In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

Terms Used In Arizona Laws 38-711

  • Active member: means a member as defined in paragraph 23, subdivision (b) of this section who satisfies the eligibility criteria prescribed in section 38-727 and who is currently making member contributions as prescribed in section 38-736. See Arizona Laws 38-711
  • ASRS: means the Arizona state retirement system established by this article. See Arizona Laws 38-711
  • Average monthly compensation: means :

    (a) For a member whose membership in ASRS commenced before January 1, 1984 and who left the member's contributions on deposit or reinstated forfeited credited service pursuant to section 38-742 for a period of employment that commenced before January 1, 1984, the higher of either:

    (i) The monthly average of compensation that is calculated pursuant to subdivision (b) of this paragraph. See Arizona Laws 38-711

  • Board: means the ASRS board established in section 38-713. See Arizona Laws 38-711
  • commission: means any office, board or commission of the state, or any political subdivision thereof, the salary or compensation of the incumbent or members of which is paid from a fund raised by taxation or by public revenue. See Arizona Laws 38-101
  • Compensation: means :

    (a) For members whose membership began on or before December 31, 2019, the gross amount paid to a member by an employer as salary or wages, including amounts that are subject to deferred compensation or tax shelter agreements, for services rendered to or for an employer, or that would have been paid to the member except for the member's election or a legal requirement that all or part of the gross amount be used for other purposes, but does not include amounts paid in excess of compensation limits established in section 38-746. See Arizona Laws 38-711

  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Credited service: means , subject to section 38-739, the number of years standing to the member's credit on the books of ASRS during which the member made the required contributions. See Arizona Laws 38-711
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Effective date: means July 1, 1970, except with respect to employers and members whose contributions to ASRS commence thereafter, the effective date of their membership in ASRS is as specified in the applicable joinder agreement. See Arizona Laws 38-711
  • Employer: means :

    (a) This state. See Arizona Laws 38-711

  • Employer contributions: means all amounts paid into ASRS by an employer on behalf of a member. See Arizona Laws 38-711
  • Fiscal year: means the period from July 1 of any year to June 30 of the following year. See Arizona Laws 38-711
  • Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
  • including: means not limited to and is not a term of exclusion. See Arizona Laws 1-215
  • Interest: means the assumed actuarial investment earnings rate approved by the board. See Arizona Laws 38-711
  • Interest rate: The amount paid by a borrower to a lender in exchange for the use of the lender's money for a certain period of time. Interest is paid on loans or on debt instruments, such as notes or bonds, either at regular intervals or as part of a lump sum payment when the issue matures. Source: OCC
  • Internal revenue code: means the United States internal revenue code of 1986, as amended. See Arizona Laws 38-711
  • leased employee: means an individual who:

    (i) Is not otherwise an employee of an employer. See Arizona Laws 38-711

  • Leave of absence: means any unpaid leave authorized by the employer, including leaves authorized for sickness or disability or to pursue education or training. See Arizona Laws 38-711
  • Member contributions: means all amounts paid to ASRS by a member. See Arizona Laws 38-711
  • Month: means a calendar month unless otherwise expressed. See Arizona Laws 1-215
  • Normal costs: means the sum of the individual normal costs for all active members for each fiscal year. See Arizona Laws 38-711
  • Normal retirement date: means the earliest of the following:

    (a) For a member whose membership commenced before July 1, 2011:

    (i) A member's sixty-fifth birthday. See Arizona Laws 38-711

  • Person: includes a corporation, company, partnership, firm, association or society, as well as a natural person. See Arizona Laws 1-215
  • Political subdivision: means any political subdivision of this state and includes a political subdivision entity. See Arizona Laws 38-711
  • Political subdivision entity: means an entity:

    (a) That is located in this state. See Arizona Laws 38-711

  • Service year: means fiscal year, except that:

    (a) If the normal work year required of a member is less than the full fiscal year but is for a period of at least nine months, the service year is the normal work year. See Arizona Laws 38-711

  • Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
  • State: means this state, including any department, office, board, commission, agency, institution or other instrumentality of this state. See Arizona Laws 38-711
  • United States: includes the District of Columbia and the territories. See Arizona Laws 1-215

1. "Active member" means a member as defined in paragraph 23, subdivision (b) of this section who satisfies the eligibility criteria prescribed in section 38-727 and who is currently making member contributions as prescribed in section 38-736.

2. "Actuarial equivalent" means equality in value of the aggregate amounts expected to be received under two different forms of payment, based on mortality and interest rate assumptions approved from time to time by the board.

3. "ASRS" means the Arizona state retirement system established by this article.

4. "Assets" means the resources of ASRS including all cash, investments or securities.

5. "Average monthly compensation" means:

(a) For a member whose membership in ASRS commenced before January 1, 1984 and who left the member’s contributions on deposit or reinstated forfeited credited service pursuant to section 38-742 for a period of employment that commenced before January 1, 1984, the higher of either:

(i) The monthly average of compensation that is calculated pursuant to subdivision (b) of this paragraph.

(ii) The monthly average of compensation on which contributions were remitted during a period of sixty consecutive months during which the member receives the highest compensation within the last one hundred twenty months of credited service.  Any month for which no contributions are reported to ASRS or that falls within a period of nonpaid or partially paid leave of absence or sabbatical leave shall be excluded from the computation. The sixty consecutive months may entirely precede, may be both before and after or may be completely after any excluded months.  If the member was employed for less than sixty consecutive months, the average monthly compensation is based on the total consecutive months worked. Payments for accumulated vacation or annual leave, sick leave, compensatory time or other forms of termination pay that, before August 12, 2005, constitute compensation for members whose membership in ASRS commenced before January 1, 1984, do not cease to be included as compensation if paid in the form of nonelective employer contributions under a 26 United States Code section 403(b) plan if all payments of employer and employee contributions are made at the time of termination.  Contributions shall be made to ASRS on these amounts pursuant to sections 38-735, 38-736 and 38-737.

(b) For a member whose membership in ASRS commenced on or after January 1, 1984 but before July 1, 2011, the monthly average of compensation on which contributions were remitted during a period of thirty-six consecutive months during which a member receives the highest compensation within the last one hundred twenty months of credited service. Any month for which no contributions are reported to ASRS or that falls within a period of nonpaid or partially paid leave of absence or sabbatical leave shall be excluded from the computation. The thirty-six consecutive months may entirely precede, may be both before and after or may be completely after any excluded months. If the member was employed for less than thirty-six consecutive months, the average monthly compensation shall be based on the total consecutive months worked. 

(c) For a member whose membership in ASRS commenced on or after July 1, 2011, the monthly average of compensation on which contributions were remitted during a period of sixty consecutive months during which a member receives the highest compensation within the last one hundred twenty months of credited service.  Any month for which no contributions are reported to ASRS or that falls within a period of nonpaid or partially paid leave of absence or sabbatical leave shall be excluded from the computation. The sixty consecutive months may entirely precede, may be both before and after or may be completely after any excluded months. If the member was employed for less than sixty consecutive months, the average monthly compensation shall be based on the total consecutive months worked.

6. "Board" means the ASRS board established in section 38-713.

7. "Compensation" means:

(a) For members whose membership began on or before December 31, 2019, the gross amount paid to a member by an employer as salary or wages, including amounts that are subject to deferred compensation or tax shelter agreements, for services rendered to or for an employer, or that would have been paid to the member except for the member’s election or a legal requirement that all or part of the gross amount be used for other purposes, but does not include amounts paid in excess of compensation limits established in section 38-746Compensation includes amounts paid as salary or wages to a member by a second employer if the member meets the requirements prescribed in paragraph 23, subdivision (b) of this section with that second employer. Compensation, as provided in paragraph 5, subdivision (b) or (c) of this section, does not include:

(i) Lump sum payments, on termination of employment, for accumulated vacation or annual leave, sick leave, compensatory time or any other form of termination pay whether the payments are made in one payment or by installments over a period of time.

(ii) Damages, costs, attorney fees, interest or other penalties paid pursuant to a court order or a compromise settlement or agreement to satisfy a grievance or claim even though the amount of the payment is based in whole or in part on previous salary or wage levels, except that, if the court order or compromise settlement or agreement directs salary or wages to be paid for a specific period of time, the payment is compensation for that specific period of time.  If the amount directed to be paid is less than the actual salary or wages that would have been paid for the period if service had been performed, the contributions for the period shall be based on the amount of compensation that would have been paid if the service had been performed.

(iii) Payment, at the member’s option, in lieu of fringe benefits that are normally paid for or provided by the employer.

(iv) Merit awards pursuant to section 38-613 and performance bonuses paid to assistant attorneys general pursuant to section 41-192.

(v) Amounts that are paid as salary or wages to a member for which employer contributions have not been paid.

(b) For a member whose membership began on or after January 1, 2020, only gross wages paid to a member by the employer for services rendered to the employer during the period considered as credited service, including amounts reported as wages and tips and other compensation on the member’s federal form W-2 wage and tax statement, including pretax deductions, except for the following:

(i) Payments made for accrued leave that is not being used to replace regular work hours, whether paid in a lump sum or in installments.

(ii) Payments made on termination from employment, whether paid in a lump sum or in installments or as a bonus or an incentive for termination or retirement.

(iii) Employer-paid contributions that are made to, and any distributions from, plans, programs or arrangements qualified under section 117, 125, 129, 401, 403, 408 or 457 of the internal revenue code.

(iv) Payments for allowances.

(v) Reimbursements for employee business expenses or employee personal expenses.

(vi) Employer-paid contributions for coverage under, or distributions from, an accident, health or life insurance plan, program or arrangement.

(vii) Payments made in lieu of any employer-paid insurance coverage.

(viii) Workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation payments and disability payments.

(ix) Merit awards pursuant to section 38-613.

(x) Payments paid pursuant to a court order or settlement agreement to satisfy a claim even though the amount of the payment is based on previous salary or wage levels, except if the court order or settlement agreement directs salary or wages to be paid for a specific period of time, the payment is compensation for that specific period of time. 

(xi) Payments made in the form of goods or services in lieu of gross wages.

(xii) Any other payment that is not reported as wages and tips and other compensation on the member’s federal W-2 wage and tax statement for actual services rendered.

(xiii) Payments in excess of the section 415 of the internal revenue code limits established in section 38-746.

(xiv) Payments for any other employment benefit.

(xv) Payments for which employer or employee contributions have not been paid.

8. "Contingent annuitant" means the person named by a member to receive retirement income payable following a member’s death after retirement as provided in section 38-760.

9. "Credited service" means, subject to section 38-739, the number of years standing to the member’s credit on the books of ASRS during which the member made the required contributions.

10. "Current annual compensation" means the greater of:

(a) Annualized compensation of the typical pay period amount immediately before the date of a request to ASRS to purchase credited service pursuant to section 38-743, 38-744 or 38-745. The typical pay period amount shall be determined by taking the five pay periods immediately before the date of a request, disregarding the highest and lowest compensation amount pay periods and averaging the three remaining pay periods.

(b) Annualized compensation of the partial year, disregarding the first compensation amount pay period, if the member has less than twelve months total compensation on the date of a request to purchase credited service pursuant to section 38-743, 38-744 or 38-745.

(c) The sum of the twelve months of compensation immediately before the date of a request to ASRS to purchase credited service pursuant to section 38-743, 38-744 or 38-745.

(d) The sum of the thirty-six months of compensation immediately before the date of a request to ASRS to purchase credited service pursuant to section 38-743, 38-744 or 38-745 divided by three.

(e) If the member has retired one or more times from ASRS, the average monthly compensation that was used for calculating the member’s last pension benefit times twelve.

11. "Early retirement" means retirement before a member’s normal retirement date after five years of total credited service and attainment of age fifty.

12. "Effective date" means July 1, 1970, except with respect to employers and members whose contributions to ASRS commence thereafter, the effective date of their membership in ASRS is as specified in the applicable joinder agreement.

13. "Employer" means:

(a) This state.

(b) Participating political subdivisions.

(c) Participating political subdivision entities.

14. "Employer contributions" means all amounts paid into ASRS by an employer on behalf of a member.

15. "Fiscal year" means the period from July 1 of any year to June 30 of the following year.

16. "Inactive member" means a member who previously made contributions to ASRS and who satisfies each of the following:

(a) Has not retired.

(b) Is not eligible for active membership in ASRS.

(c) Is not currently making contributions to ASRS.

(d) Has not withdrawn contributions from ASRS.

17. "Interest" means the assumed actuarial investment earnings rate approved by the board.

18. "Internal revenue code" means the United States internal revenue code of 1986, as amended.

19. "Investment manager" means the persons, companies, banks, insurance company investment funds, mutual fund companies, management or any combinations of those entities that are appointed by ASRS and that have responsibility and authority for investment of the monies of ASRS.

20. "Late retirement" means retirement after normal retirement.

21. "Leave of absence" means any unpaid leave authorized by the employer, including leaves authorized for sickness or disability or to pursue education or training.

22. "Life annuity" means equal monthly installments payable during the member’s lifetime after retirement.

23. "Member":

(a) Means any employee of an employer on the effective date.

(b) Means all employees of an employer who are eligible for membership pursuant to section 38-727 and who are engaged to work at least twenty weeks in each fiscal year and at least twenty hours each week.

(c) Means any person receiving a benefit under ASRS.

(d) Means any person who is a former active member of ASRS and who has not withdrawn contributions from ASRS pursuant to section 38-740.

(e) Does not include any employee of an employer who is otherwise eligible pursuant to this article and who begins service in a limited appointment for not more than eighteen months on or after July 1, 1979.  If the employment exceeds eighteen months, the employee shall be covered by ASRS as of the beginning of the nineteenth month of employment.  In order to be excluded under this subdivision, classifications of employees designated by employers as limited appointments must be approved by the director.

(f) Does not include any leased employee.  For the purposes of section 414(n) of the internal revenue code, "leased employee" means an individual who:

(i) Is not otherwise an employee of an employer.

(ii) Pursuant to a leasing agreement between the employer and another person, performs services for the employer on a substantially full-time basis for at least one year.

(iii) Performs services under the primary direction or control of the employer.

24. "Member contributions" means all amounts paid to ASRS by a member.

25. "Normal costs" means the sum of the individual normal costs for all active members for each fiscal year.  The normal cost for an individual active member is the cost that is assigned to the fiscal year, through June 29, 2016, using the projected unit credit method and, beginning June 30, 2016, using the actuarial cost method determined by the board pursuant to section 38-714.

26. "Normal retirement age" means the age at which a member reaches the member’s normal retirement date.

27. "Normal retirement date" means the earliest of the following:

(a) For a member whose membership commenced before July 1, 2011:

(i) A member’s sixty-fifth birthday.

(ii) A member’s sixty-second birthday and completion of at least ten years of credited service.

(iii) The first day that the sum of a member’s age and years of total credited service equals eighty.

(b) For a member whose membership commenced on or after July 1, 2011:

(i) A member’s sixty-fifth birthday.

(ii) A member’s sixty-second birthday and completion of at least ten years of credited service.

(iii) A member’s sixtieth birthday and completion of at least twenty-five years of credited service.

(iv) A member’s fifty-fifth birthday and completion of at least thirty years of credited service.

28. "Political subdivision" means any political subdivision of this state and includes a political subdivision entity.

29. "Political subdivision entity" means an entity:

(a) That is located in this state.

(b) That is created in whole or in part by political subdivisions, including instrumentalities of political subdivisions.

(c) Where a majority of the membership of the entity is composed of political subdivisions.

(d) Whose primary purpose is the performance of a government-related service.

30. "Retired member" means a member who is receiving retirement benefits pursuant to this article.

31. "Service year" means fiscal year, except that:

(a) If the normal work year required of a member is less than the full fiscal year but is for a period of at least nine months, the service year is the normal work year.

(b) For a salaried member employed on a contract basis under one contract, or two or more consecutive contracts, for a total period of at least nine months, the service year is the total period of the contract or consecutive contracts.

(c) In determining average monthly compensation pursuant to paragraph 5 of this section, the service year is considered to be twelve months of compensation.

32. "State" means this state, including any department, office, board, commission, agency, institution or other instrumentality of this state.

33. "Vested" means that a member is eligible to receive a future retirement benefit.