National Association of State Retirement Administrators

Arkansas

Major public retirement systems in Arkansas include the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System and the Arkansas Teachers Retirement System.

Arkansas PERS administers pension and other benefits to nearly all public employees in the state except for teachers, highway employees, and local police officers & firefighters. Members hired after 6/3/05 are required to participate in the new contributory plan (up until that date the plan was non-contributory).

Arkansas TRS provides pension and other benefits to public school teachers and other employees of public educational institutions in the state.

Authorizing Statutes

Title 19 of the Arkansas Code relates to Public Finance.

Public Employees' Retirement Fund: According to § 19-5-919

(a) There is established on the books of the Treasurer of State, the Auditor of State, and the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State a trust fund to be known as the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement Fund. (b) This fund shall consist of trust funds as provided by law. (c) It 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.

Teacher Retirement Fund: According to § 19-5-916

(a) There is established on the books of the Treasurer of State, the Auditor of State, and the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State a trust fund to be known as the Teacher Retirement Fund. (b) This fund shall consist of trust fund income as provided by law. (c) It shall be used for: (1) The operation, maintenance, and improvement of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System; (2) Payment of retirement and disability benefits; (3) Making refunds; and (4) Investing surplus funds.

State Police Retirement Fund: According to § 19-5-917

(a) There is established on the books of the Treasurer of State, the Auditor of State, and the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State a trust fund to be known as the State Police Retirement Fund. (b) This fund shall consist of the trust funds designated by law, moneys transferred or deposited from the State Administration of Justice Fund and non-DWI driver's license reinstatement fees as set out in 27-16-808. (c) It shall be used for payment of personal services, operating expenses, investments, benefits, refunds, and for such other purposes as may be authorized by law and in 24-6-201 et seq.

Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System Fund: According to § 19-5-918

(a) There is established on the books of the Treasurer of State, the Auditor of State, and the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State a trust fund to be known as the Arkansas State Highway Employees' Retirement System Fund. (b) This fund shall consist of trust funds as provided by law. (c) It shall be used for: (1) The payment of retirement and disability benefits to members of the system; (2) Refunds to members of the system; (3) Investment purposes; and (4) Such other purposes as may be authorized by law.

Board Composition 

Plan

Board Size

Appointed

Elected

Plan Members

Ex Officio

Arkansas Teachers Retirement System

15

0

11

10

4

Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System

9

6

0

6

3

Contributions

Per the U.S. Census, in FY 2011, employer contributions to Arkansas state and local government pension plans were 3.44 percent of all state and local government direct general spending.

Constitutional Protections

No explicit constitutional protection for public pension benefits, but courts provide limited protection for contributory vested pension benefits. See Jones v.Cheney, 489 S.W.2d 785 (1973)(holding that vested pension benefits funded with employee contributions are protected from impairment); compare Blackwood v. Floyd, 29 S.W.3d 691 (Ark. 2000)(holding that non-contributory pension benefits are a mere gratuity). (AR CONST., Article 2, §17) Source: Robert Klausner, Esq., State Constitutional Protections for Public Sector Retirement Benefits

Flag of Arkansas(March 16, 1924)

Population (2015) 2,978,204

Arkansas public pension statistics, per U.S. Census Bureau as of FY 2015 ($ in 000s)

Assets

$26,501,575

Active Members

134,387

Annuitants

83,626

Benefits Paid

$1,599,420

Employee Contributions

$213,965

Employer Contributions

$866,990

Systems

195

More Data