Working Together to Serve Arkansas' Educators
The ATRS employer community is essential to the operation of the Retirement System. Together, hand-in-hand, we support your employees/our members to ensure that the path from initial membership to retirement is a smooth and beneficial course. ATRS strives to provide the best retirement system supporting the 3 R's for Arkansas Educators - Recruit, Retain, and Reward!
As an ATRS Covered Employer you serve as a liaison between ATRS and our members. ATRS relies on our employers to provide up-to-date and accurate employee information to correctly maintain members' records. Typically, as an ATRS covered employer, you will interact with the ATRS Membership Department and the ATRS Accounting-Reporting Department.
ATRS MEMBERSHIP DEPARTMENT
The ATRS Membership Department maintains member data including enrollment, personal status such as social security number, name change, address change, beneficiary changes, birth certificates and, membership status (contributory or noncontributory), etc. The Membership Department also conducts Bookkeeper Workshops
in order to provide training for ATRS employer designated staff of school districts, higher education facilities, and state agencies who are charged with providing member records to ATRS.
The ATRS Membership Data Form is the foundation for ATRS member records. Therefore, accurate and up-to-date information from ATRS covered employers is key to maintaining a solid foundation.
- ATRS requires employers to submit a Membership Data Form (School District, Higher Education, State Agency) for new hires and each time a current employee has a change in employment position.
Per ACT 607 of 2013, a Post-Secondary Higher Education (PSHE) employer may enroll new employees in ATRS if the employee has been declared benefits-eligible by the PSHE employer. Along with the Membership Data Form - Higher Education
, the PSHE employer and new employee should also complete and submit the Post-Secondary Participation Form
. Post-Secondary Participation Forms are irrevocable
. Future employment with another PSHE participating in ATRS will be governed by the member's election to remain an ATRS member.
ACT 607 of 2013 also states that a PSHE employer may adopt an "opt-in" opportunity that allows ATRS membership for a benefits-eligible employee who was prohibited from becoming a member of ATRS from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2013, because the benefits-eligible employee was not a vested member of ATRS at the time of initial employment. (Initial employment must have occurred during the time frame of July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2013.)
Act 607 of 2013 also allows new PSHE employees to become ATRS members by providing a special one-time program permitting the purchase of ATRS service. Such service must have been rendered under the employ of an ATRS participating PSHE employer as early as July 1, 2011. This special one-time purchase election must be made between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, and shall be paid in full within one (1) year of the date the benefits-eligible member elects to become a member of ATRS.
The ATRS Membership Department also provides an accurate and quick process for employers to confirm working retiree rehire eligibility and member contribution status through the ATRS Termination and Membership Status Sheet. The use of this form by employers eliminates many issues regarding the improper hire of a retired ATRS member (no termination separation period, a one-month (1) separation period, or six-month (6) termination separation period before returning to employment with an ATRS covered employer). The ATRS Termination and Membership Status Sheet also ensures that the ATRS member's contribution status is correctly identified thus eliminating underpayments/overpayments of contributions, etc.
- Employers have access to a printable version of the ATRS Termination and Membership Status Sheet located in the "Employer Forms" tab. Completed ATRS Termination and Membership Status Sheets received in the ATRS office are processed using a 24-hour turn-around policy. All status sheets must be faxed to 501.682.5308.
ATRS Membership Department Contact Information
Debbie Northum, Manager
ATRS REPORTING ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT
ATRS Covered Employers are responsible for reporting member earnings and service credit and, remitting member 6% and employer 14% contributions to the ATRS Reporting Accounting Department. Information provided by employers determines member's current status, service credit, and creditable earnings that are all used to determine their future retirement benefits. Accuracy in reporting and payment is the key in ATRS' effectiveness in benefit administration.
REPORTING TO ATRS
- Contribution Rates
- Active (Member): 6%
- Active (Employer): 14%
- T-DROP: 14%
- Working Retiree: 14%
- Monthly & Quarterly Reports
Employers are required to complete the ATRS Web Portal, submit detailed supporting documentation, and remit contributions on a monthly and quarterly basis for all Active, T-Drop, and Working Retiree members.
In order to avoid a $150.00 late report penalty and a 8% interest penalty, reports and contributions must be received by ATRS by the 15th calendar day following the end of each month or be postmarked no later than the 14th day of the month due. ATRS may impose an additional $500.00 penalty for a report that is over one (1) month late.
If an employer fails to remit contributions, penalties, and interest owed, they may be deducted from operating funds designated to the employer through the Department of Education and remitted directly to ATRS.
- ATRS Web Portal & Supporting Documentation
The ATRS Web Portal is a secure Internet website managed by the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System. Employers use this website to enter their monthly remittance reports and quarterly totals without having to submit a paper copy.
Access to the website is over a secure server and is limited to authorized personnel. In order to utilize this website for your monthly reporting, you must have a User name and password from ATRS. These can be obtained by emailing your request to your ATRS Team Leader or the ATRS Reporting section manager.
Employers using the Arkansas Public School Computer Network (APSCN) submit supporting documentation for Monthly and Quarterly reports through magnetic media. Non-Apscn employers have the option to transfer supporting documentation directly from their payroll systems to the online Web Portal using an excel spreadsheet (CSV) format or to key data in directly to the Web Portal.
Employers may transfer funds electronically for payments of contributions due to the system. Separate monthly payments are requested for Active, T-Drop, and Working Retiree contributions. One (1) EFT payment per type per month. Please contact your ATRS Team Leader or the ATRS Reporting section manager if you are experiencing difficulty in the EFT process.
- Supplemental/ Prior Service Reports
If an employer discovers a reporting error or must retro-back wages to a prior fiscal year, please contact your ATRS Team Leader or the ATRS Reporting section manager for reporting assistance.
ATRS Accounting Reporting Contact Information