April 6, 2018 - Executive Director Update: Retirement/T-DROP Planner 2018
Retirement season has arrived for ATRS and its members. Retirement season is a special time of the year for ATRS. For some, this is the season to retire and for others to move from being an active member to T-DROP participant. It is an honor and great privilege to help members cross the finish line into retirement and T-DROP. We understand the retirement applicants' tears of joy and sometimes the tears of sadness that may flow together as retirement moves from a dream into a reality. Always remember that every ATRS retiree always receives a lifetime monthly retirement benefit!
The goal of the ATRS Board and ATRS staff is to help in every way possible to make this special journey into retirement and T-DROP a happy and pleasant experience for you! We are here for one reason, to serve you. If this is the year that you plan to retire or enter T-DROP, please know that we look forward to helping you. If you are uncertain if this is the year for retirement or T-DROP, then the ATRS staff also welcomes you to get counseling and estimates to see on a comparative basis how staying a little longer may help build your retirement income. One suggestion in the attachments is for you to pause and reflect if you are considering retiring but remain uncertain. Feel free to call me directly at (501) 682-1820 if that uncertainty is nagging at you. ATRS will be open on Memorial Day, May 28 for the 10th year in a row to counsel members, help with applications, provide protections, and accept applications.
ATRS has attached a T-DROP FAQs, a Retirement FAQs, and a 2018 Retirement Planner that provides important information about retirement and ATRS benefits generally. You are also receiving an attachment that is a copy of the notice that ATRS sends to ATRS employers about retirement. If you are considering T-DROP or retirement after this school year is over, you will find that the information in these documents addresses most of the frequently asked questions about benefits and retirement. May 31st is the deadline to file an application to be a July 1st retiree or a T-DROP participant.
ATRS Employers: Please forward this executive director update email to all employees. ATRS wants to get this planner to as many ATRS members as possible.
ATRS is anticipating that the combined total of retirement and T-DROP applications will be in excess of 3,500 applications. If you are considering retiring or entering T-DROP, then ATRS is here to help you with the process and make it as easy as possible. Starting early can help get you through the process more smoothly and with less stress. ATRS thanks you for your dedicated service to the schools and children of Arkansas. ATRS is now ready to help you on your retirement or T-DROP path, just as you have helped the children of Arkansas on their educational path during your career in public education.
List of Attachments: 1. Retirement Planner, 2. Retirement FAQs, 3. T-DROP FAQs, 4. Beware of Rumors, and 5. Employer Notice.
As a reminder, the ATRS website allows members to have direct access to specific member account information. Now, approximately 13,000 members have direct account access to individualized account information. Here is the link to the instructions to sign up: www.artrs.gov/welcome.
You can also sign up to obtain these executive director updates through your private email address. Updates are made throughout the year such as at retirement season and other times when information needs to be shared. Now, over 16,400 people have signed up to receive this executive director update by direct email delivery. It is always a great pleasure for ATRS staff to learn of more ways to provide information to ATRS members, employers, beneficiaries, government officials, and the public. The ATRS Board is committed to providing a system that is member friendly and transparent.
You can also get helpful ATRS information on the ATRS Facebook page under the name of Arkansas Teacher Retirement System. Over 4,200 Facebook users get updates via the ATRS Facebook page. Go to the Facebook page and "like" ATRS to get daily updates. I try to go to the Facebook page every day to post information and answer member questions about ATRS. In addition, if you use Twitter, you can join over 880 others by following events at ATRS and issues of interest on the ATRS Twitter page. Remember that ATRS is here to serve you! If you have questions, email me or call.
(501) 682-1820 Office
(501) 318-5998 Cell
List of Attachments:
3. T-DROP FAQ