Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS)

All regular faculty are eligible to choose between TRS and ORP within 30 days of hire into an eligible position. 

Defined-benefit plans provide eligible employees guaranteed income for life at the time of retirement. The monthly benefit for each participant is calculated based on factors such as the employee’s salary and years of service.

Tier I Employees hired through June 30, 1990
Tier II Employees hired July 1, 1990 -June 30, 2006

 

The TRS Tier Chart is a side by side comparison of all three TRS plans.​

Regular Faculty/Academic Officers/Senior Administrators:

  • Tiers I and II:
    • 8.65% through bi-weekly pre-tax payroll deductions

University of Alaska:

  • Contributes an additional percentage as determined annually by the TRS program.

Employee contributions are mandatory and cannot be changed.

TRS contains vesting features that give you the right to your account balance or retirement benefits after a specified period of time.

Tiers I and II members are vested when you have at least eight paid-up years of credible TRS service. 

Once you are vested, you may terminate TRS employment and still receive a monthly retirement benefit when you reach retirement age. You must leave your contributions in the plan to stay vested. 

For more detailed information, please refer to the TRS Handbook - Tier I and II or visit the Division of Retirement and Benefits website

Defined-contribution plans are account-based plans where the employee and employer contributions are invested into mutual funds or money market funds where they grow tax-deferred until withdrawn.  

Tier III Employees hired on or after July 1, 2006


The TRS Tier Chart shows a side by side comparison of all three TRS plans.​
 

Regular Faculty/Academic Officers/Senior Administrators:

  • All employees contribute a mandatory 8% of your gross eligible compensation that is taken pre-tax through payroll deductions. 

University of Alaska:

  • The University contributes an additional 7% of your gross eligible compensation to your retirement account. 

Employee contributions are mandatory and cannot be changed. 

Employees are 100% vested in the contributions you make to your retirement account. 

Employees are 100% vested in the contributions the University makes to your retirement account after a 5 year gradual vesting period: 

  • 2 years of service
    • 25% vested in employer contributions 
  • 3 years of service 
    • 50% vested in employer contributions 
  • 4 years of service
    • 75% vested in employer contributions
  • 5 years of service 
    • 100% vested in employer contributions 

 For more detailed information, please refer to the TRS Handbook - Tier III or visit the Division of Retirement and Benefits website

Tiers I - II:

Tier III:

You are eligible to retire and receive monthly benefits when you are vested and reach retirement age or when you meet the minimum service requirements.

How to apply for retirement:
  1. Contact the Retirement Customer Service Center at the Division to request an estimate of benefits and an application.  
    • It is recommended that you do this at least 120 days in advance of your prospective retirement date 
  2. Meet with a regional counselor to discuss any questions or concerns you might have. 
  3. Send in your application at least 60 days before your employment with the University ends. 
    • Please be advised that the processing of your first benefit check can take up to six weeks. 
Retiree Net Pay Estimator

You may also access this tool from the Division of Retirement that will help you estimate your pension benefit. The Retiree Net Pay Estimator tool provides an estimate of your net monthly benefit, once you retire.

PERS Handbook

More information about retiring from PERS can be found in the PERS Tiers I - III HandbookAll questions or concerns regarding your retirement with PERS should be directed to the Division of Retirement and Benefits

Additional Resources

The University has created a Retirement Checklist and Exit Guide to help employees navigate this transition. 

To avoid additional tax penalties, it is recommended to wait to withdraw your retirement account until you have reached age 59-1/2.

No withdrawals can be made from your account until 60 days after you quit working. Once this waiting period has been observed, you will have different options to choose how you receive your account balance. Contact the Division of Retirement and Benefits prior to your last day worked to discuss these options.

Additional Resources

The University has created a Retirement Checklist and Exit Guide to help employees navigate this transition. 

Tiers I - II: 
  • If you leave the University prior to becoming eligible to retire from TRS you will want to contact the Division of Retirement and Benefits to determine the status of your account and what your options are. 
Tier III: 
  • Members in this plan have the following options for their Defined Contribution account: 
    • Leave your retirement account in this plan 
    • Direct your retirement account to another qualified tax-free retirement account such as an IRA 
    • Direct your retirement account to another qualified plan with a new employer 
  • Contact the Division of Retirement and Benefits to discuss the best option for you.