I have an important update for you on the recent Trustee Election, but first I want to let you know that our 2024 Retirement Planner is now available.

Each year, we publish this Planner to assist our members who are considering retirement or T-DROP. The Planner has important information for you to know whether you are eligible to apply for retirement or T-DROP, and to walk you through the application process. 

You can find the Planner, our memo to ATRS Employers, and this year’s Contribution Rates & Multipliers at these links:

You can also find additional information in the Retirement and T-DROP frequently asked questions located on the ATRS Frequently Asked Questions web page.

Applications to retire effective July 1 or to enter the T-DROP program in 2024 are being accepted now. May 31 is the deadline to file an application to become a July 1st retiree or a 2024 T-DROP participant.

I know that making the decision to retire, or the decision to enter the T-DROP program, can be an emotional and even stressful decision. We want to give you all the information you need to make the decision that is best for you and your family. If you would like to talk through your options, get exact benefit estimates, and consider the financial impact of retiring or remaining employed, please give us a call at (501) 682-1517.

Board of Trustees Election

As I explained in an update earlier this year, ATRS is overseen by an independent Board of Trustees that is elected by the members of ATRS. Altogether, 11 of the 15 Board positions are elected positions. The remaining four positions are Ex Officio Trustees.

It is my privilege to announce the results of the 2024 System Election. One position was contested this year, Position #11, which is a Retired Trustee position. Congratulations to Mr. Danny Knight on being re-elected to the Board. Mr. Knight currently serves as Chair of the Board.

Only retired ATRS members are eligible to vote for this position, and more than 12,000 of you participated in this election. Thank you to all of you who returned your ballots. The election was conducted by an independent election vendor, and their certified results will be presented to the Board in the June meeting.

Two other positions were filled this year, both of them incumbent members who had no opposition. Congratulations to Ms. Keri Hamilton who was elected to a full term as Member Trustee for the 4th Congressional District, and to Mr. Kelsey Bailey who was elected to a full term as Non-Certified Member Trustee.

You can find the full list of our Board members, along with their contact information, at the following link: https://www.artrs.gov/trustees

Legislative Fiscal Session

Earlier this month, the Arkansas Legislature convened for the 2024 Fiscal Session. In a Fiscal Session, legislators primarily consider only appropriation bills and related budget issues. They can consider other legislation, but only with a supermajority vote.

The appropriation bill for ATRS was filed as Senate Bill SB48. I am pleased to report that our appropriation bill passed out of the House and Senate last week without opposition, and on Friday the Governor signed our bill into law. This will give us spending authority to continue System operations for the next fiscal year, which runs July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025.

The Fiscal Session will continue for several more days, but I do not expect them to consider any substantive legislation affecting ATRS or our members.

As always, if you ever have a question about your retirement options or need information or advice, please reach out to our counselors by calling (501) 682-1517 or e-mailing info@artrs.gov. And if you have any concerns or questions about the System as a whole, please contact me at the email address or phone numbers below.

Mark White
Executive Director, ATRS
Office: (501) 621-8853
Cell: (501) 541-2057