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Refund of Contributions


Refund of Contributions


Throughout members’ employment, their pre-tax contributions accumulate in the trust fund along with interest credited at the rate of two percent (2%). We hold member contributions in the trust for the sole benefit of the individual members. When members retire, we use the contributions to help pay their monthly retirement benefit. If members terminate employment before they retire, they can request a refund of their accumulated contributions.

When members receive a refund, they forfeit [lose, give up] the credited service associated with the contributions. Forfeiting the credited service means that members will not receive any benefits – lump sum, monthly, or otherwise – in the future for that service. As a result, members should consider their long-term needs when deciding whether to receive a refund of contributions now.


Members who request a refund must decide how to receive their payment. Refunds of contributions are eligible for rollover. A rollover is a payment to another eligible employer plan or an individual retirement account (IRA) that allows members to continue to postpone taxation.

Members can receive their refund in two ways:

  • Paid in a direct rollover
  • Paid to the member

Key Features

Paid in Direct Rollover

  • We mail the payment directly to the rollover institution.
  • We are not required to withhold federal and state taxes.
  • Members pay taxes later when they take the funds out of the rollover plan.

Paid to the Member

  • We deposit the payment directly to a financial institution account.
  • We are required to withhold 20% for federal income tax and 5% for Arkansas state income tax.
  • Members may also face an additional 10% tax if they receive the payment before they reach age 59 ½.


Members can request a refund after their employment has been terminated for 30 days. Employers add a termination date to our records when they report and remit the final member contributions.

Members can apply for a refund in two ways:

  • myAPERS Portal
  • Termination Refund Application

Key Features

myAPERS Portal

  • Apply electronically in the myAPERS Portal
  • View contribution balance
  • Receive immediate confirmation of submission
  • Receive immediate confirmation of payment date

Termination Refund Application

  • Use the Contact Us page to request that we mail a Termination Refund Application.
  • Requires notary acknowledgement
  • Receive confirmation letter when refund processed

Application Processing

We process refunds within 30 days of our receipt of a refund request. We issue payments on the 1st and 15th of each month based on the following receipt date:

APERS Received DatePayment Date
1-151st of following month
16-3115th of following month


  • If we receive your refund request on January 14, we will issue your refund on February 1.
  • If we receive your refund request on June 30, we will issue your refund on July 15.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I have to wait 30 days after I terminate?

We refund contributions in a single lump sum, and we must wait until we receive final member contributions from employers. Employers often issue paychecks in arrears, and retirement law allows employers time after they issue paychecks to send the contributions to us. The 30-day timeframe allows us to confirm employment has ended and to receive and reconcile all contributions.

Can my refund be expedited?

After the 30-day period has passed, former members can expedite their refund by applying electronically in the myAPERS Portal instead of applying with the Termination Refund Application.

Will I receive my employer’s contributions also?

Employers pay contributions as a percentage of their active member payroll, which means the contributions are not credited to individual members. Employer contributions help cover the cost of lifetime monthly benefits for members who retire; members who do not retire do not receive employer contributions.

Can I elect for taxes not to be withheld?

Federal and state laws allow members to make contributions on a pre-tax basis to help them save for retirement. These laws also require the system to withhold taxes when we issue refunds of the pre-tax contributions. To continue to defer taxation, members can elect to have their refund paid in direct rollover to another employer plan or an IRA instead of paid directly to them.


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.