nonuniformed employee of the municipality or municipalities.
      3. A former nonuniformed employee whose employment was with a municipality not participating in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, whose employment accrued before January 1, 1970, and who was an active member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System or a reciprocal system as defined by § 24-2-401 on December 31, 1998, may waive all rights to receive benefits under § 24-12-101 et seq., and apply for and receive current service credit in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System for service rendered as a paid nonuniformed employee of the municipality.
    1. The waiver must be filed with the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and with the governing body of the municipality.
  1. The current or former paid nonuniformed employee shall receive credit only if the employee or the municipality pays or causes to be paid to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund:
    1. All necessary employee contributions at the rate and on the compensation that would have been paid had the employee been a member during that time;
    2. All employer contributions based on the employer normal cost from the most recently completed regular annual actuarial valuation and the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time; and
    3. Regular interest on the employee and employer contributions computed from the date the service was rendered to the date the payment is received by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
  2. The employer's contributions and employees' contributions, if applicable, shall be transmitted to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System in the form and manner, together with the supporting data, as the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall prescribe from time to time.
  3. The governing body of the municipality may pay the employer contributions and employee contributions, if applicable, on behalf of the employee for services rendered.
  4. “Paid nonuniformed employees” has the same meaning as provided by § 24-12-101.

History. Acts 1999, No. 706, § 1.

24-4-520. Termination required for retirement.

  1. Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall terminate covered employment to be eligible for retirement.
    1. A member shall not be terminated from employment for retirement purposes if the person:
      1. Returns to employment in a position covered under the system within one hundred eighty (180) days of the person's effective date of retirement; or
      2. Is a member with service credit under § 24-4-521 at a rate of two (2) or more years of credited service for each year of actual service and the person returns to employment in a position covered under the system within one (1) year of the person's effective date of retirement.
    2. A member participating in the Arkansas Public Employees’ Retirement System Deferred Retirement Option Plan on January 1, 2009, shall have the one-hundred-eighty-day separation requirement waived and may return to employment otherwise covered by the system no sooner than thirty (30) calendar days from the commencement of his or her retirement.
    3. A member who has retired and commenced receiving benefits in any month between January 2009 and June 2009, inclusive, shall have the one-hundred-eighty-day separation requirement waived and may return to employment otherwise covered by the system no sooner than thirty (30) calendar days from the commencement of his or her retirement.
    1. An elected public official may retire and begin receiving retirement benefits if the elected public official is a member:
      1. Whose current service in public office in one (1) form of government is covered by § 24-4-521(b)(5); and
      2. Who is elected to public office in a different form of government and will begin serving in that public office immediately after the expiration of his or her term of public office described in subdivision (c)(1)(A) of this section.
    2. The member shall notify the retirement system of his or her impending service in another form of government at least thirty (30) days prior to the first day of the month in which that service will begin. A completed retirement application shall be submitted at that time.
    3. As used in this subsection, “form of government” means city government, county government, or state government.
  2. Persons failing to meet termination requirements shall forfeit their benefits until requirements are met.
    1. As used in this section, “terminate” means:
      1. The member's employment has ended;
      2. A complete severance of the employer-employee relationship has occurred; and
      3. The member has ceased performing any services for the employer, except for noncompensated functions related to the transfer of the duties or the transfer of the position itself.
    2. If the member is an elected public official, “terminate” as used in this section means:
      1. The member has resigned, been removed, or otherwise no longer holds the elected position;
      2. A complete severance from the elected position has occurred; and
      3. The member has ceased performing any services in his or her elected position, except for noncompensated functions related to the transfer of the duties or the transfer of the position itself.
    3. As used in this section, “terminate” does not mean:
      1. Taking a leave of absence;
      2. Performing job duties or services without remuneration; or
      3. Receiving or accruing additional employment-related compensation, reimbursements, benefits, or other emoluments.

History. Acts 1999, No. 1460, § 1; 2001, No. 154, § 1; 2005, No. 652, § 1; 2009, No. 657, § 1; 2011, No. 40, § 1; 2011, No. 774, § 1.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 2005, No. 652, § 2, provided:

“Section 1 of this act shall apply retroactively to an elected public official who meets the requirements of § 24-4-520(c) as of January 1, 2005.”

Amendments. The 2009 amendment redesignated (b), substituted “one hundred eighty (180)” for “thirty (30)” in (b)(1)(A), substituted “one hundred eighty (180)” for “ninety (90)” in (b)(1)(B), and inserted (b)(2) and (b)(3).

The 2011 amendment by No. 40 added (e).

The 2011 amendment by No. 774 substituted “one (1) year” for “one hundred eighty (180) days” in (b)(1)(B).

Case Notes

Failure to Terminate Employment.

Employee was properly found ineligible to receive retirement benefits from the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System (APERS) because, (1) when the employee instructed the county clerk to remove the employee from the county payroll and began paying for the employee's health insurance, the employee did not terminate the employee's employment, as required, since the employee continued to perform the employee's job functions, and (2) the employee did not submit a letter of resignation to APERS or to the county quorum court. Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement Sys. v. Taylor, 2013 Ark. 37, 425 S.W.3d 738 (2013).

Ineligible for Service Credits.

When an employee was properly found ineligible to receive retirement benefits from the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System, the employee was also not eligible to continue to receive service credits because the employee did not avail herself of the only process for revoking the employee's retirement, under 075-00-001 Ark. Code R. § 207 (Weil 2001), so the employee's election of retirement was irrevocable, and the employee's retirement benefits were forfeited pending meeting the requirement of this section to terminate the employee's employment, as the employee's failure to terminate employment did not mean the employee was not retired. Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement Sys. v. Taylor, 2013 Ark. 37, 425 S.W.3d 738 (2013).

24-4-521. Credited service generally — Definition.

  1. The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall establish the amounts of service to be credited its members subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.
        1. Noncontributory employment service by a person who was:
          1. Employed prior to July 1, 1997, as a public safety member shall be credited at one and one-half (1½) times the regular rate for crediting service; and
          2. Employed on and after July 1, 1997, shall be credited at the regular rate for crediting service.
        2. A person receiving credit for service under subdivision (b)(1)(A)(i)(a) or subdivision (b)(1)(A)(i)(b) of this section shall be required to have five (5) years of actual service to meet the:
          1. Retirement eligibility requirements under §§ 24-4-510 — 24-4-512 and 24-4-601; and
          2. Eligibility requirements for payment upon death benefits under § 24-4-608.
        1. Noncontributory or contributory employment service by a person who qualifies as a public safety member under § 24-4-1004 shall be credited at one and one-half (1½) times the regular rate for crediting service.
        2. A person receiving credit for service under subdivision (b)(1)(B)(i) of this section shall be required to have five (5) years of actual service to meet the:
          1. Retirement eligibility requirements under §§ 24-4-510 — 24-4-512 and 24-4-601; and
          2. Eligibility requirements of § 24-4-608.
        1. Noncontributory employment as the Governor by a person first elected to a public office covered by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System prior to July 1, 1999, shall be credited as service at three (3) times the regular rate for credited service.
        2. Noncontributory or contributory employment as the Governor by a person first elected to a public office covered by the system on or after July 1, 1999, shall be credited at the regular rate for crediting service.
      1. A person receiving credit for service under subdivision (b)(2)(A)(i) or subdivision (b)(2)(A)(ii) of this section shall be required to have:
        1. Four (4) years of actual service to meet the retirement eligibility requirements under §§ 24-4-510 — 24-4-512 and 24-4-601; and
        2. Five (5) years of actual service to meet the eligibility requirements for payment upon death benefits under § 24-4-608.
        1. Noncontributory employment as an elected state constitutional officer by a person first elected to a public office covered by the system prior to July 1, 1999, shall be credited at two and one-half (2½) times the regular rate for crediting service.
        2. Noncontributory or contributory employment as an elected state constitutional officer by a person first elected to a public office covered by the system on or after July 1, 1999, shall be credited at the regular rate for crediting service.
      1. A person receiving credit for service under subdivision (b)(3)(A)(i) or subdivision (b)(3)(A)(ii) of this section shall be required to have five (5) years of actual service to meet the:
        1. Retirement eligibility requirements under §§ 24-4-510 — 24-4-512 and 24-4-601; and
        2. Eligibility requirements for payment of death benefits under § 24-4-608.
        1. Noncontributory or contributory employment as a member of the General Assembly shall be credited at the regular rate for crediting service.
        2. A person receiving credit for service under subdivision (b)(4)(A)(i) of this section shall be required to have:
          1. Ten (10) years of credited service to meet the retirement eligibility requirements of §§ 24-4-510, 24-4-511, and 24-4-609;
          2. Five (5) years of actual service to meet the eligibility requirements for the payment upon death benefits under § 24-4-608; and
          3. Five (5) years of actual service to be eligible to purchase military service credit under § 24-2-502.
      1. A member of the General Assembly who at any time has served at least six (6) months in the General Assembly shall be credited with no more than one (1) year's actual service.
      1. A person who is employed as an elected public official covered by the system and:
        1. Who has served in a noncontributory elected position covered by the system before July 1, 2011, shall be credited as service at two (2) times the regular rate for crediting service;
        2. Who has never served in a noncontributory elected position covered by the system before July 1, 2011, shall be credited as service at two (2) times the regular rate for crediting service, and the employee shall contribute an additional two and one-half percent (2.5%) of the gross payroll, and the employer shall contribute an additional two and one-half percent (2.5%) of the gross payroll for the additional service that exceeds the regular rate of service; or
        3. Who has never served in a contributory elected position covered by the system before January 1, 2014, shall be credited as service at two (2) times the regular rate for crediting service, and the employee shall contribute an additional two and one-half percent (2.5%) of the gross payroll, and the employer shall contribute an additional two and one-half percent (2.5%) of the gross payroll for the additional service that exceeds the regular rate of service.
      2. However, at least five (5) years of actual service shall be required to meet:
        1. The retirement eligibility requirements of §§ 24-4-510 — 24-4-512 and 24-4-601; and
        2. The eligibility requirements of § 24-4-608.
      3. This subdivision (b)(5) does not apply to:
        1. The Governor;
        2. An elected state constitutional officer;
        3. A member of the General Assembly; or
        4. An elected public official under the State Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
        1. Noncontributory employment as an elected public official under the state division of the system other than the Governor, an elected state constitutional officer, or a member of the General Assembly by a person first elected to a public office covered by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System prior to July 1, 1999, shall be credited as service at two (2) times the regular rate for crediting service.
        2. A person receiving credit for service under subdivision (b)(6)(A)(i) of this section shall have five (5) years of actual service to meet the:
          1. Retirement eligibility requirements under §§ 24-4-510 — 24-4-512 and 24-4-601; and
          2. Eligibility requirements for payment upon death benefits under § 24-4-608.
      1. Noncontributory or contributory employment as an elected public official under the state division of the system other than the Governor, an elected state constitutional officer, or a member of the General Assembly by a person first elected to a public office covered by the system on or after July 1, 1999, shall be credited at the regular rate for crediting service.
  2. As used in this section, “elected state constitutional officer” means the Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Auditor of State, Treasurer of State, and Commissioner of State Lands.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 30; 2011, No. 563, § 1; 2011, No. 978, § 3; 2013, No. 288, § 1; 2019, No. 826, § 1.

A.C.R.C. Notes. The State Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, referred to in this section, may no longer exist as a separate division of the system. For present organizational structure of the system, see § 24-4-201.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment by No. 563 subdivided former (b)(5) as (b)(5)(A) and (B) and added (b)(5)(C); substituted “covered by the system and” for “other than Governor or an elected state constitutional officer or a member of the General Assembly or an elected public official under the state division of the system” in the introductory paragraph of (b)(5)(A); inserted “Who has served in an elected position covered by the system before July 1, 2011” in (b)(5)(A)(i); added (b)(5)(A)(ii); and deleted “at least five (5) years of actual service shall be required to meet” at the beginning of (b)(5)(B)(ii).

The 2011 amendment by No. 978 inserted the (b)(1)(A) designation and (b)(1)(B).

The 2013 amendment rewrote (b)(1)(A)(ii), (b)(1)(B)(ii), (b)(2)(B), (b)(3)(B), (b)(4)(A), and (b)(6)(A); inserted “or contributory” throughout the section; deleted “during a two-year term” following “months” in (b)(4)(B); substituted “A person who is employed” for “Noncontributory employment” in (b)(5)(A); and added (b)(5)(A)(iii).

The 2019 amendment substituted “credited” for “actual” in (b)(4)(A)(ii) (a) ; and added (b)(4)(A)(ii) (c)

24-4-522. Applicability of benefit provisions.

  1. The benefit provisions of this chapter shall be applicable to specified members of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
    1. The noncontributory benefit provisions of this chapter shall be applicable to each person who has never been a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System before January 1, 1978, and who is employed on or after January 1, 1978, in a position covered by the system and who thereby becomes a member.
    2. In addition, each other member who was actively employed in a position covered by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System on June 30, 1991, may elect to become covered by the noncontributory benefit provisions of this chapter by application written to, and received by, the governing body of the plan before January 1, 1985.
        1. Each other member who was not actively employed in a position covered by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System on January 1, 1978, shall become covered by the noncontributory benefit provisions of this chapter at the time the member first becomes so employed after January 1, 1978, unless he or she elects to become covered by the provisions of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System which require member contributions, by election written to, and received by, the governing body of the system before the later of January 1, 1986, and six (6) months after the member first becomes so employed after January 1, 1978.
        2. However, if the member so elects benefits requiring member contributions, he or she shall pay the member contributions from the date of the employment, together with regular interest, from the dates the contributions would normally have been received by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System to the dates of actual payment.
        1. The benefits of each member's becoming covered by the noncontributory benefit provisions of this chapter shall be computed by applying the benefit provisions prescribed by this chapter for all credited service of the person rendered before and after January 1, 1978.
        2. However, benefit amounts based upon employment before January 1, 1978, shall not be less than benefit amounts computed in accordance with the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System benefit provisions at the time of retirement which require member contributions.
    1. The noncontributory benefit provisions of this chapter, including death and disability benefits, shall apply to all credited service rendered before or after the date of election of employees of the Department of Human Services in either the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System or the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
      1. Employees of the Department of Human Services and employees of Arkansas Rehabilitation Services shall be entitled to the benefit amount computed by applying the benefit provisions prescribed by this chapter for all credited service rendered before and after January 1, 1978, except that benefit amounts based upon employment before January 1, 1978, shall not be less than benefit amounts computed in accordance with benefit provisions in effect December 31, 1977.
      2. On and after January 1, 1993, employees of Arkansas Rehabilitation Services who elected to be covered by the provisions of this subsection and who are still active employees on January 1, 1993, shall be entitled to the benefit amount computed by applying the benefit provisions prescribed by this chapter for all credited service rendered before and after January 1, 1978, except that benefit amounts based upon employment before January 1, 1978, shall be computed in accordance with current benefit provisions in effect for the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System at the time of their retirement.
    2. In computing the benefit under the benefit provisions of this chapter, the final average compensation shall be computed upon all service before and after the election of the Arkansas Rehabilitation Services employee as provided in § 24-4-101(33) and § 24-4-746.
  2. Each public retirement system in which the employee has served shall be responsible financially for the benefit amounts payable to the retirant, the retirant's survivors, and the retirant's beneficiaries based upon the ratio of the number of years the employee was a member of that public retirement system to the total number of years the employee was a member of any of the two (2) statewide retirement systems, i.e., the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System or the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.
      1. The benefit provisions of this chapter shall be administered by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System for the benefit of all employees making the option.
      2. The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall certify monthly the amount of benefits paid hereunder, and the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System shall immediately transfer that amount from its benefit account to the proper account designated by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
    1. If an employee of the Department of Human Services who becomes or has become a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System under the provisions of this section leaves employment with the Department of Human Services and becomes employed in another position covered by the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, the person's credited service, both before and after his or her service under this chapter, shall be subject to the benefit provisions of §§ 24-7-701, 24-7-702, 24-7-704 — 24-7-713, 24-7-715, and 24-7-716 [repealed].
    2. The member shall be eligible to establish reciprocity under the provisions of §§ 24-2-401 — 24-2-405 and 24-2-407.
    3. Members of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System who have not elected to pay contributions to that system on full salary shall not be eligible to elect to become covered by the benefit provisions of this chapter unless they first make written application with the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System for full salary coverage for all salaries received from July 1, 1969, until the date of making the election to come under the provisions of this chapter and paying to the system the amount of the additional contributions, plus regular interest, for full salary credited service.
  3. Any member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System employed prior to January 1, 1978, who does not elect in writing to become covered by the noncontributory benefit provisions of this chapter shall not be covered by the noncontributory benefit provisions of this chapter but shall remain in the plan he or she was in January 1, 1978, and shall continue to make regular contributions as provided in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
  4. Any member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who elects in writing to become covered by the noncontributory benefit provisions of this chapter shall be entitled to a refund of any accumulated contributions paid on or after January 1, 1978, and prior to the date of election.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 30; 2019, No. 910, § 2367.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment substituted “Division of Workforce Services” for “Department of Career Education” following “Arkansas Rehabilitation Services of the” in (c)(2)(A) and (B).

24-4-523. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning conversion from contributory to noncontributory plan and extension of time, was repealed by Acts 2013, No. 332, § 10. This section was derived from Acts 2001, No. 151, § 30.

Subchapter 6 — Benefits

Effective Dates. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 17: Mar. 7, 1957. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that the establishment of a State Employees Retirement System is necessary in order to retain and recruit efficient and skilled state employees and that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary in order that the Board of Trustees herein created be appointed, organize and establish the necessary rules and forms to be followed upon the establishment of the retirement system herein created on July 1, 1957. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1959, No. 42, § 16: Feb. 13, 1959. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that the coverage of county employees in a retirement system is necessary in order to retain and recruit efficient and skilled county employees; that the coverage is best obtained by including the county employees in the membership of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System, established by Act 177 of 1957, as amended; that it is necessary for the Board of Trustees of said Arkansas State Employees Retirement System to organize and establish necessary rules, regulations and forms to effectuate said coverage of county employees. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1961, No. 11, §§ 2, 3: Retroactive to Jan. 1, 1961. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that clarification of the State Employees Retirement Act is needed and because of the lack of clarification such act is now depriving certain members of retirement benefits and that only by the immediate passage of this Act can such situations be clarified. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1961, No. 64, § 9: Feb. 8, 1961. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby determined by the General Assembly that the coverage of municipal employees in a retirement system is necessary in order to retain and recruit efficient and skilled municipal employees; that the coverage is best obtained by permitting the inclusion of municipal employees in the membership of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System, established by Act 177 of 1957, as amended; that the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System shall establish necessary rules, regulations and forms to effectuate said coverage of municipal employees. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1965, No. 153, § 15: Mar. 9, 1965. Emergency clause provided: “This act shall take effect and be in force from the date of its approval.”

Acts 1969, No. 632, § 7: May 27, 1969. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that Act 185 of 1969 which provides for an increase in contributions to and benefits payable under the State Employees Retirement System to be effective on July 1, 1969 did not contain an emergency clause and therefore will not be effective until ninety (90) days after adjournment of the Regular Session; that due to the extension of the Regular Session as authorized in the Constitution, acts not having an emergency clause will not be effective until well after July 1; and that it is essential to the proper administration of the State Employees Retirement System that the increase in contributions to and benefits payable under the State Employees Retirement System take effect on July 1, 1969. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1973, No. 586, § 11: Apr. 3, 1986. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that provisions of this act clarify coverage, service, credits, and eligibility for benefits under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System; and, in order to enable those persons who are eligible for such coverage, service credits, or benefits thereunder to obtain such without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1973, No. 666, § 14: Apr. 10, 1973. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the provisions of this Act change the rate of contributions, change the value of service credits and establish new types of benefits under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System; and, in order to enable persons to receive proper benefits thereunder without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1975, No. 907, § 22: Apr. 7, 1975. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that provisions of this Act clarify coverage, service credits, and eligibility for benefits under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System; and in order to enable those persons who are eligible for such coverage, service credits, or benefits thereunder to obtain such without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1977, No. 663, § 8: Mar. 23, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that provisions of this Act clarify coverage, service credits, and eligibility for benefits under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System; and in order to enable those persons who are eligible for such coverage, service credits, or benefits thereunder to obtain such without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1979, No. 715, § 9: July 1, 1979. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that various provisions of the Public Retirement laws need further clarification in order for their meaning to be comprehensible to members of the systems and administrators. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1979.”

Acts 1981, No. 859, § 19: Mar. 28, 1981. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that various provisions of Act 177 of 1957, as amended, need further clarification in order for their meaning to be comprehensible to members of the system and administrators. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1983, No. 637, § 4: Mar. 22, 1983. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the current law regarding death-in-service benefits has not provided for benefits in the case of otherwise eligible persons who are forced to leave the payroll of a participating employer solely due to illness or accident which results in death and that this Act is immediately necessary to correct this inequity. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1983, No. 865, § 4: July 1, 1983. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the Public Employees Retirement System laws need to be amended to provide an increase of up to ten percent (10%) for those members and beneficiaries who retired before July 1, 1982. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1983.”

Acts 1985, No. 552, § 3: July 1, 1985. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the Public Employees Retirement System laws need to be amended to provide an increase of up to ten percent (10%) for those members and beneficiaries who retired before July 1, 1984. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1985.”

Acts 1991, No. 223, § 5: July 1, 1991. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Eighth General Assembly that benefits provided to members of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System are inadequate and that an increase should be provided as soon as practicable in order to provide adequate benefits. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect July 1, 1991.”

Acts 1991, No. 380, § 7: July 1, 1991. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that benefits provided to retirants and beneficiaries under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System, the Arkansas State Police Retirement System and the Arkansas State Highway Employees Retirement System are inadequate and that an increase should be provided as soon as practicable in order to avoid an undue hardship to many such retirants and beneficiaries. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1991.”

Acts 1991, No. 432, § 7: July 1, 1991. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that benefits provided to retirants and beneficiaries under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System and the Arkansas State Police Retirement System are inadequate and that an increase should be provided as soon as practicable in order to avoid an undue hardship to many such retirants and beneficiaries. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1991.”

Acts 1993, No. 938, § 5: July 1, 1993. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that benefits provided to retirants and beneficiaries under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System are inadequate, and an increase should be provided as soon as practicable in order to avoid an undue hardship to many such retirants and beneficiaries. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1993.”

Acts 1995, No. 629, § 5: July 1, 1995. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eightieth General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that retirement benefits provided to members of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System are inadequate; that the benefits should be increased as soon as possible in order to provide adequate benefits, and that effective fiscal administration of the System will be aided by implementing those increases as the state's fiscal year begins. Therefore, in order to promote sound fiscal administration in State government, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1995.”

Acts 1995, No. 630, § 5: July 1, 1995. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eightieth General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that retirement benefits payable to retirants and beneficiaries of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System are inadequate; that the retirant and beneficiary payments should be increased as soon as possible in order to relieve this inequity, and that effective fiscal administration of the System will be aided by implementing those increases at the same time as the state's fiscal year begins. Therefore, in order to promote sound fiscal administration in State government, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1995.”

Acts 1997, No. 318, § 7: July 1, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that retirement benefits payable to current and future retirants and beneficiaries of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System are inadequate; that the current and future retirant and beneficiary payments should be increased as soon as possible in order to relieve this inequity; and that effective fiscal administration of the System will be aided by implementing those increases at the same time as the State's fiscal year begins. Therefore, in order to promote sound fiscal administration in State government, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall become effective July 1, 1997.”

Acts 1999, No. 39, § 6: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that historically the Public Employees Retirement System has recomputed retirement benefits on July 1 of each year to reflect a cost of living increase; that this act modifies the cost of living increase; and that unless this emergency clause is adopted, this act will not go into effect on July 1 of this year; and that unless this emergency clause is adopted, this act will not be effective until July 1 of the succeeding year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 325, § 17: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly, that certain provisions of the law governing the Public Employees Retirement System need to be amended concerning eligibility, death benefits, and disability benefits, and that the effective administration of state government makes it necessary for these changes to begin at the start of the state's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 496, § 9: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly, that retirement benefits payable to current and future retirants and beneficiaries of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System are inadequate; that the current and future retirant and beneficiary payments should be increased as soon as possible in order to relieve this inequity, and that the effective fiscal administration of the System will be aided by implementing those increases at the same time as the state's fiscal year begins. Therefore, in order to promote sound fiscal administration in State government, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 1450, § 7: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that certain provisions of the law governing the Public Employees' Retirement System need to be amended concerning eligibility for death benefits and that the effective administration of state government makes it necessary for these changes to begin at the start of the state's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 2001, No. 151, § 69: Feb. 8, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act makes technical corrections to a number of sections of Arkansas Code Title 24; that other legislation of this session of the General Assembly may also amend some of those sections; that this act should become effective immediately so that other legislation may be amended to reflect the technical corrections made by this act and to avoid conflicts. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2001, No. 355, § 4: July 1, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly that for the effective administration of this act and to avoid undue harm to the members and benefit recipients of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System this act should become effective on July 1, 2001. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2001.”

Acts 2001, No. 356, § 3: July 1, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly that for the effective administration of this act and to avoid undue harm to the members and benefit recipients of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System this act should become effective on July 1, 2001. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2001.”

Acts 2001, No. 357, § 3: July 1, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly that for the effective administration of this act and to avoid undue harm to the members and benefit recipients of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, this act should become effective on July 1, 2001. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2001.”

Acts 2001, No. 438, § 5: July 1, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly that for the effective administration of this act and to avoid undue harm to the members and benefit recipients of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System this act should become effective on July 1, 2001. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2001.”

Acts 2003, No. 1473, § 74: July 1, 2003. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act includes technical corrects to Act 923 of 2003 which establishes the classification and compensation levels of state employees covered by the provisions of the Uniform Classification and Compensation Act; that Act 923 of 2003 will become effective on July 1, 2003; and that to avoid confusion this act must also effective on July 1, 2003. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2003.”

Acts 2005, No. 383, § [2]: July 1, 2005. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that for the effective administration of this act and to avoid undue harm to the members and benefit recipients of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System that this act should become effective on July 1, 2005. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2005.”

Acts 2005, No. 1450, § 2: July 1, 2005. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that for the effective administration of this act and to avoid undue harm to the members and benefit recipients of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System that this act should become effective on July 1, 2005. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2005.”

Acts 2007, No. 1568, § 2: July 1, 2007. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act affects the distribution of benefits to retirees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and that the ideal time to make revisions to the system is at the beginning of the state's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2007.”

Acts 2009, No. 1200, § 3: July 1, 2009. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this country is in a recession, that Arkansas retirants have been hurt economically by the recession, that this act will increase benefits for those retirants that served the state the longest period of time, that the fiscal year of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System begins on July 1 of each year, and that these changes are needed by July 1, 2009, in order to have a smooth transition between fiscal years. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2009.”

Acts 2011, No. 38, § 11: Feb. 16, 2011. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the public retirement systems provide economic security for eligible citizens of Arkansas; that the statutes need amending to update and clarify existing law; and that these changes need to be made immediately. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2019, No. 625, § 4, provided: “Retroactivity. This act applies retroactively to January 1, 2017”.

24-4-601. Straight life annuity generally.

    1. Beginning July 1, 2001, any member who retires as provided in § 24-4-508 or §§ 24-4-510 — 24-4-512 shall receive a straight life annuity for each year of contributory service credit equal to two and seven-hundredths percent (2.07%) of the member's final average compensation multiplied by the number of years and fraction of a year of credited service rendered on or after July 1, 2001, with the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
    2. Beginning July 1, 2001, any member who retires as provided in § 24-4-508 or §§ 24-4-510 — 24-4-512 shall receive a straight life annuity for each year of contributory service credit equal to two and eleven-hundredths percent (2.11%) of the member's average compensation multiplied by the number of years and fraction of a year of credited service rendered before July 1, 2001, with the system.
    1. For each year of noncontributory credited service in the system rendered prior to July 1, 2007, resulting from employment in a position covered at any time by Social Security or another federal retirement plan supported wholly or in part by employer contributions, a member shall receive one and seventy-five-hundredths percent (1.75%) of the member's final average compensation plus, for each year of noncontributory credited service in the system rendered prior to July 1, 2007, resulting from employment in a position never so covered, a member shall receive two and eleven-hundredths percent (2.11%) of the member's final average compensation.
    2. For each year of credited service in the system rendered after June 30, 2007, resulting from employment in a position covered at any time by Social Security or another federal retirement plan supported wholly or in part by employer contributions, a member shall receive one and seventy-two-hundredths percent (1.72%) of the member's final average compensation plus, for each year of credited service in the system rendered after June 30, 2007, resulting from employment in a position never so covered, a member shall receive two and seven-hundredths percent (2.07%) of the member's final average compensation. In no event shall service as a district judge in the state division receive less than three percent (3%) of the member's final average compensation.
    3. For each year of actual service in the system in excess of twenty-eight (28) years that is rendered on or after July 1, 2009, a member shall receive a straight life annuity equal to an additional five-tenths of one percent (0.5%) of the member's final average compensation.
    1. A member of the General Assembly first elected before July 1, 1999, shall receive a monthly annuity equal to thirty-five dollars ($35.00) multiplied by the number of years of actual service as a member of the General Assembly.
    2. A member of the General Assembly first elected before July 1, 1999, who served as Speaker of the House of Representatives or President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall receive a monthly annuity equal to forty dollars ($40.00) multiplied by the total number of years of actual service as a member of the General Assembly.
    1. In addition, if a member has credited service resulting from employment in a position covered at any time by Social Security or another federal retirement plan supported wholly or in part by employer contributions, and if that member is retiring as provided in subsection (b) of this section or § 24-4-510, and if that member's age at retirement is younger than Social Security's minimum age for an immediate retirement benefit and age sixty-two (62), then that member of the system shall receive a temporary annuity equal to thirty-three-hundredths of one percent (0.33%) of his or her final average compensation for each year of the noncontributory credited service.
    2. The temporary annuity shall terminate at the end of the calendar month in which the earliest of the following events occurs:
      1. The member's death;
      2. The member's attainment of the Social Security minimum age; or
      3. The member's attainment of age sixty-two (62).
    3. It is considered sound public policy that retirement pay not exceed working pay except for increases after retirement caused by inflation. Accordingly, at the time of retirement the total of the system's noncontributory annuities resulting from employment in a position also covered by Social Security shall not exceed the member's final average compensation.
    4. If no temporary annuity is payable as provided in this subsection or after the temporary annuity has terminated and if the member has at retirement any credited service for any period of time prior to July 1, 1991, then the future payments of the annuity for life shall not be less than they would have been under the provisions that were in effect on July 1, 1990, for this subsection, plus a corresponding increase for any benefit enhancements that have been enacted since July 1, 1991.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 11; 1959, No. 42, § 11; 1965, No. 153, §§ 11, 12; 1967, No. 108, § 3; 1969, No. 632, § 3; 1975, No. 907, § 9; 1979, No. 715, § 6; 1981, No. 859, § 6; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2511; Acts 1991, No. 223, § 1; 1995, No. 629, § 1; 1997, No. 318, § 1; 1999, No. 496, § 2; 2001, No. 151, § 31; 2001, No. 355, § 1; 2003, No. 1473, § 55; 2005, No. 1450, § 1; 2007, No. 220, § 1; 2009, No. 1200 § 1; 2011, No. 38, § 8.

A.C.R.C. Notes. As enacted, the 1991 amendment in (a) began “Beginning July 1, 1991”.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment inserted (b)(3).

The 2011 amendment added the last sentence in (b)(2).

24-4-602. Payment of annuity balance upon death of retirant or member.

  1. In the event a retirant who is in receipt of a straight life annuity dies before he or she has received in straight life annuity payments an aggregate amount equal to his or her accumulated contributions standing to his or her credit in the members' deposit account at the time of his or her retirement, the difference between his or her accumulated contributions and the aggregate amount of straight life annuity payments received by him or her shall be paid to such persons as he or she shall have nominated by written designation duly executed and filed with the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
  2. If there is no designated person surviving the retirant, the difference, if any, shall be paid in accordance with the Arkansas laws of descent and distribution.
  3. The payments may be made directly to a curator or guardian, or to an administrator or an executor, authorized to receive the payments, wherever the representative may be, with or without the appointment of a representative in this state.
  4. In the event a member dies and does not leave a beneficiary entitled to an annuity payable from funds of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, his or her accumulated contributions standing to his or her credit in the members' deposit account as of the time of his or her death shall be paid pursuant to the provisions of this section.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 11; 1959, No. 42, § 11; 1961, No. 11, § 1; 1961, No. 64, § 5; 1965, No. 153, §§ 11, 12; 1967, No. 108, §§ 3, 4; 1967, No. 175, § 2; 1969, No. 81, § 1; 1969, No. 381, § 1; 1969, No. 632, §§ 3, 4; 1973, No. 586, §§ 5, 6; 1975, No. 907, §§ 1, 2, 9; 1977, No. 109, § 1; 1977, No. 816, § 1; 1979, No. 387, § 1; 1979, No. 715, §§ 2, 6; 1981, No. 859, § 6; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2511.

Case Notes

Applicability.

There was no error in the decision that this section did not apply as it applied only to those who choose a straight-life annuity, but the mother had chosen an alternative. Harrison v. Ark. Pub. Employees' Ret. Sys., 2019 Ark. App. 179, 574 S.W.3d 705 (2019).

24-4-603. Refund of contributions.

  1. In the event a former member has left the employ of a participating public employer and requests a refund of his or her accumulated contributions, he or she shall be paid the contributions upon his or her written application for a refund on a form to be supplied by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
  2. The former member may receive interest on the contributions if he or she has had accumulated contributions standing to his or her credit in the members' deposit account for at least five (5) years between the date he or she became a member of the system and the date he or she requests the refund of contributions.
  3. The interest shall be paid at a rate and method to be determined by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and shall be calculated on the balance in the members' deposit account on the last June 30 prior to the date he or she obtains his or her refund.
  4. If a former member has applied for a refund of contributions but returns to employment with a participating public employer prior to the date he or she receives his or her refunded contributions, his or her request shall be void and he or she must again terminate his or her employment to request a refund of contributions.
  5. Refunds of a member's contributions or accumulated contributions, as the case may be, may be made in equal installments according to such rules as the board may adopt from time to time.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 11; 1959, No. 42, § 11; 1975, No. 907, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2511; Acts 2019, No. 315, § 2858.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in (e).

24-4-604. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning payment of prior service annuity purchased by member, was repealed by Acts 1997, No. 299, § 26. The section was derived from Acts 1975, No. 907, § 13; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2511.11.

24-4-605. Proration of public employer share of annuity reserve.

In the event a member retires with credited service arising from his or her employment by the state, a county, and a municipality, the public employer share of his or her annuity reserve shall be prorated between the state division, county division, and municipal division in accordance with the portions of his or her credited service acquired under each division.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 11; 1961, No. 64, § 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2511.

A.C.R.C. Notes. These division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, referred to in this section, may no longer exist as a separate division of the system. For present organizational structure of the system, see § 24-4-201.

24-4-606. Annuity options.

  1. Before the date the first payment of a member's annuity becomes due, but not thereafter, a member may elect to receive his or her annuity as a straight life annuity or may elect to have his or her annuity reduced and nominate a beneficiary in accordance with the provisions of one (1) of the following options:
    1. Option A60 — 60 Months Certain and Life Annuity.
      1. Under Option A60, the retirant shall be paid a reduced annuity for life with the provision that if the retirant's death occurs before sixty (60) monthly payments have been made, the full reduced annuity shall continue to be paid for the remainder of the sixty (60) months to such persons and in such shares as the retirant shall have designated in writing and filed with the plan. If there is no payee surviving, the lump-sum actuarial equivalent of the remaining monthly payments shall be paid to the estate of the last survivor among the retirant and the designated persons.
      2. The reduced annuity shall be ninety-eight percent (98%) of the straight life annuity;
    2. Option A120 — 120 Months Certain and Life Annuity.
      1. Under Option A120, the retirant shall be paid a reduced annuity for life with the provision that if the retirant's death occurs before one hundred twenty (120) monthly payments have been made, the full reduced annuity shall continue to be paid for the remainder of the one hundred twenty (120) months to such persons and in such shares as the retirant shall have designated in writing and filed with the plan. If there is no payee surviving, the lump sum actuarial equivalent of the remaining monthly payments shall be paid to the estate of the last survivor among the retirant and the designated persons.
      2. The reduced annuity shall be ninety-four percent (94%) of the straight life annuity;
    3. Option B50 — 50 Percent Survivor Beneficiary Annuity.
        1. Under Option B50, the retirant shall be paid a reduced annuity for life with the provision that upon the retirant's death one-half (½) of the reduced annuity shall be continued throughout the future lifetime of and paid to such person as the retirant shall have designated in writing and filed with the plan before his or her annuity's starting date.
        2. However, the person must be either his or her spouse for not less than six (6) months immediately preceding the first payment due date or another person aged forty (40) or older receiving more than one-half (1/2) support from the retirant for not less than one (1) year immediately preceding the first payment due date.
      1. The reduced annuity to the retirant shall be eighty-eight percent (88%) if the retirant's age and his or her beneficiary's age are the same on the first payment due date, which shall be decreased by one-half of one percent (0.5%), for each year that the beneficiary's age is less than the retirant's age, or which shall be increased by one-half of one percent (0.5%), up to a maximum of ninety-five percent (95%), for each year that the beneficiary's age is more than the retirant's age.
      2. However, if the named beneficiary under Option B50 predeceases the retirant, the original unreduced benefit shall be paid to the retirant prospectively; or
    4. Option B75 — 75 Percent Survivor Beneficiary Annuity.
        1. Under Option B75, the retirant shall be paid a reduced annuity for life with the provision that, upon his or her death, three-fourths (¾) of the reduced annuity shall be continued throughout the future lifetime of, and paid to, such person as the retirant shall have designated in writing and filed with the plan before his or her annuity's starting date.
        2. However, the person must be either the retirant's spouse for not less than six (6) months immediately preceding the first payment due date or another person aged forty (40) or older receiving more than one-half (½) support from the retirant for not less than one (1) year immediately preceding the first payment due date.
      1. The reduced annuity to the retirant shall be eighty-three percent (83%) if the retirant's age and his or her beneficiary's age are the same on the first due date, which shall be decreased by seven-tenths of one percent (0.7%) for each year that the beneficiary's age is less than the retirant's age or which shall be increased by seven-tenths of one percent (0.7%) up to a maximum of ninety percent (90%) for each year that the beneficiary's age is more than the retirant's age.
      2. However, if the named beneficiary under Option B75 predeceases the retirant, the original unreduced benefit shall be paid to the retirant prospectively.
    1. A death of a spouse or divorce or other marriage dissolution or the death of a person forty (40) years of age or older who is the designated beneficiary under Option B50 or Option B75 shall cancel, at the written election of the retirant, Option B50 or Option B75 at retirement, providing continuing lifetime benefits to the designated person, and shall return the retirant to his or her straight life, Option A60, or Option A120 annuity, to be effective the month following receipt of his or her election by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
      1. A retirant who is receiving a straight life, Option A60, or Option A120 annuity and who marries after retirement or within the one (1) year immediately preceding retirement may elect to cancel his or her straight life, Option A60, or Option A120 annuity and may elect Option B50 or Option B75, providing continuing lifetime benefits to his or her spouse, but only if the election is on a form approved by the system and is received by the system not earlier than one (1) year after the date of the marriage and not later than eighteen (18) months after that date.
      2. The election shall be effective the first day of the month following the receipt of the notice.
  2. If a member fails to elect an option, his or her annuity shall be paid to him or her as a straight life annuity.
    1. The surviving spouse of a system member who retired prior to July 1, 1967, shall receive a monthly survivor's annuity equal to seventy-five percent (75%) of the retirant's monthly benefit at the time of death, provided that the surviving spouse was married to the retirant on the date of retirement, the surviving spouse is unmarried, and the surviving spouse makes application to the system on or before June 30, 1995.
    2. The monthly survivor's annuity shall be effective the first day of the month following the month of application, and no annuity will be paid the surviving spouse for any period prior to the first of the month following the month of application.
  3. The surviving spouse of a member of the system who retired on or after February 1, 1991, and who elected a straight life annuity shall be entitled to receive a survivor's annuity equal to the amount that would have been received had the member elected Option B75, provided:
    1. The member dies within twelve (12) months of the effective date of retirement; and
    2. The surviving spouse makes application to the system within twelve (12) months of the date of the member's death.

History. Acts 1957, No. 177, § 11; 1967, No. 108, § 4; 1979, No. 715, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2511; Acts 1993, No. 973, § 1; 1993, No. 1200, § 2; 2001, No. 151, § 32; 2001, No. 438, §§ 1, 2; 2005, No. 383, § 1; 2019, No. 625, §§ 1, 2.

A.C.R.C. Notes. Acts 2001, No. 438, § 3, provided:

“Application of the provisions of this Act. The increases in reduced annuity option amounts provided in this act shall not apply to retirees or survivors whose effective date of benefits occurred before July 1, 2001.”

Amendments. The 2019 amendment added the (a)(3)(A)(i), (a)(3)(A)(ii), (a)(4)(A)(i), and (a)(4)(A)(ii) designations; and substituted “six (6) months” for “one (1) year” in (a)(3)(A)(ii) and (a)(4)(A)(ii).

Effective Dates. Acts 2019, No. 625, § 4, provided: “Retroactivity. This act applies retroactively to January 1, 2017”.

24-4-607. Redetermination of benefits.

  1. Each July 1 the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall redetermine the amount of each monthly benefit which has been payable by the system for at least twelve (12) full calendar months. The redetermined amount shall be payable for the following twelve (12) calendar months.
  2. The redetermined amount shall be the amount of the benefit payable as of the immediately preceding July 1 increased by three percent (3%).

History. Acts 1973, No. 666, § 5; 1979, No. 715, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2511.6; Acts 1987, No. 477, § 1; 1991, No. 432, § 2; 1997, No. 299, § 19; 1999, No. 39, § 2.

24-4-608. Payment of benefits upon death of member before retirement — Exception.

  1. Effective July 1, 2001, if an active member or former member with five (5) or more years of actual service dies before retirement, the applicable benefits provided in this section shall be paid upon written application to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
  2. For purposes of computing benefits provided by this section, the deceased member's or former member's compensation at the time of death shall be the member's compensation for the year immediately preceding the cessation of his or her pay.
    1. A member's or former member's surviving spouse who was married to the member at least six (6) months immediately preceding his or her death shall receive an annuity computed in the same manner in all respects as if the member or former member had:
      1. Retired the date of his or her death with entitlement to an annuity provided for in § 24-4-601;
      2. Elected the Option B75 survivor annuity provided for in § 24-4-606(a)(4); and
      3. Nominated his or her spouse as joint beneficiary.
      1. If the member or former member had satisfied the age and service requirements provided for in § 24-4-101 or had acquired twenty (20) years of actual service, the spouse annuity shall commence immediately and be payable for life. If the member or former member had not satisfied the age and service requirement provided for in § 24-4-101 or had not acquired twenty (20) years of actual service, then the spouse annuity shall commence immediately and be payable until the earlier of his or her remarriage or death.
      2. A surviving spouse who is otherwise eligible but whose benefit has been deferred because the spouse did not meet the age requirements in effect before July 1, 1999, shall be eligible to commence a spouse annuity effective July 1, 1999. The spouse annuity shall not be retroactive.
    2. The spouse annuity shall not be less than ten percent (10%) of the deceased member's or former member's covered compensation at the time of death.
    3. In any event, as long as the surviving spouse has in his or her care any of the deceased member's or former member's dependent children receiving a benefit provided for in this section, there shall be payable to him or her a spouse annuity as indicated in this section which shall not be less than ten percent (10%) of the deceased member's or former member's compensation at the time of death.
      1. A member's or former member's dependent child or dependent children shall each receive an annuity of the greater of either ten percent (10%) of the member's or former member's covered compensation at the time of death or an equal share of one hundred fifty dollars ($150) monthly.
      2. Where there are three (3) or more dependent children, each dependent child shall receive an annuity of an equal share of the greater of either twenty-five percent (25%) of the covered compensation or one hundred fifty dollars ($150) monthly.
      1. A child shall be a dependent child until the child's death, marriage, or attainment of age eighteen (18), whichever occurs first.
        1. However, the age-eighteen maximum shall be extended as long as the child continues uninterruptedly being a full-time student at an accredited secondary school, college, or university, but in no event beyond his or her attainment of age twenty-three (23).
        2. In addition, the age-eighteen maximum shall be extended for any child who has been deemed physically or mentally incompetent by an Arkansas court of competent jurisdiction or by the board, for as long as the incompetency exists.
    1. Upon a child's ceasing to be a dependent child, his or her annuity shall terminate, and there shall be a redetermination of the amounts payable to any remaining dependent children.
  3. If at the time of the member's or former member's death there is neither a spouse nor a dependent child, each dependent parent shall receive an allowance of the greater of ten percent (10%) of the covered compensation or an equal share of one hundred fifty dollars ($150) monthly, but only if the board finds that the parent was dependent for at least fifty percent (50%) of his or her financial support upon the member or former member.
    1. If no annuity can become payable to a dependent child due to the death of the member or former member and a surviving spouse or dependent parents are the only persons who will be eligible for monthly benefits and the spouse or dependent parents are also the designated beneficiaries of the member or former member, then, in that event, the surviving spouse or dependent parents may elect to receive a refund of the member's or former member's accumulated contributions as provided in § 24-4-602(d) in lieu of any benefits which could become payable under this act.
    2. The option to choose a refund of the member's or former member's contributions shall also be afforded to any spouse or dependent parent qualified under this section whose eligibility for the benefit occurred before the passage of this act and who could not exercise the option.
    3. Once the refund of the deceased member's or former member's accumulated contributions has been made to the surviving spouse or dependent parents under this section, the person shall have no future claim to monthly retirement benefits due to the death of the member or former member.
    1. In the event that all the annuities provided for in this section payable on account of the death of a member or former member terminate before there has been paid an aggregate amount equal to his or her accumulated contributions standing to his or her credit in the members' deposit account at the time of his or her death, the difference between the accumulated contributions and the aggregate amount of annuity payments shall be paid to such person as he or she shall have nominated by written designation duly executed and filed with the board.
    2. If there is no designated person surviving at termination, the difference shall be paid to the member's or former member's estate.
  4. Annuities payable under the provisions of this section shall be effective the first day of the calendar month next following the date of the member's or former member's death or the first day of the month following the month in which the survivor becomes eligible for benefits as provided by law.
  5. The provisions of this section shall not be applicable in determining survivor benefits under the General Assembly Division or the State Constitutional Officers' Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System if a benefit is provided to the surviving spouse by other laws applicable to the Arkansas Public Employees’ Retirement System.
  6. The benefits provided in this section for former members shall not apply to former members who terminated covered employment prior to July 1, 1997, with less than ten (10) years of service or whose death occurred before July 1, 2001.

History. Acts 1975, No. 907, §§ 15, 18; 1977, No. 663, § 4; 1979, No. 715, § 4; 1981, No. 859, § 10; 1983, No. 637, § 1; 1985, No. 938, § 11; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2511.12, 12-2511.15; Acts 1993, No. 432, §§ 9, 10; 1997, No. 299, § 20; 1999, No. 325, § 9; 1999, No. 1450, § 2; 2001, No. 151, § 33; 2001, No. 356, § 1; 2019, No. 625, § 3.

A.C.R.C. Notes. The General Assembly Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, referred to in this section, may no longer exist as a separate division of the system. For present organizational structure of the system, see § 24-4-201.

Publisher's Notes. In reference to the term “passage of this act,” Acts 1977, No. 663 was signed by the Governor and became effective on March 23, 1977.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment substituted “six (6) months” for “the one (1) year” in the introductory language of (c)(1).

Meaning of “this act”. Acts 1977, No. 663, codified as §§ 24-2-402, 24-4-202, 24-4-511, 24-4-608 and 24-4-609.

Effective Dates. Acts 2019, No. 625, § 4, provided: “Retroactivity. This act applies retroactively to January 1, 2017”.

Case Notes

Applicability.

Given that the term “full-time student” is not defined in § 11-27-527(d)(2), but (1) §§ 24-6-216(d)(B)(i) and 24-6-216(e)(1)(B)(i) refer to a child's benefits terminating at age 18 but extending until age 23 as long as the child is continuously enrolled as a full-time student, (2) § 24-4-411(d)(3)(B)(i) and this section refer to a child being eligible as long as the child continues uninterruptedly from being a full-time student, and (3) § 6-82-202(7) defines full-time student for purposes of the state scholarship program, had the legislature intended to restrict the definition of full-time student in § 11-27-527, it could have done so, and in light of the purpose under § 11-9-101(b) and the strict construction of workers' compensation laws under § 11-9-704(c)(3), the court will not read into the statute the restriction that the term “full-time student” is defined by each individual student's college handbook or catalog. Death & Permanent Disability Trust Fund v. Anderson, 83 Ark. App. 230, 125 S.W.3d 819 (2003).

Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System properly relied on this section to deny a daughter her mother's annuity payments as the statute clearly stated that when an employee died before retirement had begun, and there was a surviving spouse, then it was as though the employee had chosen Option B75. This section did not require that the employee chose Option B75. Harrison v. Ark. Pub. Employees' Ret. Sys., 2019 Ark. App. 179, 574 S.W.3d 705 (2019).

24-4-609. Effective date of benefits.

All monthly benefits payable to survivors of deceased members or retirants of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall be effective the first day of the month following the month in which the member or retirant died or the first day of the month following the month in which the survivor becomes eligible for benefits as provided by law.

History. Acts 1977, No. 663, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2511.17.

24-4-610. Increased benefits for persons retiring by June 1, 1985.

  1. On July 1, 1987, the monthly retirement benefit payable to retirants and beneficiaries of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who retired June 1, 1985, or before, shall be increased as follows:
    1. Those retirants and beneficiaries who retired June 1, 1985, or before, shall receive five percent (5%) of the benefit amount payable June 1, 1986, for each full year from the date of retirement through June 1, 1987, with a maximum increase payable of twenty percent (20%) of the June 1, 1987, retirement benefit;
    2. The following schedule shall be used to determine the percent of increase due:
    1. The increase in benefits provided in subsection (a) of this section shall be added to the monthly benefit after the annual postretirement increase based on the consumer price index has been applied.
    2. The increase provided in subsection (a) of this section shall be added to the base annuity of the member or beneficiary.

Date of Retirement Percent of Increase 7-1-85 and after 0% 7-1-84 through 6-1-85 5% 7-1-83 through 6-1-84 10% 7-1-82 through 6-1-83 11% 7-1-81 through 6-1-82 12% 7-1-80 through 6-1-81 13% 7-1-79 through 6-1-80 14% 7-1-78 through 6-1-79 15% 7-1-77 through 6-1-78 16% 7-1-76 through 6-1-77 17% 7-1-75 through 6-1-76 18% Before 7-1-75 20%

Click to view table.

History. Acts 1983, No. 865, § 1; 1985, No. 552, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2511.23; Acts 1987, No. 809, § 1.

24-4-611. Minimum monthly benefit.

All persons who are now vested or who hereafter vest under the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System or the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System shall be entitled to a minimum monthly benefit of one hundred fifty dollars ($150).

History. Acts 1989, No. 547, § 1.

A.C.R.C. Notes. Acts 1989, No. 547, § 2, provided:

“All persons who on the effective date of this Act receive benefits under the Public Employees Retirement System or the State Highway Employees Retirement System, and whose monthly benefits are less than one hundred fifty dollars ($150) per month, shall have their monthly benefits increased to one hundred and fifty dollars ($150) per month effective with the first benefit payment payable after the effective date of this Act.”

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1989, No. 547, § 1, is also codified as § 24-5-124.

24-4-612. Increase in benefits.

  1. On July 1, 1991, the monthly retirement benefit payable to retirants and beneficiaries of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, who retired June 1, 1991, or before, shall be increased by four percent (4%) of the benefit payable on June 1, 1991.
  2. The increase in benefits provided in subsection (a) of this section shall be added to the monthly benefit after the annual postretirement increase based on the consumer price index has been applied, and the increase in subsection (a) of this section shall be added to the base annuity of the retirant or beneficiary.

History. Acts 1991, No. 380, § 1.

24-4-613. Benefits for contributory members.

  1. All contributory members of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who are retired as of August 13, 1993, or who retire after August 13, 1993, shall receive benefits at least equal to the amount of benefits they would have received had they retired as noncontributory members of the system.
  2. The provisions of this section are retroactive to January 1, 1993.

History. Acts 1993, No. 722, §§ 1, 2.

24-4-614. Increase in monthly benefit amount — 1993.

  1. On July 1, 1993, the monthly retirement benefit payable to retirants and beneficiaries of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who retired on June 1, 1993, or before, shall be increased by two and sixty-one hundredths percent (2.61%) of the benefit payable on June 1, 1993.
  2. The increase in benefits provided in subsection (a) of this section shall be added to the monthly benefit after application of the annual postretirement increase, which is based on the consumer price index.

History. Acts 1993, No. 938, § 1.

24-4-615. Maximum benefit limitation.

  1. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, benefits paid under the provisions of this chapter shall not exceed the limitations of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 415 that are applicable to governmental retirement plans.
    1. The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System is hereby empowered and authorized to promulgate all necessary rules to implement the limitations of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 415.
    2. The rules adopted by the board pursuant to this section shall be amended to reflect any changes in the content or application of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 415 enacted by the United States Congress or promulgated by the Internal Revenue Service.

History. Acts 1995, No. 738, § 1; 2019, No. 315, § 2859.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in (b)(1) and (b)(2).

24-4-616. Increase in monthly benefit amount — 1995.

On July 1, 1995, the monthly benefit payable to retirants and beneficiaries of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who retired on June 1, 1995, or before, shall be increased by six and forty-five-hundredths percent (6.45%) of the benefit payable on June 1, 1995.

History. Acts 1995, No. 630, § 1.

24-4-617. Increase in monthly benefit amount — 1997.

On July 1, 1997, the monthly retirement benefit payable to retirants and beneficiaries of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who retired on or before June 1, 1997, shall be increased by three percent (3%) of the benefit payable on June 1, 1997.

History. Acts 1997, No. 318, § 3.

24-4-618. Increased benefits for persons retired before July 1, 1999.

On July 1, 1999, and thereafter, the monthly benefit payable to the retirants and the beneficiaries of retirants of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who retired before July 1, 1989, shall be increased by an amount equal to one percent (1%) of the benefit payable on June 1, 1999, for each year or portion of a year of retirement prior to July 1, 1989.

History. Acts 1999, No. 496, § 3.

24-4-619. Increased benefits for persons retired before June 1, 1999.

In addition to the monthly retirement benefit increase provided in § 24-4-618, each retirant and beneficiary of a retirant of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who retired on or before June 1, 1999, shall receive an increase in his or her monthly benefit of fifty dollars ($50.00).

History. Acts 1999, No. 496, § 4.

24-4-620. Partial annuity withdrawal provision.

  1. Any member who does not terminate employment and retire on the date that member meets the age and service requirements of § 24-4-508 for an unreduced annuity and has not elected to participate in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan as provided in § 24-4-801 et seq. may elect at the time of retirement to participate in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement Partial Annuity Withdrawal Program.
  2. A member electing to participate shall be eligible to receive, at the time of retirement, a lump-sum distribution in an amount not exceeding one (1) month of benefit for each completed month of service beyond eligibility for an unreduced benefit. The lump sum shall not exceed an amount equal to sixty (60) months of benefits.
  3. A member electing to participate shall have his or her lifetime annuity reduced by an actuarially determined equivalent in accordance with rules adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.

History. Acts 2001, No. 357, § 1; 2019, No. 315, § 2860.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in (c).

24-4-621. Increase in benefits.

  1. On July 1, 2001, the monthly retirement benefit payable to retirants and beneficiaries of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who retired on or before June 1, 2001, shall be increased by one and seven-tenths percent (1.7%) of the benefit payable on June 1, 2001.
  2. The increase in benefits provided in subsection (a) of this section shall be added to the monthly benefit after the annual postretirement increase.

History. Acts 2001, No. 355, § 2.

24-4-622. Monthly benefit increase.

  1. On July 1, 2007, the monthly retirement benefit payable to retirants and beneficiaries of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who retired on or before June 1, 2007, shall be increased by one percent (1%) of the benefit payable on June 1, 2007.
  2. The increase in benefits under subsection (a) of this section shall be added to the monthly benefit after the annual postretirement increase.

History. Acts 2007, No. 1568, § 1.

Subchapter 7 — Provisions Applicable to Particular Employees

Effective Dates. Acts 1961, No. 14, § 2: Jan. 30, 1961. Emergency clause provided: “The legislature having determined that the appointment of a law clerk for counties with population of 240,000 or litigation in the circuit courts of said counties an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage.”

Acts 1963, No. 478, § 2: Mar. 19, 1963. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that all persons eligible to receive benefits under Act 202 of 1961 were not aware of said act, or did not apply for coverage under said act within sufficient time to qualify for benefits thereunder; that the time for applying for benefits under said act expired on January 1, 1962 and such persons are now barred from obtaining the benefits of said act; and, that only by the immediate passage of this act may additional time be granted for applying for the benefits of said act, thereby removing a gross injustice to those persons who are now barred from coverage under said act. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1963, No. 522, § 4: Mar. 19, 1963. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that in order to include and cover disabled former members of the General Assembly in the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System, who have become disabled prior to their sixty-fifth birthday, the immediate passage of this Act is necessary; now, therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1965 (2nd Ex. Sess.), No. 12, § 10: Nov. 6, 1965. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that clarification of the potential retirement status of certain state employees is needed and because of the lack of such clarification many employees may be deprived of retirement benefits and that only by the immediate passage of this Act can such situation be corrected. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1968 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 66, §§ 2, 4: Became law without Governor's signature, effective retroactive to Jan. 1, 1968. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the present requirement that the law clerk of the circuit court be a licensed attorney renders it difficult if not almost impossible to employ a person to fill said position; that the present law prescribing qualifications for the law clerks of the Arkansas Supreme Court require only that the law clerks be licensed attorneys or graduates of approved law schools; that the qualifications of law clerks for circuit courts should be the same as but no greater than those for Supreme Court Clerks; and, that this Act is immediately necessary to revise the qualifications of circuit court law clerks to conform to the qualifications of Supreme Court law clerks and to make it possible to employ persons to fill the position of circuit court law clerk and thereby to further the administration of justice. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1969, No. 14, § 3: Jan. 30, 1969. Emergency clause provided: “It has been found, and is hereby declared by the General Assembly that the Legislative Subdivision of the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System is approaching financial insolvency; and only by the immediate operation of this Act may these conditions be alleviated. Therefore, an emergency hereby is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full effect from the date of its passage and approval.”

Acts 1969, No. 125, § 8: Feb. 25, 1969. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the employees of the War Memorial Stadium Commission have been ineligible for membership in the Retirement System and that such employees are employees of the State and that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary to enable such employees to become members of the System and to pay such necessary contributions therefor. Now therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after the date of its passage and approval.”

Acts 1970 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 184, § 9: Became law without Governor's signature, Mar. 28, 1970. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the employees of the Arkansas Real Estate Commission, or its successor, have been ineligible for membership in the Retirement System and that such employees are immediate passage of this Act is necessary to enable such employees to become members of the System and to pay such necessary contributions therefor and to establish the number of officials and employees and their rates of pay. Now, therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after the date of its passage and approval.”

Acts 1971, No. 85, § 5: Feb. 12, 1971. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that there is presently no specific provision for survivor benefits for surviving spouses of members of the General Assembly who die during their service as a member of the General Assembly; that some members of the General Assembly have served many years and have contributed to the retirement system since its establishment, and that this act should be given immediate effect in order to provide survivor benefits for surviving spouses of members of the General Assembly who have served at least ten (10) years as a member of the General Assembly and whose surviving spouses are not presently entitled to any survivors benefits under the retirement system for members of the General Assembly. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1971, No. 103, § 8: Feb. 17, 1971. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that in order to provide for an orderly retirement for public employees in Arkansas and for the Board of Trustees of the Public Employees Retirement System to have ample time for the implementation of the provisions of this act, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1971, No. 271, § 3: Mar. 12, 1971. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the provisions of Act 103 of 1971 provides retirement benefits for members of the Arkansas General Assembly and the Constitutional Officers, but that certain members of the General Assembly who have served a portion of at least five (5) terms, or in excess of eight (8) years in the Arkansas General Assembly were not covered by the provisions of said Act, and that in order to remove this inequity, it is essential that legislation be enacted to cover such members of the General Assembly and that such legislation be given effect as soon as possible. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1971, No. 305, § 7: Mar. 16, 1971. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that Act 103 of 1971 provided benefits for retired members of the General Assembly and State Elected Constitutional Officers, but that clarification for eligibility of said benefits is essential for the proper administration of said Act, and to enable those persons who are eligible for benefits thereunder to obtain said benefits without undue delay. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1973, No. 447, § 5: Mar. 23, 1973. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the Public Employees Retirement System Law does not currently make adequate provision for the retirement of Governors of the State of Arkansas, and that this Act is immediately necessary to correct this inequitable situation by providing adequate benefits for such persons, and should be given effect immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1973, No. 556, § 4: Apr. 2, 1973. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that persons who have spent many years in the employment of privately owned, semi-public waterworks systems, and who continue as employees of the system when the same is subsequently acquired by a municipality and operated as a municipal system should be permitted to obtain prior service credit in the State Employees Retirement System Municipal Division for their services as an employee of the system prior to its becoming a municipal system and that this Act is immediately necessary to permit such employees to obtain such prior service credit. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1973, No. 666, § 14: Apr. 10, 1973. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the provisions of this Act change the rate of contributions, change the value of service credits and establish new types of benefits under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System; and, in order to enable persons to receive proper benefits thereunder without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1973, No. 754, § 5: Apr. 16, 1973. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that Act 103 of 1971 provided benefits for retired members of the General Assembly and State elected constitutional officers, and that Act 85 of 1971 provided benefits for the surviving spouse of a member of the General Assembly or a state elected constitutional officer, but that clarification of said benefits is essential for the proper administration of said acts, and to enable those persons who are eligible for benefits thereunder to obtain said benefits without undue delay. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1975, No. 313, § 4: Mar. 4, 1975. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the current law relating to survivor benefits for the spouse of a deceased member of the General Assembly or a deceased State elected constitutional officer provides for only a portion of the benefits to which the deceased member would have been entitled; that the survivor benefits provided for such spouses under the present law are totally inadequate and should be increased immediately, and that this Act is designed to provide for such increase in survivor benefits and should be given effect at the earliest possible date. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1975, No. 907, § 22: Apr. 7, 1975. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that provisions of this Act clarify coverage, service credits, and eligibility for benefits under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System; and in order to enable those persons who are eligible for such coverage, service credits, or benefits thereunder to obtain such without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1977, No. 234, § 7: Feb. 23, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that Act 110 of 1967 specifically authorized full-time employees of drainage improvement districts in this State to elect to participate in the Public Employees Retirement System but that due to a restrictive interpretation of that Act, those employees who failed to make the election to participate in the System on or before July 1, 1967, were precluded from joining the System; that employees of many drainage improvement districts in the State were not made aware of the provisions of Act 110 of 1967 prior to July 1, 1967, and therefore did not have an opportunity to elect to participate in the Retirement System; that such employees are not now eligible for membership in any adequate public supported retirement system and that this Act should be given effect at the earliest possible date to enable such employees to participate in the Public Employees Retirement System if they so elect. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1977, No. 934, § 3: Mar. 31, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that retired members of the Public Employees Retirement System are authorized to earn limited income from a public employer, within the limitations established by the Federal Social Security Act for eligibility to receive Social Security benefits, but that said authority does not apply to retired elected county officials who are prohibited from receiving any income from employment in any full-time or part-time position in a county elected constitutional office; that it is inequitable to deny retired county elected constitutional officers opportunities which are available to other members of the Public Employees Retirement System to earn limited income without jeopardizing their retirement benefits; and that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary to correct this situation. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1979, No. 211, § 9: Feb. 23, 1979. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that it is essential to the effective and efficient administration of justice in the Sixth Circuit-Chancery Circuit that this Act be given effect immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1979, No. 715, § 9: July 1, 1979. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that various provisions of the Public Retirement laws need further clarification in order for their meaning to be comprehensible to members of the systems and administrators. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1979.”

Acts 1981, No. 412, § 3: Mar. 11, 1981. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the present law is unclear regarding the crediting of service in the Public Employees Retirement System for members of the General Assembly who die during a term of office; that it is necessary to the proper administration of the Public Employees Retirement System that the law relating to this matter be clarified at the earliest possible date and that this Act is designed to accomplish this purpose. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1981, No. 491, § 3: Mar. 16, 1981. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the present law is unclear regarding the crediting of service in the Public Employees Retirement System for state constitutional officers and members of the General Assembly who die during a term of office; that it is necessary to the proper administration of the Public Employees Retirement System that the law relating to this matter be clarified at the earliest possible date and that this Act is designed to accomplish this purpose. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1981, No. 859, § 19: Mar. 28, 1981. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that various provisions of Act 177 of 1957, as amended, need further clarification in order for their meaning to be comprehensible to members of the system and administrators. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1987, No. 187, § 11: Mar. 12, 1987. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that a reduction in work force caused by budgetary constraints may be avoided by offering early retirement incentives; that to offer early retirement incentives and to avoid unnecessary layoffs this Act should take effect immediately upon its passage. Therefore, an emergency is declared and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1987, No. 461, § 5: Mar. 30, 1987. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the current retirement law defining employee is unclear; that such should be revised to specifically include prosecuting attorneys of judicial districts; that the purchase of service credit should be expanded for certain employees; that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary to preserve the public health, welfare, and safety. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1987, No. 717, § 5: Apr. 7, 1987. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that a reduction in county work forces called for by budgetary constraints may be avoided by offering early retirement and to avoid unnecessary layoffs, this Act should take effect immediately upon its passage; and that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary to accomplish said purpose, thereby assuring members of the County Division of the Public Employees Retirement System a more equitable method of computing retirement benefits. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and welfare, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1987, No. 808, § 3: Apr. 8, 1987. Emergency clause provided: “It has been found and determined by the General Assembly that certain inequities to state employees would result from the enactment of Act 187 of 1987; that this Act is necessary to correct such inequities. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1987, No. 1004, § 3: Apr. 14, 1987. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that because of the case Ricarte v. State, CR 86-31, a question has arisen over the validity of Act 1206 of the Extended Session of 1976; that this Act is a reenactment of the former law; and that the immediate passage of this Act is necessary to clarify the state of the law on this issue. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1993, No. 944, § 5: July 1, 1993. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Ninth General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the only unelected position covered under the Judicial Retirement System is the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, that this position should be covered under the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, and that it is necessary for the proper administration of justice in Arkansas to provide this transfer shall be effective on July 1, 1993. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1993.”

Acts 1995, No. 398, § 9: July 1, 1995. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eightieth General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the effectiveness of this act on July 1, 1995, is essential to the operation of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1995.”

Acts 1995, No. 1292, § 9: July 1, 1995. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that employees of Rural Waterworks Facilities Boards created by Act 617 of 1995 should be entitled to participate in the Public Employees Retirement System at the beginning of the next fiscal year; and that unless this emergency clause is adopted this act might not become effective until after the beginning of the next fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1995.”

Acts 1997, No. 76, § 10: July 1, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the Intergovernmental Juvenile Detention Council of the Tenth Judicial District created by uncodified Act 899 of 1995 should be entitled to participate in the Public Employees Retirement System at the beginning of the next fiscal year; and that unless this emergency clause is adopted this act might not become effective until after the beginning of the next fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be effective from and after July 1, 1997.”

Acts 1997, No. 299, § 28: July 1, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that certain provisions of law governing the Public Employees' Retirement System need clarification, standardization, and repeal and that the effective administration of State government makes it necessary for these changes to begin at the start of the State's fiscal year. Therefore, in order to promote sound fiscal administration of State government, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall become effective July 1, 1997.”

Acts 1999, No. 325, § 17: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly, that certain provisions of the law governing the Public Employees Retirement System need to be amended concerning eligibility, death benefits, and disability benefits, and that the effective administration of state government makes it necessary for these changes to begin at the start of the state's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 2001, No. 151, § 69: Feb. 8, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act makes technical corrections to a number of sections of Arkansas Code Title 24; that other legislation of this session of the General Assembly may also amend some of those sections; that this act should become effective immediately so that other legislation may be amended to reflect the technical corrections made by this act and to avoid conflicts. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2003, No. 1473, § 74: July 1, 2003. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act includes technical corrects to Act 923 of 2003 which establishes the classification and compensation levels of state employees covered by the provisions of the Uniform Classification and Compensation Act; that Act 923 of 2003 will become effective on July 1, 2003; and that to avoid confusion this act must also effective on July 1, 2003. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2003.”

Acts 2005, No. 1021, § 2: July 1, 2005. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that for the effective administration of this act and to avoid undue harm to the members and benefit recipients of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System that this act should become effective on July 1, 2005. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2005.”

Acts 2007, No. 177, § 15: July 1, 2007. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this bill affects the structure of the Arkansas District Judge Retirement System and the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and the ideal time to make revisions to the retirement systems is at the beginning of the state's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2007.”

Acts 2009, No. 1242, § 6: July 1, 2009. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the Department of Arkansas State Police has had ongoing financial difficulty for over twelve (12) years; that the State Police Retirement System has sustained investment losses of approximately one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) within the last two (2) years; that a larger investment pool is needed to help reduce risk and enhance returns; that the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System has the size and expertise to effectively reduce the volatility of returns, enhance relative returns, and best protect the State Police Retirement System; and that this act is immediately necessary to protect the members and beneficiaries of the State Police Retirement System. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2009.”

Acts 2013, No. 332, § 13: Mar. 14, 2013. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that it is vital that the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System be permitted to immediately implement policies regarding the termination of employment, eligibility of employees to receive benefits, availability of information, and when to pay interest on employee contributions; and to clarify the meaning of terms in the Arkansas Code of 1987 Annotated to avoid the undue consumption of the system's resources. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2013, No. 337, § 6: July 1, 2013. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that statutes concerning the Arkansas public retirement plans are in need of revision to maintain the public retirement laws in conformance with sound public pension policy; that the state operates on a July 1 to June 30 fiscal year; and that this act is necessary to ensure provisions of this act are effective at the beginning of the fiscal year for ease of administration and operation. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2013.”

Acts 2017, No. 269, § 13: Feb. 22, 2017. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the Department of Parks and Tourism is well-positioned to oversee and promote War Memorial Stadium; that the transfer of War Memorial Stadium to the Department of Parks and Tourism promotes efficiency; and that this act is immediately necessary in order to ensure a timely transition to minimize any adverse impact on upcoming events to be held at War Memorial Stadium. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto”.

Acts 2019, No. 910, § 6346(b): July 1, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act revises the duties of certain state entities; that this act establishes new departments of the state; that these revisions impact the expenses and operations of state government; and that the sections of this act other than the two uncodified sections of this act preceding the emergency clause titled ‘Funding and classification of cabinet-level department secretaries’ and ‘Transformation and Efficiencies Act transition team’ should become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year to allow for implementation of the new provisions at the beginning of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and Sections 1 through 6343 of this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2019”.

24-4-701 — 24-4-703. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. These sections, concerning service by members of the General Assembly before 1959, were repealed by Acts 1997, No. 299, § 26. They were derived from the following sources:

24-4-701. Acts 1961, No. 202, §§ 1, 2; 1963, No. 478, § 1; 1967, No. 402, § 1; 1969, No. 14, § 1; 1969, No. 202, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2510.2, 12-2510.3.

24-4-702. Acts 1973, No. 396, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2510.7.

24-4-703. Acts 1963, No. 522, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2510.9.

24-4-704 — 24-4-707. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. These sections, concerning service credit of members of the General Assembly between 1957 and 1967, were repealed by Acts 2019, No. 448, §§ 3-6, effective March 13, 2019. The sections were derived from the following sources:

24-4-704. Acts 1975, No. 313, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2510.10; Acts 2001, No. 151, § 34.

24-4-705. Acts 1971, No. 103, § 4; 1971, No. 305, § 1; 1973, No. 396, § 1; 1973, No. 665, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2510.6; Acts 2001, No. 151, § 35.

24-4-706. Acts 1971, No. 103, § 5; 1971, No. 305, § 2; 1973, No. 254, § 1; 1973, No. 666, § 1; 1975, No. 907, § 9; 1979, No. 715, § 5; 1981, No. 859, § 7; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2511.1; Acts 2001, No. 151, § 36; 2003, No. 1473, § 56.

24-4-707. Acts 1961, No. 193, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2510.1; Acts 2001, No. 151, § 37.

24-4-708, 24-4-709. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. These sections, concerning service of members of the house of representatives, were repealed by Acts 1997, No. 299, § 26. They were derived from the following sources:

24-4-708. Acts 1971, No. 271, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2510.5.

24-4-709. Acts 1973, No. 397, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2510.8.

24-4-710. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning contributory credited service for General Assembly members and state constitutional officers dying in office and surviving spouse benefits, was repealed by Acts 2019, No. 448, § 7, effective March 13, 2019. The section was derived from Acts 1981, No. 412, § 1; 1981, No. 491, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2580; Acts 1999, No. 627, § 3; 2001, No. 151, § 38.

24-4-711. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning survivor benefits for spouses of General Assembly members and state constitutional officers dying in office, was repealed by Acts 1997, No. 299, § 26. The section was derived from Acts 1971, No. 85, §§ 1, 2; 1971, No. 305, § 4; 1973, No. 396, § 2; 1973, No. 754, § 2; 1975, No. 313, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2510.12, 12-2510.13; Acts 1991, No. 463, §§ 2, 3.

24-4-712. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning contributory service accumulated by the Governor, was repealed by Acts 2019, No. 448, § 8, effective March 13, 2019. The section was derived from Acts 1973, No. 447, §§ 1-3; 1975, No. 286, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-319 — 12-321; Acts 2001, No. 151, § 39.

24-4-713. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning the Secretary to Lieutenant Governor, was repealed by Acts 1997, No. 299, § 26. The section was derived from Acts 1973, No. 580, §§ 1, 2.

24-4-714. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning contributory service accrued by constitutional officers, was repealed by Acts 2019, No. 448, § 9, effective March 13, 2019. The section was derived from Acts 1971, No. 103, § 6; 1971, No. 305, § 3; 1973, No. 754, § 1; 1975 (Extended Sess., 1976), No. 1206, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2511.2; reen. Acts 1987, No. 1004, § 1; 2001, No. 151, § 40.

24-4-715 — 24-4-722. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. These sections, concerning prior service credit for county constitutional officers, elected county clerks, General Assembly employees, certain employees of House of Representatives, employees of state boards, commissions, etc., superintendents of state eleemosynary institutions, and certain employees of department of health, were repealed by Acts 1997, No. 299, § 26. They were derived from the following sources:

24-4-715. Acts 1977, No. 721, § 3; 1979, No. 533, §§ 1, 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2511.19; Acts 1987, No. 43, § 1.

24-4-716. Acts 1977, No. 934, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2511.18.

24-4-717. Acts 1969, No. 200, § 1; 1985, No. 938, § 6; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2510.4.

24-4-718. Acts 1965, No. 109, §§ 1, 2; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2522.2, 12-2522.3.

24-4-719. Acts 1985, No. 19, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2584.

24-4-720. Acts 1973, No. 187, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2549.2.

24-4-721. Acts 1963, No. 96, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2522.1.

24-4-722. Acts 1983, No. 915, §§ 1, 2; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2583, 12-2583.1.

24-4-723. Members joining at same time as employer — Current service credit.

    1. Any member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who became, or becomes, a member on the date his and her employer became, or becomes, a public employer in the system shall receive current service credit for employment with a public employer in the system but only if the employment occurred during the period from July 1, 1957, to the date the public employer entered the system in the case of state, county, or municipal employees or during the period from October 1, 1957, to October 1, 1965, in the case of nonteaching public school employees, and if the member pays, or causes to be paid, all employee contributions at the rate and on the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time, all employer contributions based on the employer normal cost from the most recently completed regular annual actuarial valuation and the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time, and regular interest on the employee and employer contributions computed from the date the service was rendered to the date the payment is received by the system.
    2. The member shall receive credit for employment with the University of Arkansas System if the employee was not eligible for coverage or did not participate in a retirement plan authorized by the University of Arkansas System and by the laws of the State of Arkansas during that service.
    3. The member may pay for all his or her current service credit or a portion thereof consisting of multiples of one (1) year.
    1. Any member of the system who became, or becomes, a member on the date his or her employer became, or becomes, a public employer in the system and who did not, or does not, qualify for free prior service credit shall receive current service credit for employment with a public employer in the system or with the University of Arkansas System if the employee was not eligible for coverage or did not participate in a retirement plan authorized by the University of Arkansas and by the laws of the State of Arkansas. He or she shall receive credit only if he or she has at least five (5) years of current service credit since becoming a member of the system, and he or she pays, or causes to be paid, all employee contributions at the rate and on the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time, all employer contributions based on the employer normal cost from the most recently completed regular annual actuarial valuation and the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time, and regular interest on the employee and employer contributions computed from the date the service was rendered to the date the payment is received by the system.
    2. The payment shall be made in a lump sum.
    3. The member may pay for all his or her prior and interim current service or a portion thereof consisting of multiples of one (1) year.

History. Acts 1973, No. 187, §§ 2, 3; 1975, No. 907, §§ 3, 4; 1985, No. 938, §§ 14, 15; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2549.3, 12-2549.4; Acts 1987, No. 327, §§ 1, 2; 1987, No. 461, § 2; 1997, No. 299, § 21.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1987, No. 461, § 3, provided that this act shall be retroactive to June 30, 1957.

24-4-724. Members joining after employer — Current service credit.

      1. Any member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who became, or becomes, a member after the date that his or her employer became, or becomes, a public employer in the system shall receive current service for employment with a public employer in the system or with a municipality in the State of Arkansas if the employee was not eligible for coverage or does not participate in or is not eligible to receive a benefit from a retirement plan authorized by a municipality in the State of Arkansas and by the laws of the State of Arkansas during employment.
      2. He or she shall receive credit only if he or she has at least five (5) years of current service credit since becoming a member of the system and he or she pays, or causes to be paid, all employee contributions at the rate and on the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time, all employer contributions based on the employer normal cost from the most recently completed regular annual actuarial valuation and the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time, and regular interest on the employee and employer contributions computed from the date the service was rendered to the date the payment is received by the system.
    1. As used in this subsection, employment by a municipality in the State of Arkansas shall include the mayor, city attorney, city treasurer, city clerk, clerk-treasurer, municipal judge, municipal court clerk, and any other city employee.
  1. The compensation to be used in computing the payments shall be the compensation on which contributions would have been made had the person been a member of the system during the time for which current service credit is purchased.
  2. The payment shall be made in a lump sum.
  3. The member may pay for all his or her prior and interim current service or a portion thereof consisting of multiples of one (1) year.

History. Acts 1973, No. 187, § 4; 1975, No. 907, § 5; 1985, No. 938, § 16; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2549.5; Acts 1987, No. 327, § 3; 1993, No. 432, § 11; 1997, No. 299, § 22; 2013, No. 337, § 5.

A.C.R.C. Notes. Ark. Const., Am. 80, § 19(A)(2) provided that all circuit, chancery, and circuit-chancery judges “in office at the time this Amendment takes effect shall continue in office as Circuit judges…” Amendment 80 further provided in § 19(B)(1) that the circuit courts would “assume the jurisdiction of Circuit, Chancery, Probate and Juvenile Courts.” This change made by Amendment 80 took effect July 1, 2001. Amendment 80 also provides that many of the lower courts will combine into district courts. The first portion of Amendment 80, § 19(B)(2) states: “District Courts shall have the jurisdiction vested in Municipal Courts, Corporation Courts, Police Courts, Justice of the Peace Courts, and Courts of Common Pleas at the time this Amendment takes effect. District Courts shall assume the jurisdiction of these courts of limited jurisdiction and other jurisdiction conferred in this Amendment on January 1, 2005.”

Amendments. The 2013 amendment, in (a)(1)(A), deleted “with the University of Arkansas system” preceding “or with a municipality” and deleted “the University of Arkansas or” following “authorized by”.

24-4-725. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning drainage improvement district employees, was repealed by Acts 1997, No. 299, § 26. The section was derived from Acts 1977, No. 234, §§ 1-5; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2578 — 12-2578.4.

24-4-726. [Repealed.]

A.C.R.C. Notes. The repeal of this section by Acts 2019, No. 448, § 10, superseded the amendment of this section by Acts 2019, No. 315, § 2861 and Acts 2019, No. 910, §§ 1019 and 1020. The amendment by Acts 2019, No. 315 deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in subsection (d). The amendment by Acts 2019, No. 910 inserted “or the Division of Correction Inmate Care and Custody Fund Account of the State General Government Fund” following “Government Fund” in subsection (b); and substituted “Division” for “Department” in subsection (f).

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning State penitentiary employees, was repealed by Acts 2019, No. 448, § 10, effective March 13, 2019. The section was derived from Acts 1965 (2nd Ex. Sess.), No. 12, §§ 1-3, 5, 7, 8; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2555 — 12-2557, 12-2559, 12-2561, 12-2562; Acts 2019, No. 315, § 2861; 2019, No. 910, §§ 1019, 1020.

24-4-727. War Memorial Stadium Commission employees.

  1. The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System is directed to include within the membership of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, as created by this chapter, all employees of the War Memorial Stadium Commission who are not members of, or eligible for membership in, some other state-supported retirement system other than Social Security.
    1. The effective date of membership of the employees in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall be July 1, 1969. All the employees enrolled in the system shall be subject to the rights, privileges, and limitations prescribed in this chapter.
    2. Every such employee shall become a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System as a condition of continuing or obtaining employment with the commission.
  2. Any employee included within the membership of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System pursuant to this section shall be given credit for service rendered prior to July 1, 1957, as an employee of a public employer, as defined in § 24-4-101, or as an employee of the commission, if the employee was so employed on July 1, 1957, and on July 1, 1969.
      1. Any employee included within the membership of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System by this section who was an employee of the commission on July 1, 1969, may apply for and receive current service credit for service rendered to the commission from July 1, 1957, to July 1, 1969.
      2. The employee shall receive credit only if the employee pays or causes to be paid to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund all necessary contributions, at the rate of four percent (4%) for the employee and four percent (4%) for the employer from July 1, 1957, to July 1, 1967, and at the rate of four percent (4%) for the employee and five percent (5%) for the employer from July 1, 1967, to July 1, 1969, that would have been paid had the employee been a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System during that time.
    1. Interest at the rate of four percent (4%) per annum compounded annually from July 1, 1957, shall be paid on all contributions, which shall be paid in full on or before July 1, 1970.
  3. The Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism on behalf of the commission shall pay into the fund such sums of money as are necessary to match the contributions of its employees in the same form and manner as other public employers and shall be subject to all the provisions of this chapter, to the same extent as other public employers.
    1. The payments received by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System under subsection (e) of this section shall be credited to the applicable employers' accumulation account.
    2. The employee payments shall be credited to the member's individual account in the members' deposit account.

History. Acts 1969, No. 125, §§ 1-6; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2563 — 12-2568; Acts 2001, No. 151, § 41; 2017, No. 269, § 12; 2019, No. 910, § 5700.

A.C.R.C. Notes. Acts 2017, No. 269, § 1, provided: “Transfer of the War Memorial Stadium Commission to the Department of Parks and Tourism.

“(a)(1) The War Memorial Stadium Commission is transferred to the Department of Parks and Tourism by a type 2 transfer under § 25-2-105.

“(2) For the purposes of this act, the Department of Parks and Tourism shall be considered a principal department established by Acts 1971, No. 38.

“(b) All authority, powers, duties, functions, records, personnel, property, unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, and other funds, including the functions of budgeting or purchasing of the War Memorial Stadium Commission, are transferred to the Department of Parks and Tourism, except as specified by this act.

“(c) All powers, duties, and functions, including rulemaking, regulation, and licensing, promulgation of rules, rates, regulations, and standards, and the rendering of findings, orders, and adjudications of the War Memorial Stadium Commission are transferred to the Director of the Department of Parks and Tourism.

“(d) The members of the War Memorial Stadium Commission, and their successors, shall continue to be selected in the manner and serve for the terms provided by the statutes applicable to the War Memorial Stadium Commission except as specified in this act.”

Amendments. The 2017 amendment inserted “Department of Parks and Tourism on behalf of the” in (e).

The 2019 amendment substituted “Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism” for “Department of Parks and Tourism” in (e).

24-4-728. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning private waterworks systems employees, was repealed by Acts 1997, No. 299, § 26. The section was derived from Acts 1973, No. 556, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-2569.

24-4-729. Conservation district employees.

  1. The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System is directed to include within the membership of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, as created by this chapter, all employees of conservation districts organized and operating under the provisions of this chapter.
      1. The effective date of membership of the employees in the system shall be July 1, 1973.
      2. The employees enrolled in the system shall be subject to the rights, privileges, and limitations prescribed in this chapter.
    1. Every such employee shall become a member of the system as a condition of continuing or obtaining employment with any conservation district.
  2. Any employee included within the membership of the system pursuant to this section shall be given credit for service rendered prior to July 1, 1957, as an employee of a public employer, as defined in § 24-4-101, or as an employee of a conservation district organized and operating under this chapter, if the employee was so employed on July 1, 1957, and on July 1, 1973.
      1. Any employee included within the membership of the system by this section who is an employee of a conservation district on July 1, 1973, may apply for and receive current service credit for service rendered as an employee of a public employer, as defined in § 24-4-101, or as an employee of a conservation district from July 1, 1957, to July 1, 1973.
      2. The employee shall receive credit only if the employee pays or causes to be paid to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund all necessary contributions, at the rate of four percent (4%) for the employee and four percent (4%) for the employer from July 1, 1957, to July 1, 1967, four percent (4%) for the employee and five percent (5%) for the employer from July 1, 1967, to July 1, 1969, and five percent (5%) for the employee and seven percent (7%) for the employer from July 1, 1969, to July 1, 1973, that would have been paid had the employee been a member of the system during that time.
    1. Interest at the rate of four percent (4%) per annum compounded annually from July 1, 1957, shall be paid on all contributions, which shall be paid in full on or before July 1, 1974.
  3. Each conservation district shall pay into the fund such sums of money as are necessary to match the contributions of its employees in the same form and manner as other public employers and shall be subject to all the provisions of this chapter, to the same extent as other public employers.

History. Acts 1973, No. 666, §§ 7-11; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-2575 — 12-2575.4; Acts 2001, No. 151, § 42.

24-4-730, 24-4-731. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. These sections, concerning Arkansas Real Estate Commission employees and law clerks, were repealed by Acts 1997, No. 299, § 26. They were derived from the following sources:

24-4-730. Acts 1970 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 184, §§ 2-7; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 71-1313 — 71-1318.

24-4-731. Acts 1961, No. 14, § 1; 1968 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 66, § 1; 1979, No. 211, § 6; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 22-361, 22-417.15.

24-4-732. Certain employees of state agencies — Early retirement incentives.

  1. In addition to the provisions of § 24-4-601 et seq.:
      1. A state employee who is an active member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System on March 12, 1987, and who is vested for a full age and service annuity and who has credit in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System for three (3) consecutive actual years of service with the State of Arkansas immediately prior to his or her retirement date, may choose two (2) of the retirement incentives from subdivisions (a)(1)(B)-(E) of this section, provided the member retires during the period beginning with March 12, 1987, through January 1, 1988, inclusive. However, an employee who participates in this retirement incentive program is not eligible to accept further employment in which the state is the employer.
        1. In addition to the member's regular annuity, the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System will pay the cost of the employee's health and basic life insurance which he or she is eligible to continue as a retirant with the State Employees Group Insurance Plan.
        2. This payment is to be for the retirant's coverage only and is to be paid from the date of his or her retirement until the retirant's death.
      2. For the purpose of computing the state employee member's annuity, his or her highest annual salary will be substituted for his or her final average compensation.
      3. For the purpose of computing the state employee member's annuity, he or she will receive additional service credit equal to ten percent (10%) of his or her existing service credit.
        1. A state employee member may receive a retirement bonus which is a lump-sum payment equal to ten percent (10%) of the final annual salary of the employee not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000).
        2. The retirement bonus shall be paid from the contingency reserve fund of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
      1. A state employee who is an active member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System on March 12, 1987, and who has credit in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System for three (3) consecutive actual years of service with the State of Arkansas immediately prior to his or her retirement date and who has credit for not less than ten (10) actual years of service and has attained age fifty-five (55) or has credit for not less than twenty-eight (28) actual years of service regardless of age may choose two (2) of the retirement incentives from subdivisions (a)(2)(B)-(F) of this section, provided he or she retires during the period beginning with March 12, 1987, through January 1, 1988, inclusive. However, an employee who participates in this retirement incentive program is not eligible to accept further employment in which the state is the employer.
        1. The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System will pay the cost of the state employee's health and basic life insurance which the member is eligible to continue as a retirant with the State Employees Group Insurance Plan.
        2. The payment is to be for the retirant's coverage only and is to be paid from the date of his or her retirement until the retirant has attained age sixty-five (65).
      2. For the purpose of computing the state employee member's annuity, his or her highest annual salary will be substituted for the member's final average compensation.
      3. If the state employee member is within two (2) years of his or her full annuity age and if the member is eligible for an early reduced annuity as provided by § 24-4-510 or is within two (2) years of having thirty (30) years' actual credited service, then the member's annuity will not be reduced because of early retirement.
      4. If the state employee member is within two (2) years of attaining the service requirement for a full annuity and has attained his or her full annuity age as provided by § 24-4-508 or is within two (2) years of having thirty (30) years' actual credited service, then the member's annuity will not be reduced because of early retirement.
        1. A state employee member may receive a retirement bonus which is a lump-sum payment equal to ten percent (10%) of the final annual salary of the employee not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000).
        2. The retirement bonus shall be paid from the contingency reserve fund of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
    1. Any employee of a state agency who is on April 8, 1987, an active member of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System and who is not a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System but who would otherwise qualify to retire before January 1, 1988, under the requirements of the Early Retirement Incentive Law of 1987, may elect to become a member, and his or her credited service in the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System will be transferred to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, subject to the following conditions:
      1. The employee shall make the election on a form to be furnished by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, and the transfer shall become effective on the date of retirement;
      2. The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System shall certify to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System a record of the employee's service credit in the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System; and
        1. The employee shall retire under the noncontributory provisions of § 24-3-216 [repealed], if, at the time of the transfer the member was a noncontributory member of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System and shall be entitled to a refund of employee contributions made in the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System since January 1, 1978.
        2. If, at the time of the transfer, the member was a contributory member of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, then the employee shall retire under the contributory provisions of subdivisions (a)(1) and (2) of this section;
      1. The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall pay monthly benefits to any employee covered by this section who elects to transfer from the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System for purposes of retiring under this section.
      2. The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall certify monthly the amount of benefits paid hereunder, and the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System shall immediately transfer the amount from their benefit account to the proper account designated by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System; and
      1. For those state employees who retire pursuant to the provisions of this section, the amount paid by the State Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System as the cost of the employee's health and basic life insurance shall not exceed the amount of the employer's contribution for the coverage on the date of the employee's retirement and may be reduced at the time the employee qualifies under Medicare or Medicaid programs.
      2. Any future increase in the cost of this coverage shall be borne by the employee and not by the system from which the employee retired.
    1. No position being vacated as a result of an employee retiring pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be filled without the written approval of the Governor or the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State.
    2. For those state-elected constitutional officers and members of the General Assembly who, as members of the State Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, would qualify by meeting all the requirements of this section to retire under the early retirement incentives in this section by January 1, 1988, the time period in which they may elect to retire under this section shall be extended to the last day of their current terms for which they are serving.
    3. Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow an elected official to continue to accumulate salary earnings in the system upon which his or her final annuity shall be based. An elected official opting to retire under subdivision (b)(2) of this section shall have all contributions to the system terminated on December 31, 1987.
  2. Any member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who qualifies by meeting all the requirements of this section to retire under the early retirement incentives in this section by January 1, 1988, and who suffered from a work-related injury for which benefits were paid under compensation laws after July 1, 1986, and before October 1, 1986, and whose final annuity would otherwise be reduced due to the reduced salary and lost credited service, shall be entitled to obtain credited service for the actual time period of reduced salary by paying to the system prior to December 31, 1987, the amount of money both he or she and his or her employer would have contributed on his or her behalf plus interest at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum calculated from the date the contributions would have been made until the date he or she makes payment to the system.

History. Acts 1987, No. 187, §§ 1, 8, 9; 1987, No. 808, § 1; 1987 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 17, § 1; 2001, No. 151, § 43.

A.C.R.C. Notes. The State Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, referred to in this section, may no longer exist as a separate division of the system. For present organizational structure of the system, see § 24-4-201.

Acts 1989, No. 446, § 2, provided:

“Any eligible member retiring under the provisions of Act 187 or Act 717 of 1987 pursuant to this act will be entitled to the retirement benefits and retirement incentives they would have been eligible to receive had they retired effective January 1, 1988.”

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1987 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 17, § 3, provided that: “It is the intent of this Act to give fair and equal treatment to all employees and all elected officials under the Early Retirement Incentive Act.”

The Early Retirement Incentive Law of 1987, referred to in this section, is codified as §§ 24-4-732, 24-5-122, and 24-6-102.

Cross References. Teacher retirement system — Benefits, § 24-7-701 et seq.

Case Notes

Constitutionality.

School superintendents not considered state employees pursuant to § 24-4-101(18) were not denied equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution by their exclusion from the class of public employees authorized to take early retirement under this section, as there was a rational basis for classifications drawn by the General Assembly in that superintendents were on payroll of local school districts and not state employees, and primary purpose of early retirement legislation was to facilitate a savings in state revenues by lowering number of employees on state payroll. Haley v. Hall, 733 F. Supp. 1275 (E.D. Ark. 1990).

24-4-733. Certain county employees — Early retirement incentives.

  1. In addition to the provisions of § 24-4-601 et seq.:
      1. A county employee who is an active member of the County Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System on April 7, 1987, and who is vested for a full age and service annuity and who has credit in the system for three (3) consecutive actual years of service with the county immediately prior to his or her retirement date may choose two (2) of the retirement incentives from subdivisions (a)(1)(B)-(D) of this section, provided the employee retires during the period beginning with April 7, 1987, through January 1, 1988, inclusive. Provided further, an employee who participates in this retirement incentive program is not eligible to accept further employment in which the county or any other county is the employer.
      2. For the purpose of computing the county employee member's annuity, the member's highest annual salary will be substituted for his or her final average compensation.
      3. For the purpose of computing the county employee member's annuity, the member will receive additional service credit equal to ten percent (10%) of his or her existing service credit.
        1. A county employee member may receive a retirement bonus which is a lump sum payment equal to ten percent (10%) of the final annual salary of the employee not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000).
        2. The retirement bonus shall be paid from the contingency reserve fund of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System; and
      1. A county employee who is an active member of the county division of the system on April 7, 1987, and who has credit in the system for three (3) consecutive actual years of service with the county immediately prior to his or her retirement date and who has credit for not less than ten (10) actual years of service and has attained the age of fifty-five (55) or has credit for not less than twenty-eight (28) actual years of service regardless of age may choose two (2) of the retirement incentives from subdivisions (a)(2)(B)-(E) of this section, provided the member retires during the period beginning with April 7, 1987, through January 1, 1988, inclusive. Provided further, an employee who participates in this retirement incentive program is not eligible to accept further employment in which the county or any other county is the employer.
      2. For the purpose of computing the county employee member's annuity, the member's highest annual salary will be substituted for his or her final average compensation.
      3. If the county employee member is within two (2) years of his or her full annuity age and if the member is eligible for an early reduced annuity as provided by § 24-4-510 or is within two (2) years of having thirty (30) years' actual credited service, then his or her annuity will not be reduced because of early retirement.
      4. If the county employee member is within two (2) years of attaining the service requirement for a full annuity and has attained his or her full annuity age as provided by § 24-4-508 or is within two (2) years of having thirty (30) years' actual credited service, the member's annuity will not be reduced because of early retirement.
        1. A county employee member may receive a retirement bonus which is a lump sum payment equal to ten percent (10%) of the final annual salary of the employee not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000).
        2. The retirement bonus shall be paid from the contingency reserve fund of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
  2. No position being vacated as a result of a county employee's retiring pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be filled without the approval by resolution of the quorum court.
  3. For those elected county constitutional officers who, as members of the county division of the system, would qualify by meeting all the requirements in subsection (a) of this section to retire under the early retirement incentives in subsection (a) of this section by January 1, 1988, the time period in which they may elect to retire shall be extended to the last day of their current terms for which they are serving.
    1. Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow an elected official to continue to accumulate salary earnings in the system upon which his or her final annuity shall be based.
    2. An elected official opting to retire under subsection (c) of this section shall have all contributions to the system terminated on December 31, 1987.
    1. As used in this section, “contingency reserve fund” means that amount of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System's assets at cost determined by the annual actuarial valuation to be in excess of the total system benefit liabilities.
    2. There shall be annual transfers between the employee's accumulation account and the contingency reserve fund as necessary to recognize the actuarially determined balance of that fund.
  4. Any elected official who qualifies for retirement incentives under this section shall forfeit all retirement benefits if he or she knowingly and willfully misstates the amount of his or her credited service to the system.

History. Acts 1987, No. 717, §§ 1, 3, 4; 1987 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 17, § 2; 1991, No. 1141, § 1; 2001, No. 151, § 44.

A.C.R.C. Notes. The County Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, referred to in this section, no longer exists as a separate division of the system. For present organizational structure of the system, see § 24-4-201.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1987 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 17, § 3, provided that: “It is the intent of this Act to give fair and equal treatment to all employees and all elected officials under the Early Retirement Incentive Act.”

24-4-734 — 24-4-736. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. These sections, concerning elected county constitutional officers retiring after July 1, 1987 and prior service for the secretaries and clerks of the Senate and House of Representatives and certain members of the House of Representatives, were repealed by Acts 1997, No. 299, § 26. They were derived from the following sources:

24-4-734. Acts 1987, No. 352, § 1.

24-4-735. Acts 1987, No. 385, §§ 1, 2.

24-4-736. Acts 1987, No. 461, §§ 2, 3.

24-4-737. Certain city attorneys — Credited service.

  1. When the term of office of an elected city attorney is cut short due to the change in the form of city government and that person is employed to serve as the city attorney for the remainder of his or her term, he or she shall receive credited service under the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System for the remainder of his or her term, or portion thereof, that he or she is employed as the city attorney, to the same extent as if he or she were an elected city attorney instead of an employed city attorney.
  2. The provisions of this section shall be retroactive to January 1, 1986.

History. Acts 1987, No. 975, §§ 1, 3.

24-4-738. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning annuity for mayor, was repealed by Acts 1997, No. 299, § 26. The section was derived from Acts 1989, No. 723, § 2.

24-4-739. Municipal employees.

    1. Any municipal employee or municipal official, including a municipal judge, municipal court clerk, mayor, city attorney, city treasurer, city clerk, clerk-treasurer, and deputy city clerk, who was erroneously enrolled in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System because of eligibility for membership in another system on or before January 1, 1991, may elect to remain a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System or receive service credit in a reciprocal retirement system subject to employer certification that the employee was not enrolled in a local plan at the time of his or her employment.
    2. Any employee as listed in subdivision (a)(1) of this section who, prior to this section, has been removed from membership in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System because of eligibility for membership in another system established pursuant to state law or any member of a reciprocal retirement system may restore the refunded service and establish subsequent service by paying or causing to be paid to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System the refunded contributions and the legally required contributions for subsequent service.
    3. However, in no instance shall the same service time and related earnings be credited in more than one (1) system established pursuant to state law.
    1. The employee or member shall make election in writing to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and the eligible system within sixty (60) calendar days after being notified by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System of the erroneous enrollment.
    2. Failure to make an election within sixty (60) calendar days will result in the employee's or member's being removed from the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
    1. Should the employee or the member elect to become a member of the eligible system, as provided in subsection (a) of this section, or should the employee or member be removed from the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System because of failure to elect, as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System will refund to the employer all contributions, from both employee and employer, that were paid on behalf of the employee or member in question.
    2. Upon receipt of the refunded contributions, the employer shall enroll and establish the proper service credit for the employee or member in the eligible system.
    1. In the event a local plan is established as provided for by state law, any member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who would otherwise be eligible for this local plan may elect to remain in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System or become a member of the local plan.
    2. This election shall be made in writing to both plans within thirty (30) days of the establishment of the local plan.
    1. Any current member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who, prior to January 1, 1991, had employment with a participating municipal employer in which such employment was eligible for membership in a local plan may purchase such service in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, provided the employer certifies that the person was not a member of a local plan.
    2. The service will be credited only after such certification has been provided and the member has paid into the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System an amount equal to that which would have been paid had the service been reported at the time rendered plus six percent (6%) interest compounded annually from the date such service was rendered until the date of purchase.

History. Acts 1991, No. 221, §§ 1-3; 1993, No. 104, § 1; 1995, No. 1296, § 82.

A.C.R.C. Notes. The term “prior to this section” in (a)(2) appears as enacted.

Regarding references to municipal court judges, see note at § 24-4-724.

24-4-740. Transfer of Director of the Administrative Office of Courts to Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.

  1. Effective July 1, 1993, the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts shall cease to be a member of the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System. At that time, the director shall become a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
      1. The retirement and survivors' benefit to be received by the director occupying the position on July 1, 1993, shall not be less than that which he or she would have received under the provisions of § 24-8-218, including any increases after retirement, had he or she remained in the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System.
      2. Provided, further, he or she shall meet the eligibility requirements of § 24-8-215 and § 24-8-218 in order to receive the retirement and survivors' benefits provided under § 24-8-218 and shall meet the requirements of § 24-8-217 in order to receive the disability benefits provided under § 24-8-218.
      1. The State of Arkansas, as employer, shall contribute to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System twelve percent (12%) of the salary amount of the director occupying the position on July 1, 1993.
      2. The director occupying the position on July 1, 1993, shall contribute six percent (6%) of his or her pay until such time as he or she is eligible for retirement under the provisions of § 24-8-215.
      3. Provided, further, all contributions made to the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System by the employer on behalf of the director occupying the position on July 1, 1993, and all contributions made by the director, shall be transferred to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
      4. In the event the director ceases to be a member prior to qualifying for retirement benefits, he or she shall be entitled to a refund of all contributions paid into the system by the director.
  2. The retirement benefit to be received by any new person occupying the position of director after July 1, 1993, shall be based upon the regular annuity and benefit provisions for the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System. The contributions to be made by the employer shall be the same as those required for the State Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System. The person occupying the position thereafter shall not make contributions to the system.

History. Acts 1993, No. 944, § 1.

A.C.R.C. Notes. The State Division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, referred to in this section, may no longer exist as a separate division of the system. For present organizational structure of the system, see § 24-4-201.

24-4-741. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning credit for service in reciprocal system, was repealed by Acts 2019, No. 448, § 11, effective March 13, 2019. The section was derived from Acts 1993, No. 1229, § 1; 2001, No. 151, § 45.

24-4-742. Credit for service with various local units of government.

  1. Any full-time employee of a public facilities board, rural waterworks facilities board, regional solid waste management board, joint county and municipal sanitation authority, regional water distribution board, public rehabilitation services corporation, or other local unit of government enrolled in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System pursuant to this act who is a full-time employee of a participating public facilities board, regional solid waste management board, joint county and municipal sanitation authority, regional water distribution board, public rehabilitation services corporation, or other local unit of government in this state on the date his or her employer became, or becomes, a public employer in the system may apply for and receive current service credit for service rendered as a full-time employee of the public facilities board, regional solid waste management board, joint county and municipal sanitation authority, regional water distribution board, public rehabilitation services corporation, or other local unit of government.
  2. The employee shall receive credit only if the employee or employer pays or causes to be paid to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund all necessary employee contributions at the rate and on the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time, all employer contributions based on the employer normal cost from the most recently completed regular annual actuarial valuation and the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time, and regular interest on the employee and employer contributions computed from the date the service was rendered to the date the payment is received by the system.
  3. The employer's contributions and employees' contributions, if applicable, shall be transmitted to the system in the form and manner, together with the supporting data, as the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall prescribe from time to time.
  4. The governing body of any public facilities board, rural waterworks facilities board, regional solid waste management board, joint county and municipal sanitation authority, regional water distribution board, public rehabilitation services corporation, or other local unit of government electing to include the full-time employees of the board within the membership of the system may pay the employer contributions and employee contributions, if applicable, on behalf of employees for services rendered.

History. Acts 1995, No. 398, § 5; 1995, No. 1292, § 5; 1997, No. 299, § 23; 2001, No. 151, § 46.

Meaning of “this act”. Acts 1995, Nos. 398 and 1292, codified as §§ 24-4-101, 24-4-202, 24-4-742.

24-4-743. Intergovernmental Juvenile Detention Council employees.

    1. Any full-time employee of the Intergovernmental Juvenile Detention Council of the Tenth Judicial District enrolled in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System pursuant to this section who is a full-time employee of the council on the date his or her employer becomes a public employer in the system, may apply for and receive current service credit for service rendered as a full-time employee of the council.
    2. The employee shall receive credit only if the employee or employer pays, or causes to be paid, to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund all necessary employer contributions and employee contributions, if applicable, that would have been paid had the employee been a member of the system during that time, plus interest thereon at the rate directed by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
    3. The employer's contributions and employees' contributions, if applicable, shall be transmitted to the system in the form and manner, together with the supporting data, as the board shall prescribe from time to time.
  1. The council electing to include the full-time employees of the board within the membership of the system may pay the employer contributions and employee contributions, if applicable, on behalf of employees for services rendered.

History. Acts 1997, No. 76, § 6.

A.C.R.C. Notes. References to “this chapter” in §§ 24-4-10124-4-202, 24-4-20524-4-304, 24-4-40124-4-501, 24-4-507, 24-4-508, 24-4-51024-4-514, 24-4-51624-4-603, 24-4-60524-4-619, 24-4-70424-4-707, 24-4-710, 24-4-712, 24-4-714, 24-4-723, 24-4-724, 24-4-726, 24-4-727, 24-4-729, 24-4-732, 24-4-733, 24-4-737, 24-4-73924-4-742, and 24-4-74524-4-747 may not apply to this section which was enacted subsequently.

24-4-744. Elected county official.

For the purpose of determining benefits under the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, a member of the system who has service as an elected county official for a period during which the office was under the fee system, the salary of the member during that period shall be deemed to be the average salary for county officials in the same office in this state on July 1, 1997.

History. Acts 1997, No. 299, § 27.

A.C.R.C. Notes. References to “this chapter” in §§ 24-4-10124-4-202, 24-4-20524-4-304, 24-4-40124-4-501, 24-4-507, 24-4-508, 24-4-51024-4-514, 24-4-51624-4-603, 24-4-60524-4-619, 24-4-70424-4-707, 24-4-710, 24-4-712, 24-4-714, 24-4-723, 24-4-724, 24-4-726, 24-4-727, 24-4-729, 24-4-732, 24-4-733, 24-4-737, 24-4-73924-4-742, and 24-4-74524-4-747 may not apply to this section which was enacted subsequently.

24-4-745. General Assembly employees.

  1. An employee of the General Assembly who has at least five (5) years' service in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and who served at least four hundred (400) days as a session employee of the General Assembly may apply for and receive current service credit in the system for service rendered as a session employee.
  2. The employee shall receive credit only if the employee or employer pays or causes to be paid to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Fund:
    1. All necessary employee contributions at the rate and on the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time;
    2. All employer contributions based on the employer normal cost from the most recently completed regular annual actuarial valuation and the compensation that would have been paid had he or she been a member during that time; and
    3. Regular interest on the employee and employer contributions computed from the date the service was rendered to the date the payment is received by the system.
  3. The employer's contributions and employees' contributions, if applicable, shall be transmitted to the system in the form and manner, together with the supporting data, as the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall prescribe from time to time.
  4. The employer may pay the employer contributions and employee contributions, if applicable, on behalf of the employee for services rendered.

History. Acts 1999, No. 325, § 12.

24-4-746. Authority to promulgate rules.

The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall have the authority to promulgate such rules as are necessary to provide for the participation of employers defined as public rehabilitative services corporations or other local units of government under the provisions of § 4-34-101 and such local units of government as are provided for under this Code. Provided, however, the board shall not admit or retain any employer whose participation in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System would jeopardize the tax-qualified status of the plan under the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 1 et seq., or that would subject the plan to additional federal requirements, or to any other consequence that the board would determine to be detrimental to the system.

History. Acts 1999, No. 865, § 2; 2001, No. 151, § 47; 2019, No. 315, § 2862.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in the first sentence.

24-4-747. Erroneous membership of certain employees.

  1. A person who was erroneously included in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System for at least two (2) years and whose disqualification from the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System was due to employment that caused the person to be a member of another state-supported or state-authorized retirement system may elect to restore service credit lost as a result of the erroneous dual coverage if:
    1. The person is a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System at the time of applying to restore the lost credited service;
    2. The person applies to restore the lost service credit within two (2) years after the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System refunded contributions; and
    3. Any contributions and interest that were refunded by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System are repaid, along with any interest accruing from the date of the refunding until the funds are actually repaid to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.
  2. A person who elects to restore credited service under this section shall not be entitled to receive credited service in the other state-supported retirement system for the same period. The other system shall refund contributions paid for the period plus reasonable interest on the contributions at the rate determined by the board of trustees of the other system.

History. Acts 1999, No. 1010, § 1.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1999, No. 1010, § 2, provided:

“This act shall apply retroactively to allow the restoration of service credit lost prior to July 30, 1999.”

24-4-748. Dual full-time employment.

  1. A person who was included in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System for service at full-time employment while at the same time employed full time in another position covered under a municipal police pension and relief fund and whose disqualification from the system was due to dual coverage as a member of a municipal police pension and relief fund may receive service credit as a result of the dual coverage if:
    1. After the initial full-time employment when service credit was lost, the person again becomes a member of the system;
    2. The person applies to receive the lost service credit within five (5) years after the reemployment under the system; and
      1. The member pays or causes to be paid:
        1. The employee contributions at the rate of compensation that would have been paid as a system member during that time;
        2. Employer contributions based on the normal employer cost from the most recently completed regular annual actuarial valuation and the compensation that would have been paid had the person been a member during that time; and
          1. Regular interest on the employee and employer contributions.
          2. Interest shall be computed from the date the service was rendered to the date the payment is received by the system.
      2. The member may purchase all of the service or any portion thereof in multiples of one (1) year.
  2. A person who elects to restore credited service under this section shall be limited to receiving credited service in the system for up to five (5) years of the initial dual full-time employment.
  3. The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall have the authority to promulgate any necessary forms for application to restore the service and reasonable rules to implement this section.

History. Acts 2001, No. 1614, § 1; 2019, No. 315, § 2863.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in (c).

24-4-749. Purchase of out-of-state governmental service.

  1. A member who has performed service other than military service as an employee of a state or local governmental entity in the United States other than in the State of Arkansas or the federal government may receive credited service for the out-of-state governmental employment if:
    1. The member has at least five (5) years of credited service at the time of application;
    2. The number of years of out-of-state governmental employment applied for does not exceed five (5) years;
    3. At the time of application the member furnishes evidence of the out-of-state service that is acceptable to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System; and
    4. The member pays to the member's deposit fund an amount equal to the actuarial present value of the credited service applied for under this section based upon assumptions recommended by the actuary.
  2. A member may not receive the credited service provided for in this section if the service is also used for the purpose of establishing entitlement to, or the amount of, any other benefit to be paid by any federal, state, or local government entity except a benefit under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq.
  3. The service credit provided for in this section is subject to any applicable limits under the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 1 et seq.

History. Acts 2005, No. 1021, § 1; 2007, No. 1570, § 1; 2013, No. 332, § 11.

Amendments. The 2013 amendment deleted the subdivision designations in (a)(1) and deleted (a)(1)(B).

24-4-750. Arkansas District Judge Retirement System abolished — Powers, duties, and plan liabilities transferred to Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.

  1. The Arkansas District Judge Retirement System, established by § 24-8-801 et seq. [repealed], is abolished, and its powers, duties, and plan liabilities are transferred to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System by a type 3 transfer as prescribed in § 25-2-106.
  2. For purposes of this act, the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall be considered a principal department established by Acts 1971, No. 38.
    1. The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall maintain the same process of payments under § 24-4-751.
    2. Active members of the Arkansas District Judge Retirement System on the date of the transfer shall continue to accrue the same program of benefits received before the transfer.
    3. As employer, the government entity that pays the salary of a district judge shall make contributions to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System as a percent of the salary of the active district judge at the rate previously established to fund the district judge benefit program unless the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System's actuary determines that a different required contribution rate should be applied.
  3. Each district judge joining the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System after the date of transfer shall be deemed an elected official of a city or county and shall receive service credit under § 24-4-101(15)(B).

History. Acts 2007, No. 177, § 1.

Meaning of “this act”. Acts 2007, No. 177, codified as §§ 16-10-307, 16-10-308, 16-17-135, 19-4-1107, 24-2-401, 24-2-402, 24-2-502, 24-4-750, 24-4-751, 24-8-318, 24-8-807, 24-8-902, and 24-8-904.

24-4-751. Additional funding for retirement benefits.

  1. The government entity that had previously established a local municipal judge's retirement fund shall be required to contribute an amount of money that represents the actuarially determined accrued liability for those judges and former judges who were covered by the local fund on December 31, 2004.
  2. The assets in the local municipal judge retirement fund, not to exceed the amount in subsection (a) of this section, shall be paid to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System on January 1, 2008.
  3. If the local municipal judge retirement fund does not have sufficient money available to pay the amount determined in subsection (a) of this section to the system on January 1, 2008, then the remaining amount of actuarially determined accrued liability shall be paid on or before December 31 each year after for up to the next thirty (30) years based on a thirty-year amortization period.
    1. If the amount in the municipal judge retirement fund is greater than the actuarially determined amount of the liabilities to be transferred to the system, that excess may be retained by the sponsoring government entity for the sole purpose of paying the retirement benefits of district judges.
    2. If at any time in the future an obligation to fund the system no longer exists, then any excess shall be retained by the sponsoring government entity.
    1. The accrued benefit used to determine the accrued liability under this section shall be determined by:
      1. Calculating the benefit that the judge would be eligible to receive on December 31, 2004, as provided by law before July 16, 2003, if the judge was eligible to begin receiving benefits on January 1, 2005; and
      2. Multiplying the amount in subdivision (e)(1)(A) of this section by the number of years of eligible service and then dividing by the greater of either the number of years of service needed to be eligible to retire or the current years of eligible service.
    2. The service years shall be determined under the law before January 1, 2005.
  4. The accrued benefit determined under subsection (e) of this section for any retiree or surviving spouse who is receiving benefits on December 31, 2004, shall be the amount that he or she is receiving or entitled to receive on that date.

History. Acts 2007, No. 177, § 10.

A.C.R.C. Notes. Regarding references to municipal court judges, see note at § 24-4-724.

24-4-752. State Police Trust Fund.

  1. All assets of the State Police Retirement System are transferred to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System to hold in trust for the State Police Retirement System.
  2. There is created under the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System a division that shall be known as the “State Police Trust Fund”.
    1. The State Police Trust Fund shall not be treated as segregated funds but shall be commingled with the assets of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System strictly for investment purposes.
    2. The assets shall be managed solely for the benefit of the retirees and beneficiaries of the State Police Retirement System and shall not be divested from the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System unless it can clearly be demonstrated it would be actuarially and fiscally prudent to do so.
    1. As employer, the Department of Arkansas State Police shall make contributions to the State Police Trust Fund based on a percentage of each active state police officer's salary at the rate established to fund the State Police Retirement System's benefit program before July 1, 2009.
    2. All other sources of revenue commonly accruing to the State Police Retirement System shall be payable to the State Police Trust Fund.
  3. The Board of Trustees of the State Police Retirement System, the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees’ Retirement System, and administrative staff shall be immune from any suit or action based in whole or in part on the transfer of assets contemplated by this act.

History. Acts 2009, No. 1242, § 2.

A.C.R.C. Notes. Acts 2009, No. 1242, § 1, provided: “Legislative history, findings, and intent.

“(a) It is found and determined by the General Assembly that the Department of Arkansas State Police has had ongoing financial difficulty for over twelve (12) years. The State Police Retirement System has sustained investment losses of approximately one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) within the last two (2) years, and so needs a larger investment pool to help reduce risk and enhance returns. The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System has the size and expertise to effectively reduce the volatility of returns, enhance relative returns, and best protect the State Police Retirement System.

“(b) This act represents a negotiated alternative to a proposal that would have eliminated the State Police Retirement System and would have made it a division of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.

“(c) This act maintains the autonomy over State Police Retirement System benefits but ensures funds are invested in a larger, more diversified pool of assets.

“(d) It is contemplated that at such time as the State Police Retirement System attains a funding level in which assets are eighty percent (80%) or more of actuarially accrued liabilities, the Board of Trustees of the State Police Retirement System may consider certain enhancements to the Tier II Deferred Retirement Option Plan.”

Meaning of "this act". Acts 2009, No. 1242, codified as §§ 24-4-752, 24-6-204, and § 24-6-501 et seq.

Subchapter 8 — Deferred Retirement Option Plan

Effective Dates. Acts 1997, No. 1052, § 10: Apr. 2, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the retention of experienced public employees for state government and for county and municipal governments are beneficial to the administration of government in Arkansas and with the increased longevity of people in general, public employees are capable of working longer and qualified and experienced employees are reaching retirement eligibility earlier in their careers. Immediate passage of the act is essential to the efficient administration of government in Arkansas and immediate implementation of the provisions of this act is necessary to maintain experienced public employees in the ranks of state and local government. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 1999, No. 535, § 6: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly, that the exact percentage of the DROP contribution for the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System should be specified in the law and for the effective administration of the System in this act must be effective at the beginning of the fiscal year because computations are made at the beginning of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 1325, § 14: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that Act 311 of 1999 changes the amount of additional monthly benefits in the State Highway Employees' Retirement System and they are necessary for the continued financial stability of the current retirees, that clarifications are needed in order to make Act 311 take effect in an orderly fashion, that these changes in Act 311 must then take effect at the same time Act 311 becomes effective, and that it is necessary to implement the changes in benefits at the beginning of the current fiscal year. Therefore an emergency is declared to exist and this act, except for Sections 2 and 3, being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 2001, No. 151, § 69: Feb. 8, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act makes technical corrections to a number of sections of Arkansas Code Title 24; that other legislation of this session of the General Assembly may also amend some of those sections; that this act should become effective immediately so that other legislation may be amended to reflect the technical corrections made by this act and to avoid conflicts. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2001, No. 762, § 3: July 1, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly that for the effective administration of this act and to avoid undue harm to the members and benefit recipients of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System this act should become effective on July 1, 2001. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2001.”

Acts 2011, No. 38, § 11: Feb. 16, 2011. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the public retirement systems provide economic security for eligible citizens of Arkansas; that the statutes need amending to update and clarify existing law; and that these changes need to be made immediately. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2011, No. 558, § 3: Jan. 1, 2012.

Acts 2017, No. 502, § 2: Mar. 15, 2017. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the operations of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System are complex; that the system must be able to meet the needs of its members as anticipated by the General Assembly; that certain provisions of § 24-4-101 et seq. are imminently in need of revision and updating to bring the operations of the system into conformance with sound public pension policy; that this act will enable members of the system to obtain benefits in a more time efficient manner; and that this act is immediately necessary because it will allow the system to align its standard of practice with the provisions of the act and thereafter expediently address the needs of its members. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto”.

Acts 2017, No. 552, § 2: Jan. 1, 2018.

Acts 2019, No. 448, § 13: Mar. 13, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the operations of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System must be able to meet the needs of its members as anticipated by the General Assembly; that certain provisions of the system are in imminent need of revision; and that this act is immediately necessary in order to maintain an orderly system of benefits for the members of the system. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto”.

Acts 2019, No. 624, § 2: Apr. 1, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the operations of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System must be able to meet the needs of its members as anticipated by the General Assembly; that Acts 2019, No. 448, which was immediately effective, contained an error that is in imminent need of revision; and that this act is immediately necessary in order to maintain an orderly system of benefits for the members of the system. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto”.

Acts 2019, No. 910, § 6346(b): July 1, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act revises the duties of certain state entities; that this act establishes new departments of the state; that these revisions impact the expenses and operations of state government; and that the sections of this act other than the two uncodified sections of this act preceding the emergency clause titled ‘Funding and classification of cabinet-level department secretaries’ and ‘Transformation and Efficiencies Act transition team’ should become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year to allow for implementation of the new provisions at the beginning of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and Sections 1 through 6343 of this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2019”.

24-4-801. Participation.

  1. In lieu of terminating employment and accepting a retirement benefit under the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System pursuant to § 24-2-201 et seq. and § 24-4-101 et seq., any person who is a member of the system and who meets the conditions specified in subsection (b) of this section may elect to participate in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Deferred Retirement Option Plan and to defer the receipt of retirement benefits in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter.
  2. The conditions required for full participation in the plan are that the member must have at least thirty (30) years of actual service in the system.
  3. The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, in consultation with its actuary, may promulgate rules lowering the required years of service for entry into the plan to an amount of not less than twenty-eight (28) years of service, subject to an early participation reduction. The reduction will be computed in a manner that is both equitable to all members and actuarially appropriate for the system.

History. Acts 1997, No. 1052, § 1; 1999, No. 1325, § 2; 2001, No. 151, § 48; 2019, No. 315, § 2864.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in (c).

24-4-802. Eligibility — Effect of election.

  1. When a member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System elects participation in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Deferred Retirement Option Plan, the member shall fill out an application form as developed by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System. The member's application shall be reviewed to determine whether or not the member meets the eligibility requirements specified in this subchapter. The member's deferred retirement option date shall be the later of:
    1. The first day of the month following the system's determination that the member is eligible for plan participation; or
    2. The date requested by the member on the application.
    1. A member who elects participation in the plan may elect one (1) of the annuity options provided in § 24-4-606.
    2. The election shall be deemed to apply to the member's deferred retirement option plan benefit as well as to the member's monthly retirement benefit from the system at the time it becomes payable.
    1. The election to participate in the plan is irrevocable and the duration of participation in the plan for active members shall not exceed seven (7) years.
    2. Under no circumstances shall a member receive service credit under any state-supported retirement system during a period of participation or following a period of such participation in the same retirement system's plan.
  2. When a member begins participation in the plan, the:
    1. Employee contributions to the system on behalf of the member shall cease; and
    2. Employer contributions to the system on behalf of the member shall continue.

History. Acts 1997, No. 1052, § 2; 2001, No. 151, § 49; 2001, No. 762, § 1; 2007, No. 176, § 6; 2011, No. 558, § 2; 2017, No. 502, § 1.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment rewrote (d).

The 2017 amendment deleted “second” preceding “month” in (a)(1).

24-4-803. Amount of benefit — Amount of contribution — Interest.

    1. The member's deferred benefit shall be the monthly benefit to which the member would have been entitled if the member had thirty (30) years of service and had actually retired on the member's deferred retirement option date with regard to the provisions of § 24-4-606 related to annuity options.
    2. If the member has less than thirty (30) years of actual service, but at least twenty-eight (28) years of service, the portion of the member's deferred benefit that is contributed to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Deferred Retirement Option Plan will be reduced by the percentage established by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, and then shall be subject to the additional computations as set forth in subsections (b) and (c) of this section.
  1. The member's deferred option account shall be the account in which shall be accumulated the member's deferred option contributions, plus interest. Effective July 1, 1999, the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System's deferred option contributions shall be at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the system's deferred option benefit with the exact contribution to be determined in accordance with the rules of the board as is actuarially appropriate for the system. The member shall be informed of the amount of his or her deferred option contribution and informed that his or her selection of the deferred retirement option, the time of the retirement deferral, and the selection of the retirement annuity are irrevocable.
  2. The interest on contributions to the member's deferred option account shall be credited to the individual account balance of the member on an annual basis at the end of each fiscal year. The board shall determine the rate of interest to be credited to each member's deferred option account.

History. Acts 1997, No. 1052, § 3; 1999, No. 535, § 1; 1999, No. 1325, § 3; 2001, No. 151, § 50; 2019, No. 315, § 2865.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in (b).

24-4-804. Cessation of participation — Definition.

  1. The member's participation in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Deferred Retirement Option Plan shall cease at the time the member separates from service.
      1. When the member's participation in the plan ceases, the member shall elect to receive the balance in the deferred option account as either a lump sum or as a monthly benefit paid in the form elected by the member for payment of the deferred retirement benefit.
      2. The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall determine factors to be used for the conversion of deferred option account balances to monthly amounts.
    1. Furthermore, when the member's participation in the plan ceases, the board shall cause the member's annuity benefit to be paid directly to the member in the form of regular monthly amounts in the same amount and manner as would have been the case if the member had retired on the deferred retirement option date and had made the same election pursuant to § 24-4-606 that was made on or before the deferred retirement option date.
    1. When a member's participation in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Deferred Retirement Option Plan ceases, the member shall separate from service as provided in § 24-4-520 unless the separation period would prevent a popularly elected official from taking or holding office.
        1. This section does not apply to a member who was an employee of the Arkansas Forestry Commission, the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission, or the State Plant Board, and who is a participant in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Deferred Retirement Option Plan who may be eligible for reemployment after satisfying the separation requirements of § 24-4-520(b) as an essential seasonal staff member with the Arkansas Forestry Commission, the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission, or the State Plant Board.
        2. This section does not apply to a member who was an employee of the Department of Agriculture on or after July 1, 2019, and who is a participant in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Deferred Retirement Option Plan who may be eligible for reemployment after satisfying the separation requirements of § 24-4-520(b) as an essential seasonal staff member with the department.
      1. As used in subdivision (c)(2)(A) of this section, “essential seasonal staff member” means an employee of the department, the Arkansas Forestry Commission, the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission, or the State Plant Board who:
        1. Has specialized knowledge, skill, or training pertaining to necessary duties or tasks to be completed by the department, the Arkansas Forestry Commission, the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission, or the State Plant Board in times of emergency, disaster cleanup, extreme weather, or other circumstances deemed pressing by the department, the Arkansas Forestry Commission, the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission, or the State Plant Board; and
        2. Is employed by the department, the Arkansas Forestry Commission, the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission, or the State Plant Board on a part-time basis:
          1. During times of emergency, disaster cleanup, extreme weather, or other circumstances deemed pressing by the department, the Arkansas Forestry Commission, the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission, or the State Plant Board; or
          2. As an instructor to train other staff for times of emergency, disaster cleanup, extreme weather, or other circumstances deemed pressing by the department, the Arkansas Forestry Commission, the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission, or the State Plant Board.

History. Acts 1997, No. 1052, § 4; 2001, No. 151, § 51; 2011, No. 38, § 9; 2017, No. 245, § 1; 2017, No. 552, § 1; 2019, No. 448, § 12; 2019, No. 624, § 1; 2019, No. 910, § 121.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 2019, No. 624, § 1 specifically amended this section as amended by Acts 2019, No. 448, § 12.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment added (c).

The 2017 amendment by No. 245 redesignated former (c) as (c)(1); and added (c)(2).

The 2017 amendment by No. 552 substituted “the member shall separate from service as provided in” for “that member is not eligible for employment in any position covered by the plans identified in § 24-2-401(3), except as provided for in” in (c)(1).

The 2019 amendment by No. 448 added “unless the separation period would prevent a popularly elected official from taking or holding office” in (c)(1).

The 2019 amendment by No. 624 substituted “the member shall separate from service as provided in” for “that member is not eligible for employment in any position covered by the plans identified in § 24-2-401(3), except as provided for in” in (c)(1).

The 2019 amendment by No. 910 redesignated (c)(2)(A) as (c)(2)(A)(i) and added (c)(2)(A)(ii); and inserted “the Department of Agriculture” preceding “the Arkansas Forestry Commission” throughout (c)(2)(B).

Effective Dates. Acts 2017, No. 552, § 2: Jan. 1, 2018.

24-4-805. Death or disability.

  1. In the event that an Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System Deferred Retirement Option Plan participant dies, the benefits payable from the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall be determined as though the participant had separated from service and been found eligible for monthly benefits by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System on the day prior to the death, with death following immediately thereafter.
  2. In the event that a plan participant applies for benefits from the system pursuant to § 24-4-511 related to disability retirement, the application shall be treated as an application for voluntary retirement pursuant to § 24-4-601 and no benefits other than those that would be payable without regard to the disability shall become payable.

History. Acts 1997, No. 1052, § 5; 2001, No. 151, § 52.

24-4-806. Limitation on benefit enhancement.

  1. No benefit enhancement provided for by this subchapter shall be implemented if it would cause the publicly supported retirement system's unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities to exceed a thirty-year amortization.
  2. No benefit enhancement provided for by this subchapter shall be implemented by any publicly supported system which has unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities being amortized over a period exceeding thirty (30) years until the unfunded actuarial accrued liabilty is reduced to a level less than the standards prescribed by § 24-1-101 et seq.

History. Acts 1997, No. 1052, § 6.

Subchapter 9 — Arkansas Retirement Plan

Effective Dates. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 69: Feb. 8, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act makes technical corrections to a number of sections of Arkansas Code Title 24; that other legislation of this session of the General Assembly may also amend some of those sections; that this act should become effective immediately so that other legislation may be amended to reflect the technical corrections made by this act and to avoid conflicts. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2019, No. 910, § 6346(b): July 1, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act revises the duties of certain state entities; that this act establishes new departments of the state; that these revisions impact the expenses and operations of state government; and that the sections of this act other than the two uncodified sections of this act preceding the emergency clause titled ‘Funding and classification of cabinet-level department secretaries’ and ‘Transformation and Efficiencies Act transition team’ should become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year to allow for implementation of the new provisions at the beginning of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and Sections 1 through 6343 of this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2019”.

24-4-901. Credited service — Reciprocity.

    1. Upon the retirement of a member whose credited service results from employment covered by:
      1. The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
      2. The State Police Retirement System;
      3. The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System;
      4. The Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System;
      5. The Arkansas Judicial Retirement System;
      6. An alternate retirement plan under § 24-8-101 et seq. or § 24-9-201 et seq.; or
      7. The Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System,
    2. Each retirement system shall be responsible financially for only that portion of the annuity based upon the credited service in the plan or system.
      1. The final average compensation on which benefits shall be determined shall be based on the period of total credited service for:
        1. The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
        2. The State Police Retirement System;
        3. The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System;
        4. The Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System; and
        5. The Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System,
      2. Compensation for credited service in the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System or an alternate retirement plan under § 24-8-101 et seq. or § 24-9-201 et seq. shall not be used to determine final average compensation.
    3. The final average compensation for persons receiving benefits from the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System shall be based on the final average compensation at the date of termination of employment covered by that system.
    4. The benefit program to be applied to each portion of credited service shall be the benefit program in effect in each plan or system at the time of retirement.
    1. Upon the retirement on disability or death in service of a member of either:
      1. The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
      2. The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System;
      3. The Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System;
      4. The Arkansas Judicial Retirement System;
      5. The State Police Retirement System;
      6. An alternate retirement plan under § 24-8-101 et seq. or § 24-9-201 et seq.; or
      7. The Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System,
    2. If the greatest benefit payable to a survivor is a minimum percentage of the deceased member's final pay or a minimum dollar amount, then each reciprocal system that has a minimum benefit provision in its plan shall only pay a proportionate share of the minimum amount based on the ratio of service in the system to the total service in all reciprocal systems.
    3. A member who dies in service while a member of one (1) reciprocal system shall be considered as currently employed by all systems in which the member has credited service at the time of death.
    4. If a member has service credit in an alternate retirement plan under § 24-8-101 et seq. or § 24-9-201 et seq., disability and death-in-service benefits shall be contingent on provision of those benefits having been provided by the alternate retirement plan and having been selected by the member as a benefit.
  1. Any person retiring on or after July 1, 1982, with credited service in more than one (1) reciprocal system shall have his or her benefits recomputed based on the provisions of this section.
  2. It is the intent of this section to provide reciprocal service credits, as provided by §§ 24-2-401 — 24-2-405, between contributory and noncontributory members of:
    1. The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
    2. The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System;
    3. The Arkansas Judicial Retirement System;
    4. The Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System;
    5. The State Police Retirement System;
    6. An alternate retirement plan for a college, university, or the Division of Higher Education provided for under § 24-8-101 et seq. or for a vocational-technical school or the Division of Career and Technical Education, the Adult Education Section, and the Office of Skills Development, provided for under § 24-9-201 et seq.; and
    7. The Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System.
  3. A member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System who is receiving a retirement annuity from another reciprocal system as defined in subsection (d) of this section shall not be eligible to use the reciprocal provisions of this section or the reciprocal provisions of §§ 24-2-401 — 24-2-405 to determine the benefit payable by the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System.

the amount of the member's annuity shall be based upon his or her total credited service in force at the time of the member's retirement, exclusive of any minimums.

with each plan or system computing the final average compensation by the method as determined by its laws.

who has credited service in more than one (1) of the plans, an annuity shall be payable based upon the member's total credited service with all systems in force at the time of retirement, with each system being responsible for the payment of such disability or death-in-service benefits as are provided by the applicable provisions of each system's laws or plan's provisions.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 53; 2019, No. 910, § 2368.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment, in (d)(6), substituted “Division of Higher Education” for “Department of Higher Education” and “Division of Career and Technical Education, Adult Education Section of the Division of Workforce Services, and the Office of Skills Development” for “Department of Career Education”.

Subchapter 10 — Retirement Benefits

Effective Dates. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 69: Feb. 8, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act makes technical corrections to a number of sections of Arkansas Code Title 24; that other legislation of this session of the General Assembly may also amend some of those sections; that this act should become effective immediately so that other legislation may be amended to reflect the technical corrections made by this act and to avoid conflicts. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2019, No. 910, § 6346(b): July 1, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act revises the duties of certain state entities; that this act establishes new departments of the state; that these revisions impact the expenses and operations of state government; and that the sections of this act other than the two uncodified sections of this act preceding the emergency clause titled ‘Funding and classification of cabinet-level department secretaries’ and ‘Transformation and Efficiencies Act transition team’ should become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year to allow for implementation of the new provisions at the beginning of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and Sections 1 through 6343 of this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2019”.

24-4-1001. Determination of benefits for wildlife officers — Responsibility for additional costs.

  1. For purposes of determining benefits under this chapter, all credited service, whenever earned, of persons employed as wildlife officers of the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission on July 4, 1983, and of persons thereafter employed in such positions prior to July 1, 1997, shall be treated as public safety member service.
  2. The additional cost to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System of this section shall be the responsibility of the commission, and the commission shall pay to the system an additional twelve percent (12%) of covered payroll at the same time as employer contributions are paid by law for other commission employees.
  3. It is the specific intent of this section to provide that the twelve percent (12%) contribution referenced in subsection (b) of this section shall be in addition to those required by § 24-2-701(c).
    1. Any person who is covered on July 3, 1989, by a state-supported retirement system and who was a member of the system on July 4, 1983, in a position defined by the system as “public safety member” shall receive credit for public safety member service for any service as a wildlife officer with the commission, which service was rendered before July 4, 1983.
    2. Provided, the additional cost to the system shall be the responsibility of the member, and the member shall pay to the system any additional cost, as computed by actuarial determination.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 53.

24-4-1002. Benefit provisions — Subjection of annuity rights to process of law.

  1. The right of a person to an annuity, to the return of accumulated contributions, the annuity itself, any annuity option, any other right accrued or accruing under the provisions of § 24-4-101 et seq., and all moneys belonging to a plan shall not be subject to execution, garnishment, attachment, the operation of bankruptcy or insolvency laws, or any other process of law whatsoever and shall be unassignable, except as is specifically provided in this chapter.
  2. An employer shall have the right of setoff for any claim arising from embezzlement by or fraud of a member, retirant, or beneficiary.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 53.

24-4-1003. Benefit provisions — Inspection of records.

All records kept by an Arkansas public retirement system, whether required to be kept by law or board policy, shall be open to public inspection as provided in § 25-19-105, except that individual member's records which are kept for the purpose of compiling information for the member's retirement or Social Security records shall not be open to the public.

History. Acts 2001, No. 151, § 53.

24-4-1004. Determination of benefits for civilian firefighters of State Military Department or Department of the Military — Responsibility for additional costs.

  1. For purposes of determining benefits under this chapter, all credited service, whenever earned, of persons employed as civilian firefighters of the State Military Department or Department of the Military as of July 1, 1997, and of persons thereafter employed in those positions shall be treated as public safety member service if the position is one hundred percent (100%) federally funded.
  2. The additional cost to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System as computed by actuarial determination is the responsibility of the employer and is in addition to those costs required by § 24-2-701(c).
  3. Employment as a public safety member shall be credited at one and one-half (1½) times the regular rate for crediting service.
    1. A public safety member who purchases military service credit under § 24-2-502 shall be credited at the regular rate for credited service and not an enhanced rate.
    2. A public safety member shall pay the same rate for the purchase of service credit from the system as a member of the system who is not a public safety member.

History. Acts 2011, No. 978, § 4; 2017, No. 437, § 1; 2019, No. 910, § 5548.

Amendments. The 2017 amendment added (d).

The 2019 amendment inserted “or Department of the Military” in (a).

Subchapter 11 — Contributions of Members to their Deposit Accounts

Effective Dates. Acts 2005, No. 2084, § 5: July 1, 2005. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that for the effective administration of this act and to avoid undue harm to the members and benefit recipients of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System that this act should become effective on July 1, 2005. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2005.”

Acts 2009, No. 1200, § 3: July 1, 2009. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this country is in a recession, that Arkansas retirants have been hurt economically by the recession, that this act will increase benefits for those retirants that served the state the longest period of time, that the fiscal year of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System begins on July 1 of each year, and that these changes are needed by July 1, 2009, in order to have a smooth transition between fiscal years. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2009.”

Acts 2011, No. 20, § 5: Feb. 9, 2011. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System currently requires that retirement contributions be based on a member's base salary plus any multipliers; that retirement contributions and benefits should be determined based on a member's base salary and not any multipliers or special salary allowances; and that this act is immediately necessary to clarify the meaning of the term ‘compensation’ for purposes of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2013, No. 332, § 13: Mar. 14, 2013. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that it is vital that the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System be permitted to immediately implement policies regarding the termination of employment, eligibility of employees to receive benefits, availability of information, and when to pay interest on employee contributions; and to clarify the meaning of terms in the Arkansas Code of 1987 Annotated to avoid the undue consumption of the system's resources. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

24-4-1101. Membership.

  1. A public employee, as defined in § 24-4-101(17), first hired on or after July 1, 2005, is subject to the benefit provisions of this subchapter.
      1. A public employee who remains an active member of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System may elect coverage under the benefit provisions of this subchapter.
      2. If the member elects contributory coverage, the effective date of the member's contributory coverage shall be:
        1. The first payroll period that is paid and reported in the next month after the contributory election; and
        2. Prospective only.
    1. A conversion or purchase of noncontributory service into contributory service under this subchapter is not allowed.
    2. The election shall be made as directed by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System and is irrevocable.
  2. Noncontributory members who terminate covered service for a period of more than six (6) months and subsequently return to covered service will be subject to the provisions of this subchapter.

History. Acts 2005, No. 2084, § 4; 2009, No. 742, § 2; 2011, No. 140, § 2; 2013, No. 332, § 12.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment inserted (b)(1)(B), redesignated the remainder of (b)(1) accordingly, and substituted “July 1, 2009” for “July 1, 2005” twice in (b)(1)(A).

The 2011 amendment inserted present (c) and redesignated former (c) as (d).

The 2013 amendment substituted “A public employee” for “All public employees” in (a); in (b)(1)(A), substituted “A public employee who remains an active member” for “All public employees hired prior to July 1, 2005, and who are active members”; and “may” for “on July 1, 2009, shall have six (6) months from July 1, 2009, to”; substituted “in the next month after the contributory election” for “in January 2010” in (b)(1)(B)(i); in (b)(2), substituted “A” for “No” and inserted “not”; deleted former (c); and redesignated former (d) as present (c), and made stylistic changes.

24-4-1102. Member contributions.

    1. The contributions of a member shall be five percent (5%) of the member's annual compensation and shall be placed in the member's deposit account as provided in § 24-4-401.
    2. Interest shall be paid on accumulated member contributions at the rate of two percent (2%) per annum.
    3. As used in this subsection, “compensation” has the same meaning as in § 24-4-101.
    1. For purposes of deferring federal and state income tax under 26 U.S.C. § 414(h)(2), as adopted by § 26-51-414, the employer shall pick up the member's contributions to the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System required by this section payable on or after July 1, 2005.
      1. Member contributions picked up by the employer shall be paid from the same source of funds used for the payment of salary to a member.
      2. The employer shall be solely responsible for remitting member contributions to the system in a manner consistent with § 24-4-202, including without limitation compliance with deadlines and penalties.
      3. A deduction shall be made from each member's salary equal to the amount of the member's contribution picked up by the employer.
      4. For all other purposes, member contributions picked up by the employer shall be considered member contributions.
  1. Upon termination of covered service, a former member may request a refund of the former member's accumulated contributions under § 24-4-603, except that interest will be credited on all balances for service through the last completed fiscal year as provided in § 24-4-209(a).

History. Acts 2005, No. 2084, § 4; 2007, No. 176, § 7; 2011, No. 20, § 4; 2019, No. 526, § 1.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment added (a)(3).

The 2019 amendment substituted “two percent (2%)” for “four percent (4%)” in (a)(2).

Case Notes

Applicability.

Agency decision was not clearly wrong that this section did not apply to the mother, a noncontributory member, where the years at issue were from 1978 to 1990, and not prior to 1978 as required by the definition of “contributory member” under § 24-4-101, and the mother had not contributed any percentage of her salary during that time. Harrison v. Ark. Pub. Employees' Ret. Sys., 2019 Ark. App. 179, 574 S.W.3d 705 (2019).

24-4-1103. Benefits generally.

    1. Upon retirement under this subchapter, a member shall receive a straight life pension equal to two and three-hundredths percent (2.03%) of the member's final average compensation multiplied by the number of years and any fraction of a year of the member's service for each year of contributory service rendered prior to July 1, 2007.
    2. For each year of contributory service in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System rendered after June 30, 2007, the member shall receive two percent (2%) of the member's final average compensation multiplied by the number of years and any fraction of a year of the member's service.
    3. For each year of actual service in the system in excess of twenty-eight (28) years that is rendered on or after July 1, 2009, a member shall receive a straight life annuity equal to an additional five-tenths of one percent (0.5%) of the member's final average compensation.
  1. Any member may voluntarily retire upon filing a written application with the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System not less than thirty (30) days nor more than ninety (90) days before the date the member desires to be retired if that member has:
    1. Twenty-eight (28) or more years of credited service regardless of age; or
      1. Attained or attains sixty-five (65) years of age and has five (5) or more years of actual service.
      2. However, a member of the General Assembly must have ten (10) or more years of actual service if the member only has service as a member of the General Assembly.
  2. No temporary annuity will be provided to members covered by this subchapter.
  3. The maximum benefit payable upon retirement shall be one hundred percent (100%) of the member's final average compensation without regard to any postretirement increases enacted by the General Assembly.

History. Acts 2005, No. 2084, § 4; Acts 2007, No. 220, § 2; 2009, No. 1200, § 2.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment inserted (a)(3).

24-4-1104. Annuity options.

Before the date the first payment of a member's annuity is due, a member may elect to receive the annuity as a straight life annuity or as one (1) of the reduced annuity options provided in § 24-4-606.

History. Acts 2005, No. 2084, § 4.

24-4-1105. Deferred and early annuities.

  1. Any member or former member with sufficient years of actual service to qualify for a vested termination annuity who has not attained normal retirement age may retire with an early annuity provided in § 24-4-510(a).
  2. In the event a member with five (5) or more years of actual service in the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System ceases employment as a covered member before reaching sixty-five (65) years of age or attaining twenty-eight (28) years of service and does not withdraw his or her accumulated employee contributions to the system, the member is entitled to receive an annuity upon attainment of sixty-five (65) years of age and submission of a retirement application to the system.
  3. If a former member has applied for a refund of contributions but returns to employment with a participating public employer prior to the date the refunded contributions are received, the request is void and employment must be terminated again to request a refund of contributions.

History. Acts 2005, No. 2084, § 4.

24-4-1106. Benefits — Death of retirant.

  1. In the event a retirant receiving a straight life pension dies before the retirant has received an aggregate amount of straight life pension payments equal to the accumulated contributions credited in the retirant's deposit account at the time of retirement, the difference between the accumulated contributions and the aggregate amount of straight life pension payments received by the retirant shall be paid to the named beneficiary.
  2. If no designated person survives the retirant, the difference, if any, shall be paid in accordance with the laws of descent and distribution of the State of Arkansas.
  3. The payments may be made directly to a curator, guardian, administrator, or executor authorized to receive the payments with or without the appointment of a representative in this state.
  4. No benefits will be paid under this section if survivor benefits are otherwise payable to a named beneficiary.

History. Acts 2005, No. 2084, § 4.

24-4-1107. Redetermination of benefits.

  1. Each July 1 the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System shall redetermine the amount of each monthly benefit that has been payable by the system for at least twelve (12) calendar months. The redetermined amount is payable for the following twelve (12) calendar months.
  2. The redetermined amount is the amount of the benefit payable as of the immediately preceding July 1 increased by three percent (3%).

History. Acts 2005, No. 2084, § 4.

24-4-1108. Benefit provisions — Death in service.

    1. If an active member or former member with less than five (5) years of actual service dies while employed by a covered employer, the member's accumulated contributions and interest are refundable to the named beneficiary.
    2. If no designated person survives the member, the accumulated contributions will be paid in accordance with the laws of descent and distribution of the State of Arkansas.
    3. The payments may be made directly to a curator, guardian, administrator, or executor authorized to receive the payments with or without the appointment of a representative in this state.
  1. If an active member or former member with five (5) or more years of actual service dies before retirement, the benefits under this section will be paid upon written application to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System as provided in § 24-4-608.

History. Acts 2005, No. 2084, § 4.

24-4-1109. Maximum benefit limitation.

  1. Benefits paid under this chapter shall not exceed the limitations of section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code that are applicable to governmental retirement plans.
    1. The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System is authorized to promulgate all rules necessary to implement the limitations of section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code.
    2. The rules adopted by the board under this section shall be amended to reflect any changes in the content or application of section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code enacted by Congress or promulgated by the Internal Revenue Service.

History. Acts 2005, No. 2084, § 4.

U.S. Code. Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code referred to in (b)(2) is codified as 26 U.S.C. § 415.

Chapter 5 Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement

A.C.R.C. Notes. References to “this chapter” in §§ 24-5-101 to 24-5-133 may not apply to §§ 24-5-13424-5-137, which were enacted subsequently.

References to “this chapter” in §§ 24-5-101 to 24-5-128 may not apply to §§ 24-5-129 to 24-5-132, which were enacted subsequently.

References to “this chapter” in Subchapter 1 may not apply to Subchapter 2 which was enacted subsequently.

Acts 2019, No. 910, § 6341, provided: “Effect of transfer on retirement system membership and health insurance plan participation.

“(a) As used in this section, ‘retirement system’ means:

“(1) The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, established by the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System Act, § 24-7-201 et seq.;

“(2) The Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System, established by § 24-5-103;

“(3) The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System, established by § 24-4-103;

“(4) The State Police Retirement System, established by § 24-6-203;

“(5) The Arkansas Judicial Retirement System, established by § 24-8-201 et seq.;

“(6) An alternate retirement plan for:

“(A) A college, university, or the Department of Higher Education provided for under § 24-7-801 et seq.; and

“(B) A vocational-technical school or the Department of Career Education provided for under § 24-7-901 et seq.;

“(7) The Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System provided for under § 24-10-101 et seq.; and

“(8) A firemen's relief and pension fund or a policemen's pension and relief fund provided for under § 24-11-101 et seq.

“(b) If this act results in an employee who is a current member of a retirement system prior to the effective date of this act being transferred to or affiliated with a cabinet-level department that is covered by a different retirement system than his or her previous state entity, the employee may, within one hundred eighty (180) days of the effective date of this act by written election and notice to the new employer and affected retirement system, make a one-time choice to:

“(1) Remain in his or her same retirement system prior to the effective date of this act, under the same conditions then provided by law or as may later be provided by law; or

“(2) Become a member of the retirement system of the cabinet-level department to which the employee is transferred to or affiliated with under this act, under the same conditions for a reciprocal member to be transferred as an active member to a reciprocal system as currently provided by law under the system to which the reciprocal member is transferred.

“(c) If this act results in an employee being transferred to or affiliated with a cabinet-level department that is covered by a different health insurance plan than his or her previous state entity, the employee may, within one hundred eighty (180) days of the effective date of this act, make a one-time choice between:

“(1) Continuing to participate in his or her health insurance plan prior to the effective date of this act, under the same conditions then provided by law or as may later be provided by law; or

“(2) Participating in the health insurance plan of the cabinet-level department to which the employee is transferred to or affiliated with under this act, under the same conditions then provided by law or as may later be provided by law.

“(d)(1)(A) A retirement system may issue policies establishing the procedure for an employee to exercise benefit options under subsection (b) of this section.

“(B) The State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board may issue policies establishing the procedure for an employee to exercise benefit options under subsection (c) of this section.

“(2) A policy under subdivision (d)(1) of this section is not a rule under the Arkansas Administrative Procedure Act, § 25-15-201 et seq.”

Publisher's Notes. Due to the enactment of Subchapter 2 by Acts 1997, No. 1073, the existing provisions of this chapter have been designated as Subchapter 1.

Subchapter 1 — General Provisions

A.C.R.C. Notes. Acts 1991, No. 198, § 2, provided: “The increase in benefits as provided in Section 1 of this act shall not be added to the base annuity for the purpose of computing the annual post-retirement increase as provided in Ark. Code Ann. § 24-5-119(a) for the benefit redetermination July 1, 1991, or for any years thereafter.”

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1993, No. 930, § 4, provided: “All laws or parts of laws in conflict with this act are hereby repealed, provided, none of the amendments contained in this Act are intended to nor shall they be construed to amend or affect any of the state-supported retirement system laws of this State, with the exception of the laws pertaining to the Arkansas State Highway Employees.”

Effective Dates. Acts 1967, No. 254, § 4: Mar. 10, 1967. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that a number of employees of the State Highway Department have not obtained prior service, or current service credit under the State Highway Employees Retirement System, and that other employees who have obtained previous service in other State agencies are unable under existing laws to obtain prior service credit for such previous service and that the immediate passage of this act is necessary in order to permit such employees to make application for and obtain credit for such service under the State Highway Employees Retirement System. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in effect from the date of its passage and approval.”

Acts 1969, No. 167, § 12: July 1, 1969.

Acts 1971, No. 246, § 4: Mar. 9, 1971. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the providing of reasonable and adequate retirement benefits for employees of the Highway Department and their beneficiaries is necessary to provide the Highway Department Employees with more flexibility in providing for their retirement and for their dependents; and that immediate passage of the Act is necessary to make available to the members of the State Highway Employees Retirement System dependents' benefits as are now available to employees of other State Agencies; therefore an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1971, No. 458, § 3: Mar. 30, 1971. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that certain career employees of the State Highway Department who were retired and drawing benefits under the system have died since July 1, 1969, leaving surviving spouses for which no survivor benefits are provided in the State Highway Employees Retirement System law; that legislation is presently pending to provide optional survivor benefits for survivors of deceased members of the system and that provisions should be made for survivor benefits for the surviving spouses of the members of the system who have died after retirement and subsequent to July 1, 1969 and that this act is immediately necessary to provide such benefits. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1973, No. 185, § 3: Feb. 26, 1973. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that certain career employees of the State Highway Department who were retired and drawing benefits under the system have died since July 1, 1969, leaving surviving spouses for which no survivor benefits are provided in the State Highway Employees Retirement System law; that provisions should be made for survivor benefits for the surviving spouses of the members of the system who have died after retirement and subsequent to July 1, 1969, and that this Act is immediately necessary to provide such benefits. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1975, No. 599, § 7: July 1, 1975. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the provisions of this Act change the rate of contributions, and option provisions under the Arkansas State Highway Employees Retirement System; and, in order to enable persons to receive proper benefits thereunder without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1975.”

Acts 1977, No. 722, § 6: Mar. 20, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the provisions of this Act make the changes necessary to provide for the unfunded liabilities of the System by a change in the rate of Employer contributions to the Arkansas State Highway Employees Retirement System, and therefore the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall be in full force and effect on and after March 20, 1977.”

Acts 1979, No. 126, § 4: July 1, 1979. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Second General Assembly, that in the event of an extension of the Regular Session, the delay in the effective date of this Act beyond July 1, 1979 could work irreparable harm upon the proper administration and providing of essential governmental programs. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1979.”

Acts 1979, No. 821, § 6: July 1, 1979. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the provisions of this Act change the rate of contributions, and benefits under the Arkansas State Highway Employees Retirement System; and, in order to enable persons to receive proper benefits thereunder without undue delay, the General Assembly hereby determines that the immediate passage of this Act is essential. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1979.”

Acts 1981, No. 295, § 14: July 1, 1981. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that essential provisions of the System's retirement statutes are hereby changed, and in order that the members of the System may receive proper benefits thereunder, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall be in full force and effect on and after July 1, 1981.”

Acts 1983, No. 464, § 4: Mar. 15, 1983. Emergency clause provided: “The benefits of a Straight Life annuity should be made available to the retirants who chose Option B and whose beneficiaries have pre-deceased them and it is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that this Act is immediately necessary to accomplish the same. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1983, No. 479, § 4: July 1, 1983. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the Arkansas State Highway Employees Retirement System should provide an increase in annuities for those members and beneficiaries who retired before July 1, 1982. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect on and after July 1, 1983.”

Acts 1985, No. 106, § 3: July 1, 1985. Emergency clause provided: “The benefits of Option C should be made available to the retirants who retired before options were available and it is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that this Act is immediately necessary to accomplish the same. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1985.”

Acts 1985, No. 379, § 4: July 1, 1985. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the Arkansas State Highway Employees Retirement System law needs to be amended to allow retirement with thirty (30) years creditable service without penalty to otherwise eligible employees. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1985”

Acts 1985, No. 611, § 4: July 1, 1985. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the Arkansas State Highway Employees Retirement System should provide an increase in annuities for those members and beneficiaries who retired before July 1, 1984. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect on and after July 1, 1985.”

Acts 1987, No. 119, § 3: Mar. 4, 1987. Emergency clause provided: “The appointment of a beneficiary and changing of options should be made available to the retirants as expeditiously as possible and it is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that this Act is immediately necessary to accomplish the same. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1987, No. 187, § 11: Mar. 12, 1987. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that a reduction in work force caused by budgetary constraints may be avoided by offering early retirement incentives; that to offer early retirement incentives and to avoid unnecessary layoffs this Act should take effect immediately upon its passage. Therefore, an emergency is declared and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1987, No. 213, § 7: July 1, 1987. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Sixth General Assembly, that the Constitution of the State of Arkansas prohibits the appropriation of funds for more than a two (2) year period; that the effectiveness of this Act on July 1, 1987 is essential to the operation of the agency for which the appropriations in this Act are provided, and that in the event of an extension of the Regular Session, the delay in the effective date of this Act beyond July 1, 1987 could work irreparable harm upon the proper administration and provision of essential governmental programs. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1987.”

Acts 1987, No. 315, § 3: Mar. 19, 1987. Emergency clause provided: “The appointment of a beneficiary and changing of options should be made available to the retirants as expeditiously as possible and it is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that this Act is immediately necessary to accomplish the same. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1987, No. 455, § 4: Mar. 30, 1987. Emergency clause provided: “There are some military veterans that have been excluded by prior laws and have been unable to purchase service credit in the Highway Employees Retirement System for their military time. To correct this oversight, and to enable the members to purchase some service credit in the system for the time spent in service of their country, it is hereby determined that an emergency exists, and this act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health, welfare, and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1991, No. 41, § 5: Feb. 7, 1991. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that some confusion has arisen concerning the calculation of retirement benefits for members of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System following two legislative increases which were not codified from the statute to the Arkansas Code in 1987; that in order to clarify that such enactments did result in an increase in the multiplier and avoid further confusion, the immediate passage of this act is necessary. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1991, No. 243, § 5: Feb. 27, 1991. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Eighth General Assembly that the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System law needs to be amended to allow members to accrue more than thirty-five (35) years of creditable service. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1991, No. 245, § 7: July 1, 1991. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that benefits provided under the Arkansas State Highway Employees Retirement System are inadequate and that an increase should be provided as soon as practicable in order to avoid an undue hardship. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect on and after July 1, 1991.”

Acts 1991, No. 246, § 5: July 1, 1991. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Eighth General Assembly that benefits provided under the Arkansas State Highway Employees Retirement System are inadequate and that an increase should be provided as soon as practicable in order to avoid an undue hardship. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1991.”

Acts 1991, No. 380, § 7: July 1, 1991. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that benefits provided to retirants and beneficiaries under the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System, the Arkansas State Police Retirement System and the Arkansas State Highway Employees Retirement System are inadequate and that an increase should be provided as soon as practicable in order to avoid an undue hardship to many such retirants and beneficiaries. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1991.”

Acts 1993, No. 359, § 5: Mar. 3, 1993. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Ninth General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the service rendered on the Arkansas Highway Commission by many people has not been adequately rewarded for many years, that to not reward theses services with vesting will create an inequity for all eligible employees, and that the effective and efficient administration of the state government demands that this inequity be corrected immediately. Therefore, in order to correct this inequity, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1993, No. 929, § 5: July 1, 1993. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Ninth General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that benefits provided to retirants and beneficiaries under the Arkansas State Highway Employees Retirement System are inadequate and that an increase should be provided as soon as practicable in order to avoid an undue hardship to many such retirants and beneficiaries. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect on and after July 1, 1993.”

Acts 1993, No. 930, § 5: July 1, 1993. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Ninth General Assembly that the amendments contained in this Act are necessary in order for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department to continue to retain and recruit efficient and skilled employees and by immediately decreasing the number of months from sixty to forty-eight for the purposes of ascertaining “average compensation” for retirement benefit purposes will greatly assist such retention and recruitment efforts. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect on and after July 1, 1993.”

Acts 1995, No. 407, § 5: July 1, 1995. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eightieth General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the retirement benefits provided to retirants and beneficiaries under the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System are inadequate and that the benefits should be increased as soon as practicable without delay in order to avoid an undue hardship to many retirants and beneficiaries. Therefore, in order to avoid any undue hardship on retirants, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1995.”

Acts 1997, No. 250, § 258: Feb. 24, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that Act 1211 of 1995 established the procedure for all state boards and commissions to follow regarding reimbursement of expenses and stipends for board members; that this act amends various sections of the Arkansas Code which are in conflict with the Act 1211 of 1995; and that until this cleanup act becomes effective conflicting laws will exist. Therefore an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governer, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 1997, No. 347, § 10: Mar. 5, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the current trend in employment for workers in the United States is for employees to work for shorter periods of time and to work for more than one employer during their working years; that the trend for retirement systems in the United States is to require shorter vesting periods for employees in order to adjust to this reality in U. S. employment patterns; that the current Highway Employees' Retirement System law requires a ten-year vesting period; and that it is critically necessary for the Highway Employees' Retirement System law to be amended to meet these changing patterns in employee benefits within the United States as soon as possible and this act should have immediate effect. Therefore an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 1997, No. 349, § 6: July 1, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly that the amendments contained in this Act are necessary in order for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department to continue to retain and recruit efficient and skilled employees; that immediately decreasing the number of months from forty-eight to thirty-six for the purposes of ascertaining “average compensation” for retirement benefit purposes will greatly assist such retention and recruitment efforts; that benefits provided to retirants and beneficiaries under the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System are inadequate; and that an increase should be provided as soon as practicable in order to avoid an undue hardship to many such retirants and beneficiaries. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect on and after July 1, 1997.”

Acts 1997, No. 386, § 6: July 1, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that benefits provided under the Arkansas State Highway Employees Retirement System are inadequate and that an increase should be provided as soon as practicable in order to avoid an undue hardship; in order for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department to continue to retain and recruit efficient and skilled employees and by immediately increasing the multiplier amount for retirement benefit purposes will greatly assist such retention and recruitment efforts; and that benefits provided to retirants and beneficiaries under the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System are inadequate and that an increase should be provided as soon as practicable in order to avoid an undue hardship to many such retirants and beneficiaries. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect on and after July 1, 1997.”

Acts 1997, No. 955, § 5: July 1, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that current law requires State Highway Department employees to be members of the Highway Employees' Retirement System even if they are retired from another state-supported retirement system; that this violates a longstanding policy of prohibiting persons from earning service credit in two (2) state-supported retirement systems; and the law should be changed to limit the eligibility for double service credit to only those Highway employees' currently eligible and required to be members. Therefore, in order to restore a longstanding policy principle, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall become effective July 1, 1997.”

Acts 1997, No. 1053, § 28: July 1, 1998.

Acts 1997, No. 1067, § 6: Apr. 3, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that Arkansas Code 24-5-118 contains language describing a retirement option that is no longer available and does not set forth the spouse's benefits upon the death of the retirant. Therefore, in order to more effectively administer retirement funds an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 1997, No. 1089, § 6: Apr. 3, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-First General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the State Highway Employees' Retirement System was created to benefit the employees of the Arkansas Highway Department; that, in the event of a member's death, the financial interests of the member's spouse and his or her dependents are often adversely affected and left in crisis; and it is immediately necessary to fill in this financial gap in the best interest of the member-employees and the State. Therefore, in the best interest of the State, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved or vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 1999, No. 32, § 5: Feb. 8, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that unless the accounting needs of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System are immediately automated, delays could occur in preparing accurate financial statements and delays could occur in the recording of investment transactions, which statements and recordings are required to be maintained by State and federal laws and regulations; that such delays could work irreparable harm upon the proper administration of essential governmental programs; and in order to avoid these delays, this act should take effect immediately upon its passage and approval. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 1999, No. 311, § 6: Feb. 25, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that, due to the ever escalating costs of health insurance and health care, benefits provided under the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System are inadequate and that an increase should be provided as soon as practicable in order to avoid an undue hardship. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect on and after July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 335, § 6: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that benefits provided under the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System are inadequate and that an increase should be provided as soon as practicable in order to avoid an undue hardship. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect on and after July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 1066, § 12: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly, that benefit provisions applicable to local officers and employees need revision, and that the effective administration of this act makes it necessary for these changes to begin at the start of the state's fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 1325, § 14: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that Act 311 of 1999 changes the amount of additional monthly benefits in the State Highway Employees' Retirement System and they are necessary for the continued financial stability of the current retirees, that clarifications are needed in order to make Act 311 take effect in an orderly fashion, that these changes in Act 311 must then take effect at the same time Act 311 becomes effective, and that it is necessary to implement the changes in benefits at the beginning of the current fiscal year. Therefore an emergency is declared to exist and this act, except for Sections 2 and 3, being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 1999.”

Acts 1999, No. 1508, § 19: Apr. 15, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly that this act makes various technical corrections in the Arkansas Code; that this act further clarifies the law to provide that the Arkansas Code Revision Commission may correct errors resulting from enactments of prior sessions; and that this act should go into effect immediately in order to be applicable during the codification process of the enactments of this regular session. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2001, No. 482, § 3: Mar. 1, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that deceased retirees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System leave beneficiaries in need of financial support, that there is a necessity of financial stability for beneficiaries during this time of crisis, that this benefit is then important to provide for retirees immediately, and that this act should therefore have immediate effect. Therefore an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2001, No. 539, § 4: July 1, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the Eighty-third General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that benefits provided under the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System are inadequate and an increase should be provided as soon as practicable in order to avoid an undue hardship that, in order for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department to continue to retain and recruit efficient and skilled employees, the system must immediately increase the multiplier amount for retirement benefit purposes, and that benefits provided to retirants and beneficiaries under the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System are inadequate and that an increase should be provided as soon as practicable in order to avoid an undue hardship to the retirants and beneficiaries. Therefore an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2001.”

Acts 2003, No. 205, § 2: July 1, 2003. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that annuity provisions of the State Highway Employees' Retirement System need revisions to make them more actuarially accurate for present and future retirees in order to not endanger the financial status of the system; that implementation of these revised actuarial adjustments need to be implemented at a precise time and before the normal time for the effectiveness of other laws; and that they need to be effective at the beginning of the fiscal year for state government. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2003.”

Acts 2005, No. 144, § 2: July 1, 2005. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that due to the ever escalating costs of health insurance and health care, benefits provided under the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System are inadequate and that an increase should be provided as soon as practicable in order to avoid an undue hardship. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall be in full force and effect on and after July 1, 2005.”

Acts 2009, No. 439, § 2: July 1, 2009. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this language more equably allocates the health care offset benefits provided under the Arkansas State Highway Employees’ Retirement System. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall be in full force and effect on and after July 1, 2009.”

Acts 2011, No. 564, § 6: July 1, 2011. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that certain provisions of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System law are in urgent need of revision to bring them into conformance with sound public pension policy; that this revision is of great importance to members of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System and to other citizens of the State of Arkansas; that a member's purchase of service credit currently provides that a member pay the system yesterday's dollars for the value of today's benefits; that such a valuation is unfair to the members as a whole and inconsistent with the prudent management of the system's funds and obligations; that the purchase of service credit in the system should be based upon actuarial equivalents; that the purchase of service credit should be paid in a lump sum to the system unless otherwise authorized; that current service purchase accounts remain unpaid and inactive for many years at a time and create an administrative burden and accounting difficulty on the system that can be remedied by the passage of this act; and that this act is necessary to maintain an orderly system of benefits for the members of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2011.”

Acts 2013, No. 73, § 3: July 1, 2013. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that certain provisions of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System law are in urgent need of revision to bring them into conformance with sound public pension policy; that this revision is of great importance to members of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System and to other citizens of the State of Arkansas; and that this act is necessary to maintain a professional Board of Trustees for the members of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2013.”

Acts 2013, No. 309, § 4: Emergency clause failed to pass. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System law needs to be amended to provide a more equitable means of allocating the additional benefit that offsets the cost of health insurance and health care. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.

Acts 2013, No. 310, § 2: July 1, 2013. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that certain provisions of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System law are in urgent need of revision to bring them into conformance with sound public pension policy; that this revision is of great importance to citizens of the State of Arkansas; and that this act is immediately necessary to maintain an orderly system of benefits for the members of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2013.”

Acts 2017, No. 610, § 2: July 1, 2017. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the law prohibits a publicly supported retirement system from implementing a benefit enhancement if it would cause the publicly supported retirement system's unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities to exceed a thirty-year amortization; that the law prohibits a publicly supported system from implementing a benefit enhancement if it has unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities being amortized over a period exceeding thirty (30) years until the unfunded actuarial accrued liability is reduced to a level less than the standards prescribed by law; that the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System uses a general life expectancy table; and that the current method of redetermining benefits will cause the retirement system's unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities to exceed a thirty-year amortization if not immediately resolved by increasing the system's assets and reducing its unfunded liabilities. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on and after July 1, 2017.”

Acts 2019, No. 295, § 3: July 1, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System has an amortization that exceeds the standard thirty-year amortization of the unfunded actuarial accrued liability prescribed by law; and that this act is necessary because increasing the assets of the system will facilitate reducing the system's unfunded liability. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2019”.

Acts 2019, No. 910, § 6346(b): July 1, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act revises the duties of certain state entities; that this act establishes new departments of the state; that these revisions impact the expenses and operations of state government; and that the sections of this act other than the two uncodified sections of this act preceding the emergency clause titled ‘Funding and classification of cabinet-level department secretaries’ and ‘Transformation and Efficiencies Act transition team’ should become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year to allow for implementation of the new provisions at the beginning of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and Sections 1 through 6343 of this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2019”.

24-5-101. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

  1. “Accumulated contribution” means the sum of all amounts deducted from the salary or wages of a member, or paid by a member, and credited to his or her individual account, together with any interest the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System may have authorized to be credited to the member's account;
  2. “Actuarial equivalent” means a benefit of equal reserve value when reserve is the present value of all payment to be made on account of any benefit based upon such reasonable rate of interest and table of experience as a plan shall adopt from time to time;
  3. “Average compensation” means the average of the highest annual compensation paid a member during any period of thirty-six (36) consecutive months of creditable service with a state employer, as the term “state employer” is defined in § 24-2-401;
  4. “Board” means the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System;
    1. “Creditable service” means the current service of the member plus the portion of prior service time for which contributions have been made or elected to be made by the member.
    2. Retirement benefits shall be computed upon the creditable service of the member.
    3. The board shall determine by appropriate rules how much service in any fiscal year is the equivalent of a year of creditable service;
  5. “Current service” means service as an employee of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department or the Arkansas Department of Transportation after the date of establishment of the system and may include the period of time during which the employee's service may have been interrupted by service in the United States Armed Forces. The annual earnings for a military service period shall be computed in the manner set forth for prior service in subdivision (12) of this section;
    1. “Employee” means any employee of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department or the Arkansas Department of Transportation whose compensation is, or was, payable on an hourly, biweekly, monthly, annual, or other basis by the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department or the Arkansas Department of Transportation, including any employee of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department or the Arkansas Department of Transportation whose salary is paid or reimbursed, in whole or in part, from federal or other funds.
    2. “Employee” does not include persons who are employees of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department or the Arkansas Department of Transportation on or after July 1, 1997, and who are eligible for benefits under, or who are earning a retirement benefit from, another state-supported retirement system;
  6. “Employer” means the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department or the Arkansas Department of Transportation;
  7. “Lump-sum service” means that, upon termination of employment with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department or the Arkansas Department of Transportation for whatever reason, all lump-sum payments of leave, salary, or other compensation shall not be considered for purposes of computing average earnings and time of service for the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System;
  8. “Member” means any person who has, by due process, had issued to him or her a certificate of membership in the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System;
  9. “Prior service” means all service as an employee of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department or the Arkansas Department of Transportation before the date of establishment of the system;
    1. “Prior service earnings” means the authenticated record filed with and approved by the board setting forth the salary received by the member for each fiscal year, or portion thereof, of his or her prior service as an employee, beginning with his or her last year of prior service and continuing in reverse chronological order.
    2. Prior service earnings records may include the period of time during which the employee's service may have been interrupted for service in the United States Armed Forces, in which case the annual earnings for the military service period of the member shall be computed upon the average of his or her last twelve (12) months' compensation from the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department or the Arkansas Department of Transportation before his or her entry into the United States Armed Forces and the first twelve (12) months' compensation after reemployment by the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department or the Arkansas Department of Transportation;
  10. “Prorate” means the amount obligated in § 24-5-125 using a ratio of the years of service credit with the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System divided by the sum of all years of service credit with the reciprocal systems enumerated in § 24-2-401;
  11. “Salary” or “compensation” means the total remuneration earned by an employee for services rendered during any consecutive twelve (12) months or fraction thereof; and
  12. “System” means the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System.

History. Acts 1949, No. 454, § 1; 1953, No. 403, §§ 1, 2; 1969, No. 167, § 1; 1979, No. 126, § 1; 1981, No. 295, §§ 1, 2; 1983, No. 464, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 76-1901; Acts 1993, No. 930, § 1; 1997, No. 349, § 1; 1997, No. 955, § 1; 2011, No. 18, § 1; 2011, No. 564, § 1; 2013, No. 309, § 1; 2013, No. 310, § 1; 2017, No. 707, §§ 269-273.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment by No. 18 deleted “unless the context otherwise requires” from the introductory language; in (1), inserted “or her” and substituted “Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System” for “board”; inserted present (2) and (12) and redesignated the remaining subdivisions accordingly; in (3), substituted “Arkansas” for “Arkansa” and deleted “as created by this chapter” from the end; deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in (4)(C); substituted “‘Employee’ does not” for “The term ‘employee’ specifically shall not” in (7)(B); and inserted “or her” twice in (11)(A) and twice in (11)(B).

The 2011 amendment by No. 564 added (14).

The 2013 amendment by No. 309 substituted “using a ratio of the years … reciprocal systems enumerated in § 24-2- 401” for “less any amount paid for similar benefits by other reciprocal systems, as such systems are enumerated in § 24-4-1” in (13).

The 2013 amendment by No. 310, in (9), inserted “not” following “compensation shall,” deleted “earnings for retirement purposes. Both the time and amount paid shall be” preceding “considered,” inserted “time of” preceding “service,” and deleted “and both the member's and the employer's contribution rates shall apply to the lump sum payments” from the end.

The 2017 amendment inserted “or the Arkansas Department of Transportation” in (6), (7)(A), (7)(B), (8), (11) and (12)(B); substituted “Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department or the Arkansas Department of Transportation” for “department” twice in (7)(A); and substituted “United States Armed Forces” for “armed forces” in (12)(B).

24-5-102. Penalty.

Any person who knowingly makes any false statement or who falsifies any record or records in an attempt to defraud the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System as a result of such an act shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

History. Acts 1949, No. 454, § 6; 1981, No. 295, § 6; A.S.A. 1947, § 76-1906; Acts 2005, No. 1994, § 363.

24-5-103. Establishment of system.

There is created and established a retirement system for employees of the Arkansas Department of Transportation to be known as the “Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System”, all the business of which shall be transacted through a board of trustees as provided for in this chapter.

History. Acts 1949, No. 454, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 76-1902; Acts 2017, No. 707, § 274.

Amendments. The 2017 amendment substituted “Department of Transportation” for “State Highway and Transportation Department”.

24-5-104. Board of trustees.

  1. The administration and control of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System shall be vested in a board known as the “Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System”.
    1. The board shall consist of seven (7) members:
      1. The Director of State Highways and Transportation;
      2. The Treasurer of State;
      3. The Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration;
      4. The Chief Engineer of the Arkansas Department of Transportation;
      5. A retiree from the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department or the Arkansas Department of Transportation; and
      6. Two (2) regularly qualified members of the system.
    2. The board shall cause an election to be held by letter ballot in June of each year, after thirty (30) days' written notice to the membership, for the purpose of electing two (2) employee members and one (1) retiree member who shall serve for two (2) years.
    3. In case of a vacancy of any employee member of the board, the board shall fill the vacancy until the next regular election, when the vacancy shall be filled by the election procedure specified in subdivision (b)(2) of this section.
  2. The officers of the board shall be a chair and a vice chair, who shall be selected annually from their own number by the board, and an executive secretary, who shall be appointed by the board.
  3. The duties of the board shall be:
    1. To make all rules necessary and proper for carrying out the provisions of this chapter;
    2. To provide administrative direction and control of the executive secretary and such clerical staff as may be required;
    3. To provide for actuarial valuations if and when the board deems such action necessary;
    4. To exercise discretionary power and authority in the investment and disbursement of the funds of the system, subject to the conditions prescribed in this chapter;
    5. To designate the necessary medical examiners for disabled members as provided in this chapter;
    6. To serve without pay but may receive expense reimbursement in accordance with § 25-16-901 et seq.;
      1. To provide a one-million-dollar blanket fidelity bond covering board members and those employees of the department who may be responsible for administering the funds.
      2. The premiums for the bond may be paid from the funds appropriated for the administration of the system or may be considered as a cost of administration and borne by the department as provided in § 24-5-105(a); and
    7. To do any and all things necessary for the proper execution of this chapter.
  4. The duties of the executive secretary shall be:
    1. To keep all minutes and other records as directed by the board;
    2. To set up and maintain separate accounts for each member of the system to show the payroll deductions and to transmit the deductions to the bank designated by the trustees as the depository for the system or to the State Treasury, as appropriate;
    3. To prepare and sign, as directed by the board, all vouchers for all valid claims; and
    4. To perform such other administrative duties as may be directed by the board for carrying out the provisions of this chapter.

History. Acts 1949, No. 454, §§ 3, 6; 1953, No. 403, § 3; 1969, No. 167, § 2; 1981, No. 295, §§ 3, 6; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 76-1903, 76-1906; Acts 1993, No. 615, §§ 1-3; 1997, No. 250, § 229; 2013, No. 73, §§ 1, 2; 2017, No. 201, §§ 1, 2; 2017, No. 707, § 275; 2019, No. 315, § 2866; 2019, No. 910, § 3554.

A.C.R.C. Notes. The operation of subdivision (d)(7) of this section was suspended by adoption of a self-insured fidelity bond program for public officers, officials and employees, effective July 20, 1987, pursuant to § 21-2-701 et seq. The subdivision may again become effective upon cessation of coverage under that program. See § 21-2-703.

Publisher's Notes. The terms of the two employee members of the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System are arranged so that one term expires every year.

The reimbursement provision in subdivision (d)(6) of this section may be affected by § 25-16-901 et seq. concerning mileage reimbursement for members of state boards and commissions.

Amendments. The 2013 amendment substituted “seven (7)” for “six (6)” in the introductory language to (b)(1); inserted present (b)(1)(A) and redesignated the remaining subdivisions accordingly; and deleted (e)(6).

The 2017 amendment by No. 201 substituted “who shall be appointed by the board” for “who shall be an accountant in the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department Accounting Division designated by the board to serve as executive secretary, without power to vote and who shall perform the duties provided in this section” in (c); deleted former (e)(4); and redesignated former (e)(5) as present (e)(4).

The 2017 amendment by No. 707 substituted “Department of Transportation” for “State Highway and Transportation Department” in (b)(1)(D) and (c); inserted “or the Arkansas Department of Transportation” in (b)(1)(E); and substituted “(b)(2)” for “(b)” in (b)(3).

The 2019 amendment by No. 315 deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in (d)(1).

The 2019 amendment by No. 910 substituted “Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration” for “Director of the Department of Finance and Administration” in (b)(1)(C).

24-5-105. Cost of administration — Payment of benefits and adjustment of errors.

  1. The cost of administering the plan shall be borne by the Arkansas Department of Transportation, except that the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System shall pay the expenses incurred for the actuary, the consultant for investments, fees for the members of the medical board of the system, expenses associated with automating the accounting needs of the system, and forms purchased from vendors and identified by letterhead printing as those of the system.
    1. The Treasurer of State shall pay retirement benefits, as defined in this chapter, to retirants only on vouchers signed by the Executive Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System, or other authorized person, and on warrants or checks issued by the Auditor of State or other designated officer of the state.
      1. The designated disbursing officers for the system are authorized to complete and sign one (1) certification for each state voucher or other designated document that authorizes the Auditor of State, or other official, to draw a state warrant or check on a fund administered by the system.
        1. The voucher or other authorizing document can consist of one (1) or more pages.
        2. In the event that more than one (1) page is used, then the designated disbursing officer is to manually sign the last page only, and any certification is to be so worded that it will apply to all pages of the document.
    1. Should any change or error in the records of the system result in any member's receiving more or less than he or she would have been entitled to receive had the records been correct, the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System, upon discovery of the error and so far as is practicable, shall adjust the payments in such a manner that the benefit to which the member was justly entitled shall be paid.
    2. In the event that an overpayment is made to anyone, every legal effort shall be made to recover the overpayment.

History. Acts 1949, No. 454, § 6; 1981, No. 295, § 6; A.S.A. 1947, § 76-1906; Acts 1987, No. 213, § 2; 1999, No. 32, § 1; 2017, No. 707, § 276.

Amendments. The 2017 amendment, in (a), substituted “Department of Transportation” for “State Highway and Transportation Department” and substituted “system” for “Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System” at the end.

24-5-106. Establishment of retirement fund.

  1. There is created a trust fund to be known as the “Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System Fund”, which shall be the depository for moneys in the State Treasury or the designated bank as provided for in this chapter.
  2. The employer shall draw vouchers or cause vouchers to be drawn upon the State Highway and Transportation Department Fund for deposit into the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System Fund for such sums of money as are provided in § 24-5-109 to match employee contributions as certified by the Executive Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System:
    1. In accordance with the provisions of this section and §§ 24-5-101 — 24-5-105, 24-5-107 — 24-5-109, and 24-5-112 — 24-5-118; or
    2. As provided under § 24-5-137.
    1. The Treasurer of State, or a designated bank, shall be the legal custodian of the securities of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System, subject to the orders and directions of the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System.
    2. The system may deposit with the Treasurer of State, or a designated bank, safekeeping receipts or, in the case of federal bookkeeping entries, the evidence of investment that is issued in lieu of the actual securities.
  3. The Attorney General shall serve as legal advisor to the board.
  4. It shall be the duty of the Legislative Auditor to audit the finances of the system one time or more often if either the auditor or the board consider such action necessary.
  5. A decision on whether to invest, not invest, or withdraw from investment the funds of the system shall not be based on a consideration that the location of the investment, fund, company, or any other type of investment vehicle is in the State of Israel.

History. Acts 1949, No. 454, § 4; 1969, No. 167, § 3; 1981, No. 295, §§ 4, 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 76-1904; Acts 2011, No. 16, § 1; 2017, No. 796, § 1.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment subdivided (b) and added (b)(2); and substituted “Executive Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System” for “executive secretary” in the introductory language of (b).

The 2017 amendment added (f).

24-5-107. Membership.

  1. Any employee of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department or the Arkansas Department of Transportation, as defined in § 24-5-101(7), shall become a member of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System in the manner and under the conditions provided in this chapter.
  2. Membership in the system may be terminated by retirement, disability, superannuation, or death, or by withdrawal, either voluntary or involuntary, from active service in the department.
  3. Any member with not less than five (5) years of creditable service whose employment with the department is terminated for any reason may leave his or her contributions in the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System Fund and thereafter be entitled to retirement benefits as otherwise provided in this chapter.

History. Acts 1949, No. 454, §§ 7, 8; 1969, No. 167, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 76-1907, 76-1908; Acts 1997, No. 347, § 1; 1997, No. 1053, § 12; 2017, No. 707, § 277.

Amendments. The 2017 amendment inserted “or the Arkansas Department of Transportation” in (a).

Case Notes

Cited: Scott v. Greer, 229 Ark. 1043, 320 S.W.2d 262 (1959).

24-5-108. Members' contributions.

    1. A member of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System shall be assessed six percent (6%) of his or her salary or wages by payroll deductions, and the Executive Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System shall transmit the payroll deductions from the member's salary or wages to the bank designated as the depository for the funds of the system or to the Treasurer of State, as appropriate.
      1. Beginning on July 1, 2019, the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System shall assess the member contribution rate after receiving recommendations from the actuary of the system.
      2. An assessed member contribution rate shall be:
        1. Not more than seven percent (7%) of compensation; and
        2. Increased by no more than five-tenths of one percent (0.5%) in a single year.
      1. As a means of increasing his or her annual annuity benefits, a member may elect, upon approval by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System, to pay into the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System Fund to the credit of his or her account an amount equal to four percent (4%) of his or her earnings for each year of his or her authenticated prior and current service not covered, plus such interest as the board may prescribe.
      2. Each year, or fractional part thereof, for which such prior and current service contributions are paid shall be added to the current service record of the member in computing his or her retirement benefits under the provisions of §§ 24-5-115 — 24-5-118, subject to the provision that no member may accrue more than thirty-five (35) years of creditable service.
        1. As a means of increasing his or her annual annuity benefits, a member may elect, upon approval by the board, to pay into the fund to the credit of his or her account an amount equal to four percent (4%) of the amount that his or her earnings exceeded seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500) per annum for periods previously covered through June 30, 1969, plus such interest as the board may prescribe.
        2. These earnings in excess of seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500) per annum on which supplemental contributions have been paid shall be credited to his or her average compensation in his or her service record in computing his or her retirement benefits under the provisions of §§ 24-5-115 — 24-5-118.
      1. The plan for such payment shall be as prescribed by the board.
  1. It is expressly guaranteed that all member contributions shall be held in trust for the exclusive benefit of the individual contributor.

History. Acts 1949, No. 454, § 9; 1953, No. 403, §§ 6, 7; 1969, No. 167, § 5; 1975, No. 599, § 1; 1977, No. 722, § 1; 1981, No. 295, § 7; A.S.A. 1947, § 76-1909; Acts 2019, No. 295, § 1.

A.C.R.C. Notes. The Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System Fund is created at § 19-5-918.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment added the (a)(1) designation; in (a)(1), substituted “A member” for “All members”, substituted “his or her salary” for “their salaries”, and substituted “member’s salary” for “employees’ salaries”; and added (a)(2).

24-5-109. Employer's contribution.

    1. The employer contribution shall be a set percentage rate of the compensation of the employee as defined in § 24-5-101.
      1. The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System shall determine the set percentage rate after receiving recommendations from the actuary for the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System.
      2. The set percentage rate shall not be:
        1. Less than twelve and nine-tenths percent (12.9%) of compensation; or
        2. Greater than fourteen and nine-tenths percent (14.9%) of compensation.
  1. In matching contributions paid under the provisions of § 24-5-108(b), the employer shall match all member contributions for authenticated prior and current service as follows:
    1. Four percent (4%) contribution for service through August 15, 1969;
    2. Six percent (6%) contribution for service from August 15, 1969, to July 1, 1975;
    3. Nine and nine-tenths percent (9.9%) contribution for service from June 30, 1975, to March 20, 1977;
    4. Eleven percent (11%) contribution for service from March 19, 1977, to July 1, 1979;
    5. Twelve and sixty-five hundredths percent (12.65%) contribution for service from June 30, 1979, to June 25, 1981; and
    6. Twelve and nine-tenths percent (12.9%) contribution for service from June 24, 1981.
    1. In the event that sufficient money is provided to the system to pay the increase in annuities as authorized by § 24-7-714 from other than the fund from which the employees are paid their gross earnings, then the employer's contribution rate for the then-current year shall be twenty-five hundredths of one percent (0.25%) less than the rate stated in subsection (a) of this section.
    2. In matching contributions under the provisions of § 24-5-108(b), the rate shall be the employer's contribution rate for the then-current year.

History. Acts 1949, No. 454, § 10; 1953, No. 403, § 8; 1969, No. 167, § 6; 1975, No. 599, § 2; 1977, No. 722, § 2; 1979, No. 821, § 1; 1981, No. 295, §§ 8-10; A.S.A. 1947, § 76-1910; Acts 2019, No. 295, § 2.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment rewrote (a).

24-5-110. Credit for prior and current service in department.

    1. Any employee of the Arkansas Department of Transportation may make application within one (1) year from the date of becoming a member of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System and receive credit for any authenticated prior service rendered as an employee of the department prior to July 1, 1949.
    2. In addition thereto, the employee may receive current service credit for any service rendered as an employee of the department since July 1, 1949, and prior to the date of becoming a member of the system, upon paying into the system to the credit of his or her account an amount equal to four percent (4%) of his or her earnings, not to exceed seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500) per annum, for each year of the authenticated prior service, or current service rendered prior to becoming a member of the system, in the event the employee has not previously obtained credit for such service.
    1. The employee shall pay into the system such necessary contributions and interest as may be prescribed by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System within a period of five (5) years.
    2. Not less than one-fifth (1/5) of the total prior service and current service contributions shall be paid during each year of the five-year period.

History. Acts 1967, No. 254, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 76-1913; Acts 1997, No. 347, § 2; 1997, No. 1053, § 13; 2017, No. 707, § 278.

Amendments. The 2017 amendment substituted “Department of Transportation” for “State Highway and Transportation Department” in (a)(1).

Cross References. Reciprocity of service credits with other systems, § 24-2-401 et seq.

24-5-111. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning credit for prior service with public employer, was repealed by Acts 2011, No. 564, § 2. The section was derived from Acts 1967, No. 254, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 76-1914.

24-5-112. Eligibility for benefits — Voluntary retirement.

  1. A member may retire voluntarily as follows:
    1. At age sixty-five (65), or during any year thereafter until the age of compulsory retirement has been attained, with a minimum of five (5) years of creditable service in the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System;
    2. At age sixty-two (62), with a minimum of fifteen (15) years of creditable service in the system;
    3. At age sixty (60), with a minimum of twenty (20) years of creditable service in the system; or
    4. Regardless of age, with thirty (30) years of creditable service in the system.
    1. Any retired member who has creditable service with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department or the Arkansas Department of Transportation for more than thirty-five (35) years and who is not receiving benefits based on his or her actual creditable service time, on February 27, 1991, shall have his or her annuity adjusted at that time.
    2. The adjustment shall be equivalent to the retirant's original annuity, adjusted for actual service time and subsequent cost-of-living and any ad hoc increases.
    3. The retirant shall be paid such adjusted annuity for each month thereafter.
  2. The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System, by rule, may reduce the amount of creditable service required to retire voluntarily regardless of age from thirty (30) years of creditable service to an amount of no less than twenty-eight (28) years of creditable service, if the board determines that the change is fair and just to the members of the system and that it is actuarially appropriate.

History. Acts 1949, No. 454, § 11; 1963, No. 494, § 3; 1969, No. 167, § 7; 1985, No. 379, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 76-1911; Acts 1991, No. 243, § 1; 1997, No. 347, § 3; 1997, No. 1053, § 14; 1999, No. 1325, § 5; 2017, No. 707, § 279; 2019, No. 315, § 2867.

Amendments. The 2017 amendment inserted “or the Arkansas Department of Transportation” in (b)(1).

The 2019 amendment substituted “rule” for “regulation” in (c).

24-5-113. Eligibility for benefits — Disability retirement — Definition.

  1. A member shall be eligible for disability retirement benefits after five (5) or more years of creditable service in the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department or the Arkansas Department of Transportation, but no member shall be eligible to receive benefits for a disability incurred prior to his or her becoming a member of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System.
  2. No member may be retired on account of disability until conclusive evidence, based on a proper medical examination, has been submitted to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System that the member is disabled to the extent that he or she can no longer perform his or her assigned duties.
  3. A member who is retired because of disability shall be required to undergo periodic medical examinations at the discretion of the board.
  4. If and when a medical examination shows that the disability has been removed, disability retirement benefits shall cease.
  5. A disability allowance shall not be granted unless there is conclusive evidence that the disability will be permanent or of long duration.
    1. If a disability retirant secures employment with an employer not considered a state employer, as defined by § 24-2-401, for the purpose of determining whether he or she is capable of returning to employment, then the disability retirant shall be allowed to earn compensation from the employment for a period of time not to exceed nine (9) months, during which period of time the retirant shall receive no monthly benefits from the system.
    2. If the retirant becomes unable to continue his or her employment before the nine-month period expires, then his or her disability retirement benefits from the system shall be reinstated and be effective the first day of the month after terminating employment.
    3. Only one (1) trial work period is allowed any disability retirant, but the nine (9) months need not be consecutive.
    4. The trial work period does not prevent the consideration of any medical evidence which may demonstrate recovery before the ninth month of trial work.
      1. If, at the end of the nine-month trial work period, the retirant wishes to continue his or her employment outside the system, then the disability retirement status shall terminate.
      2. For the purpose of determining eligibility for any other benefit, the retirant shall be considered to have terminated active membership as of the time of disability retirement but for a reason other than disability or death.
      1. If the former disability retirant again becomes an employee of a state employer as defined by § 24-2-401, he or she shall immediately again become a member of the system, and his or her credited service at the time of disability retirement shall be restored.
      2. The amount of the accumulated contributions at the time of his or her disability retirement shall be restored to the member's deposit account, but in no event shall he or she be given service credit for the period he or she was in receipt of his or her disability annuity.
  6. As used in this section, “suitable job or position” means a job or position the requirements of which can be physically or mentally performed, as determined by a physician, and for which the remuneration would be substantially gainful, as defined by the Social Security Administration as the maximum amount that a person under sixty-five (65) years of age may earn.
    1. At least one (1) time each year, the board may require any disability retirant to submit a form attesting to his or her current work status.
    2. If such a retirant refuses to submit the form, his or her disability annuity may be suspended by the board until the form is properly submitted to the board.
    3. If his or her refusal continues for one (1) year, all his or her rights in and to a disability annuity may be revoked by the board.

History. Acts 1949, No. 454, § 11; A.S.A. 1947, § 76-1911; Acts 1997, No. 347, § 4; 1997, No. 1053, § 15; 2017, No. 707, § 280.

Amendments. The 2017 amendment inserted “or the Arkansas Department of Transportation” in (a).

24-5-114. Eligibility for benefits — Early retirement.

  1. In addition to retirement as provided in §§ 24-5-112 and 24-5-113, a member may retire after a minimum of five (5) years of service on and after the member's fifty-fifth birthday.
    1. However, the annuity otherwise payable, as provided in § 24-5-115, shall be reduced eight-tenths of one percent (0.8%) for each of the first sixty (60) months, or fraction thereof, that the early retirement date precedes the earliest date that the member could retire without a reduction in the annuity.
    2. The annuity shall be reduced three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) for each of the next sixty (60) months, or fraction thereof, that the early retirement date precedes the earliest date that the member could retire without a reduction in the annuity.

History. Acts 1949, No. 454, § 11; 1981, No. 295, § 11; 1985, No. 379, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 76-1911; Acts 1997, No. 347, § 5; 1997, No. 1053, § 16.

24-5-115. Benefits generally.

    1. Members retired for the reasons set forth in §§ 24-5-112 — 24-5-114 shall be eligible for annual retirement benefits based on two and two-tenths percent (2.2%) of their average compensation, as defined in § 24-5-101, limited to the amount upon which contributions, including supplemental contributions under the provisions of § 24-5-108(b), have been made, multiplied by the number of years of creditable service in the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System.
    2. Payments shall be made in equal monthly installments.
    1. In the event a member has not completed payment of his or her service contributions as provided for in § 24-5-108(b) and is current in his or her service contributions at the time of retirement, the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System is authorized to deduct from each monthly annuity payment an amount equal to one-twelfth (1/12) of the unpaid balance of the service contributions.
    2. The deductions shall continue until all service contributions have been paid in full.

History. Acts 1949, No. 454, § 12; 1969, No. 167, § 8; A.S.A. 1947, § 76-1912; Acts 1991, No. 41, § 1; 1991, No. 246, § 1; 1997, No. 386, § 1; 2001, No. 539, § 1.

24-5-116. Benefits — Death of member or retirant.

    1. In the case of death of a member prior to retirement or of a member's beneficiary whose benefits have been deferred or who for any other reason has not withdrawn the member's contributions, the member's accumulated contributions and any life insurance policy proceeds shall become payable to the designated beneficiary or to the estate of the person having the deferred benefits if a beneficiary has not been designated or is deceased.
      1. The designated beneficiary may be changed by the member or member's beneficiary in the manner prescribed by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System, but the designated beneficiary shall have no legal claim on any contribution made by the state with a view to the retirement of the member or member's beneficiary.
      2. A member may designate different persons to be the beneficiaries for a member's retirement and for his or her life insurance policy in the manner prescribed by the board.
    1. If a retired member with a straight life annuity dies before he or she has been paid benefits equivalent to his or her contributions to the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System, the difference between the benefits received and his or her contributions while an active member of the system, together with any other balance to his or her credit in the system, shall be paid to his or her designated beneficiary.
    2. In the event there is no designated beneficiary, refund of the unpaid balance shall be paid to his or her estate.
      1. Payment of the refund shall be made in full or in installments, as determined by the board.
      2. The benefits may be paid directly to a curator or guardian, to an administrator or to an executor authorized to receive such payments, wherever such representative may be, without the appointment of a representative in this state.
    1. The system shall provide life insurance in the amount of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) for the benefit of each of its members.
    2. The insurance shall remain in force during the life of each member until his or her retirement and shall be paid for by the system.
    3. The system may offer a similar or lesser amount of life insurance coverage on the lives of the member's spouse and his or her dependents with the member bearing the costs of any additional coverage.

History. Acts 1949, No. 454, § 12; 1979, No. 821, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 76-1912; Acts 1997, No. 1089, § 1.

24-5-117. Benefits — Withdrawal from service.

    1. In the case of withdrawal from service within less than one (1) year after having become a member of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System, the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System, upon request, shall pay to the member all of his or her accumulated contributions without interest.
      1. If withdrawal occurs after one (1) year of membership in the system, the board, upon request, shall pay to