COMPARING THE ALASKA TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM WITH THE ALASKA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM
This research compares selected provisions of the Alaska Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) with those of the Alaska Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS). The objective of this research is not to draw conclusions as to the superiority of one or the other of the state retirement systems. Rather, the objectives are simply to identify points of similarity and difference between the two systems, and to describe the character of the differences.
The TRS was established in 1955, while the PERS was established in 1961.1 Both the TRS and the PERS are characterized as employer systems.2 An employer system is one in which the employing organization is an intermediary between its employees and the pension organization.
Membership in the TRS is open to certificated public school personnel, the Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Education, certificated personnel of the Alaska Department of Education, teaching and administrative staffs of the University of Alaska, and personnel who teach Alaska Native language or culture.3 Alaska state legislators who were active TRS members
1Alaska Teachers' Retirement System, TRS Information Handbook (Anchorage, Alaska: A.T. Publishing, Inc., 1991), 1; Alaska Public Employees' Retirement System, PERS Information Handbook (Anchorage, Alaska: A.T. Publishing, Inc., 1990), 1.
2Alaska Teachers', 3; Alaska Public, 2.
within 12 months before their election may remain members of the TRS.4 Legislative members must contribute sevenpercent of their legislative salary plus an additional amount equal to the difference between TRS and PERS employer contributions.5 University of Alaska employees may waive participation in the TRS in favor of an optional University retirement plan.6 Membership in the optional retirement program requires termination of TRS membership.
Membership in the P...