On Monday, the Board of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System voted to adopt various measures to ensure the long-term health of your retirement system. As you know, the Board members are all educators and members of the retirement system elected by other members.
The Board acted in three key ways this week. First, the Board changed the way it calculates risk and costs based on mortality rates. This is important because people are living longer and the system must be prepared to meet its financial obligations. Second, the Board reduced the assumed rate of return on the fund to 7.5% per year from 8%. This is important because it influences how the board acts in the future to guarantee the long-term health of the system. Third, the Board adopted a series of changes, which will be implemented in 2020, to protect the future health of your retirement system. These changes will impact contributions and benefits for all ATRS participants, retirees and active members alike. In 2020, the amount each member pays into the system will increase from 6 percent of the member’s salary over 4 years to 7 percent in fiscal 2023. All ATRS participants will share the load equally without any one group disproportionately responsible.
Finally, ATRS is proposing to hold “school hall meetings” around the state to discuss any questions or concerns by any educator. If you would like to host one of these meetings, please contact us so we can help make it happen.