APERS' mission is to provide income to retired members, to survivors and to disabled members of the system. To this end, the system prudently invests all contributions received, monitors reporting by participating employers, maintains records and disburses monthly benefit checks to all those entitled.
Act 177, Title XXIV & Board Regulations
ACT 177 - In 1957, the Arkansas General Assembly passed Act 177, which established the Arkansas State Employees Retirement System to administer a multi-employer defined benefit retirement plan for many State of Arkansas employees. Other state employees, such as those in the judiciary, those in the State Police and those in the Highway Department participate in different defined benefit retirement programs. A copy of ACT 177 of 1957 can be found here.
TITLE XXIV - Title 24 is the part of the Arkansas Code of 1987 that contains the statutes thatgovern the Arkansas Public Employee Retirement System. "The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System andthe Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System shall establish policies and promulgate rules to recognize the service credit for members of the Arkansas Public Employees'Retirement System..." An updated copy of Title 24 can be found here.
Board Regulations – Pursuant to statute, the APERS Board of Trustees has adopted regulations which implement and clarify APERS’s obligations and operations. Those regulations generally address APERS’s administration, member and retiree benefits, membership in APERS, service credits allowed, its investments, and its district judge members. These regulations can and do change as law and circumstances require. The current APERS Board Regulations can be found here.
The Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System (APERS).
Defined benefit plan, qualified under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, with defined contribution options.
The administration and control of the System is vested in a board called the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees’ Retirement System. By resolution duly adopted, the Board delegated to the executive director any of the powers and duties vested in or imposed upon it by law.
Service of Legal Process
Ms. Gail Stone, Executive Director
Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System
124 West Capitol, Suite 400
Little Rock, AR 72201
APERS was established by Act 157 of 1957, and is governed by Title 24 of the Arkansas Code Annotated, specifically Chapters 2, 4, and part of 7. Changes to the law can be made only by an act of the Arkansas Legislature.
The System is funded by employee and employer contributions which are invested by outside investment managers.
The plan year is July 1 through June 30.
The Board of Trustees shall consist of nine (9) trustees, as follows: the Auditor of State, the Treasurer of State and the Director of the Department of Finance and Administration shall be ex officio members; and three (3) members who are state employees and three (3) who are nonstate employees to be appointed by the Governor for staggered six-year terms. The Board appoints an executive director to administer the system and manage its personnel and resources.
Board of Trustees
Mayor David Morris, Chair
Municipal Employee Representative
Mr. Larry Walther, Vice Chair
Ex-Officio, Chief Fiscal Officer of State
Ms. Carol Bevis
Other Non-State Employee Representative
Ms. Candace Franks
State Employee Representative
The Honorable David Hudson
County Employee Representative
Mr. Steve Faris
Retired Employee Representative
Mr. Daryl Bassett
State Employee Representative
The Honorable Andrea Lea
Ex-Officio, Auditor of State
The Honorable Dennis Milligan
Ex Officio, Treasurer of State
Board of Trustees Meetings and Minutes
APERS Senior Staff
Ms. Gail Stone
Mr. Jay Wills
Mr. Jason Willett
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Carlos Borromeo
Chief Investment Officer
Ms. Allison Woods
Director of Benefits Administration
Mr. Phillip Norton
Director of Information Systems
Ms. Becky Walker
Director of Operations
Ms. Jacobia Twiggs
Manager, Educational Outreach
Ms. Jennifer Taylor
Manager, Retiree Services Section
Mr. Jon Aucoin
Manager, Communications Section
Ms. Usha Doolabh
Accounting Operations Manager, Investments
Ms. Jessica Middleton
Mr. John Owens
APERS Participating Employers
From the plan's inception until 1985, Arkansas law restricted the management of the trust fund to a list of permissible investments. In 1985, Act 412 repealed the list and adopted the "prudent investor rule" in its place. This act also allowed the establishment of a custodial bank relationship, and it encouraged the System to invest between five and ten percent of its portfolio in Arkansas-related assets so long as these were consistent with the prudent investor policy. In 1989, Act 302 allowed the Board to employ multiple discretionary money managers as appropriate. In 1997, Act 1194 revised and updated the investment policies and rules, including the prudent investor rule.
APERS initially operated only a "contributory" plan. Members joining the System prior to January 1, 1978 were required to contribute a percentage of their salary to the System with the employer contributing an additional portion on their behalf.
Effective January 1, 1978 this was changed so that new members would no longer be required to contribute, and only the employers paid into the System. When this new non-contributory plan went into effect, all existing members of the System were given an opportunity to remain in the original contributory plan or to convert to the non-contributory plan.
Act 2084 of 2005 established a new contributory plan for the System. Effective July 1 of that year, all new members would be contributory and remit 5% of their salary into the System. Members of the original contributory plan also had their contribution rate lowered from 6% to 5%, and the existing non-contributory members were given the option to remain in that plan or switch to the new contributory plan.
Throughout this period, employers only contributed on behalf of active members and not on those who had entered the DROP or been rehired after retiring. However, Act 558 of 2011, which took effect January 1, 2012, required employers to make contributions for all employees working in eligible APERS-covered positions whether active, retired, or in the DROP. Note that retirees and DROP participants neither contribute nor earn addtional service credit (see our Returning to Work FAQ for important information about working after retirement).