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Employer Eligibility

Certain public employers may elect to become a participating public employer and to cover its employees under the system. Below is a list of public employers that are eligible to elect coverage.

Public Employer TypeAuthorizing Legislation
Joint county and municipal sanitation authorityA.C.A. § 14-233-101 et seq.
Public facilities boardA.C.A. § 14- 137-101 et seq.
Public Rehabilitation Services CorporationA.C.A. § 4-34- 101 et seq.
Public water authorityA.C.A. § 4-35-101 et seq.
Regional airport authority (formed after January 1, 1990)A.C.A. § 14- 362-101 et seq.
Regional solid waste management boardA.C.A. § 8-6-701 et seq.
Regional water distribution boardA.C.A. § 14-116-101 et seq.
Rural waterworks facilities boardA.C.A. § 14-238-101 et seq
Suburban improvement districtA.C.A. § 14-92-501 et seq

Employer Election

Public employers must elect coverage which requires a vote of either their employees or the governing body, depending on the entity type. See the Resources section for the Joining the System publication which provides the election requirements for each employer type.

After the election, the governing body of the entity or the clerk or recorder of the municipality must certify the vote to the system within ten days after the vote. The vote must specify the effective date of coverage, and that effective date must be either:

  • the first day of the calendar month following our receipt of the election results, or
  • the July 1 following our receipt of the election results.

Termination of Other Retirement Plans

It is considered sound public policy to limit contributions by public employers to one state-authorized retirement plan. Accordingly, employers joining the system must cease contributing to any other state-authorized plan that requires employer contributions.

Employer Responsibilities

After an employer becomes a participating public employer, we manage most of the plan administration; however, employers have certain recurring responsibilities. All responsibilities are completed in the myAPERS portal which is an online tool that interfaces with our pension administration system.

See the Resources section for the myAPERS Tasks and Functions publication for a complete list of tasks and functions that participating employers must perform.


Disclaimer on Benefits and Rights

Disclaimer Concerning Benefit Calculations, Benefit Projections, Counseling, and Certain Conditions Regarding APERS Benefits and Rights

The purpose of this Disclaimer is to summarize, in plain language, existing APERS policy concerning benefit calculations, benefit projections, counseling, and certain conditions regarding APERS benefits and rights. This Disclaimer does not reflect any alteration or amendment of existing APERS policy. This site includes general information about APERS programs and benefits and may not represent or include completely the law and/or rules that govern APERS. Arkansas law and/or administrative rules will supersede any information in conflict.

APERS strives to provide accurate information and assistance to plan participants who have questions regarding their APERS benefits. All information and calculations concerning benefits are based upon current law and policy, even though information often concerns future benefits. Likewise, laws and policies affecting plan participants are subject to change from time to time. The Arkansas General Assembly, U. S. Congress, federal agencies, and the APERS Board of Trustees may change how benefits are calculated and change other rights of plan participants. Any benefit projection or information provided by APERS is subject to future law or policy that is applicable to APERS.

APERS staff depends upon information provided by the plan participants and offers counseling and projects future benefit estimates based upon that information. Such estimates can vary materially from actual results. Calculations concerning benefits, as well as the information APERS provides during counseling, can be materially affected if the plan participant provides inaccurate or incomplete information, or omits material facts. Plan participants are presumed to have knowledge of all publicly available laws and policies that affect their APERS benefits and rights. APERS is under no duty to ensure that plan participants are specifically informed of a new law or policy unless required within the law or policy itself. If APERS attempts to notify plan participants who may be affected by a change of a law or policy, the failure to notify a specific plan participant does not create any right or cause of action for the plan participant.

APERS does not provide plan participants with specific recommendations regarding retirement options, tax advice, or legal advice. Each plan participant is solely responsible for determining whether benefit calculations, benefit projections, benefit estimates, and retirement plan options are suitable for the plan participant based upon his or her specific retirement objectives and personal and financial situation. APERS encourages plan participants to consult their own lawyer, accountant, tax professional, or other retirement adviser before making a decision that affects their benefits and rights regarding APERS.

Federal law and policy, state law and policy, APERS records and documents, and accurate data always govern the final determination of plan participant benefits and rights. An error by APERS does not create any common law rights on behalf of the plan participant. The rights of a plan participant are solely governed by the rights set forth in law and policy applicable to APERS.