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Reciprocal Service

Service Credit

Reciprocal Service

Generally, all employees of the State of Arkansas or any of its political subdivisions become members of a state retirement system (see A.C.A. § 24-2-302). APERS is one of several state retirement systems, and the other state retirement systems are reciprocal systems. If you have service under one of the following reciprocal systems, you have the option to link (combine) your service via reciprocal service credit laws (or provisions). Combining your service will allow you to count services from linked systems for vesting and retirement eligibility. Although the combined service counts for vesting and retirement eligibility, each retirement system pays benefits separately and only for the service within that system.

When reciprocity is established, APERS will recognize actual service in all state-supported retirement systems for determining eligibility for benefits. In cases of “true” reciprocity, the systems also share final average compensation (FAC) information. APERS uses the highest FAC among all the reciprocal systems to calculate the retirement annuity, but other systems have their own rules.

“True” reciprocal systems are:

  • Arkansas Public Employees’ Retirement System (APERS)
  • Arkansas Teacher Retirement System (ATRS)
  • Arkansas State Highway Employees’ Retirement System (ASHERS)
  • Arkansas State Police Retirement System (ASPRS)
  • Arkansas District Judges Retirement System (ADJRS)
  • Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement (LOPFI)

“Limited” reciprocity recognizes only the service, not the FAC. “Limited” reciprocal systems are:

  • Arkansas Judicial Retirement System (AJRS)
  • TIAA/VALIC/Fidelity for employees of Arkansas public higher education institutions

With the uncommon exception of certain members employed simultaneously full-time under both APERS and LOPFI, service credit cannot be earned in more than one system at the same time.

To establish reciprocity, you may submit a request via your myAPERS portal, or you may call APERS at (501) 682-7800.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I establish reciprocity?

Submit a request via your myAPERS portal or call APERS at (501) 682-7800. We will provide you with the necessary documentation.

Is there a deadline for establishing reciprocity?

You must establish reciprocity before you begin receiving retirement benefits. However, we encourage you to establish reciprocity as early as possible.

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.