Board of Trustees Policy  425.5

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS RETIREMENT PROGRAM

The original PDF version of this policy is linked from the revised date below.

Effective January 1, 2014, the University of Arkansas Retirement Program is revised according to the attached resolution.

RESOLUTION

1.        Establishment of Plan. This Retirement Resolution sets forth the provisions of the the retirement plans for the University of Arkansas campuses established by the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas (the “University”), as of April 21, 1923, as amended and restated in its entirety effective January 1, 2014. There shall be three plans-the University of Arkansas Retirement Plan as described in section 2, the University of Arkansas Community Colleges Retirement Plan as described in section 3, and the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith Retirement Plan as described in Section 4. Contributions under each Plan shall be made pursuant to a 403(b) plan and 457(b) plan to funding sponsors approved under Section 7. References to the “Retirement Plans” in these resolutions shall refer to both 403(b) Plans and both 457(b) Plans. The President shall adopt Retirement Plan documents which are consistent with this Board Policy.

2.        Available Retirement Plans-University of Arkansas Retirement Plan.

A.      The following campuses shall be included in the University of Arkansas Retirement Plan (“RP”):

University of Arkansas-Fayetteville (including System Administration, Agricultural Experiment Station, Criminal Justice Institute, Arkansas Archaeological Survey and Clinton School of Public Service)
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
University of Arkansas at Monticello
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
University of Arkansas-Cooperative Extension
Arkansas School for Math, Sciences and the Arts

For such campuses, the University is authorized to make Contributions to RP or the Arkansas Public Employee Retirement System (APERS). The University shall also contribute to Social Security unless the employee is exempt. Each newly eligible employee of such campuses shall be provided written notice of the right to participate in the above plans. Each eligible employee shall have 31 days from the date the employee begins employment to elect which plan in which such employee will participate. If an eligible employee does not make an election within such 31-day period, the employee will be deemed to have elected to participate in the RP, and shall be enrolled in the RP. Once the 31-day period expires, such election shall be irrevocable.

B.     Notwithstanding paragraph A. above, for those employees of such campuses enrolled in the Arkansas Teachers Retirement System (ATRS) before July 1, 2011, participation shall continue. No new employees shall be enrolled in ATRS on or after July 1, 2011.

C.     Employees of University of Arkansas at Monticello who were employees of Great Rivers Vocational and Technical Institute and Forest Echoes Technical Institute as of June 30, 2003, were given the option within 31 days of becoming employees of UAM of continuing participation in the State Board of Workforce Education and Career Opportunities (formerly State Board of Vocational Education) Alternate Retirement Plan pursuant to ACA section 24-7-901 et.seq., based on the contribution percentages in effect at such time, or participating in the University of Arkansas Retirement Plan. Employees who pursuant to such election continued to participate in State Board of Workforce Education and Career Opportunities Alternate Retirement Plan may continue to participate in such plan.

D.    Certain employees of University of Arkansas-Cooperative Extension participate in the Federal Civil Service Retirement Plan, and may participate in RP at a reduced employer contribution. Further certain other employees of University of Arkansas-Cooperative Extension participate in the Federal Employees Retirement System and may participate in the Federal Thrift Savings Plan, but do not participate in employer contributions under the RP. New Cooperative Extension employees are not eligible for the federal plans, and have the same retirement options as employees of other campuses.

3.        Available Plans- Community Colleges.

The following campuses shall be included in the University of Arkansas Community Colleges Retirement Plan (“Community Colleges Plan”):

University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville
University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton
University of Arkansas Community College at Hope
Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas
Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas

For such campuses, the University is authorized to make Contributions to the Community Colleges Plan or the Arkansas Public Employee Retirement System (APERS). The University shall also contribute to Social Security unless the employee is exempt. Each newly eligible employee of such Community Colleges shall be provided written notice of the right to participate in the above plans. Each eligible employee shall have 31 days from the date the employee begins employment to elect which plan in which such employee will participate. If an eligible employee does not make an election within such 31-day period, the employee will be deemed to have elected to participate in the Community Colleges Plan, and shall be enrolled in the Community Colleges Plan. Once the 31-day period expires, such election shall be irrevocable. Notwithstanding the preceding, for those employees of such campuses enrolled in the Arkansas Teachers Retirement System (ATRS) before July 1, 2011, participation shall continue. No new employees shall be enrolled in ATRS on or after July 1, 2011.

4.        Available Plans- University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.

The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith shall be included in the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith Retirement Plan (“UAFS Plan”).

A.    For UAFS, the University is authorized to make Contributions to the UAFS Plan or the Arkansas Public Employee Retirement System (APERS). The University shall also contribute to Social Security unless the employee is exempt. Each newly eligible employee at UAFS shall be provided written notice of the right to participate in the above plans. Each eligible employee shall have 31 days from the date the employee begins employment to elect which plan in which such employee will participate. If an eligible employee does not make an election within such 31-day period, the employee will be deemed to have elected to participate in the RP, and shall be enrolled in the RP. Once the 31-day period expires, such election shall be irrevocable.

B.    Notwithstanding paragraph A. above, for those employees of UAFS enrolled in the Arkansas Teachers Retirement System (ATRS) as of July 1, 2011, participation shall continue. No new employees shall be enrolled in ATRS on or after July 1, 2011.

5.       Eligibility for Employer Contributions.

A.    RP. Full-time employees at the campuses described in section 2A above are eligible to participate in Employer contributions under the RP or APERS, as elected in section 2A. However, employees who are seasonal, extra help, temporary and employees whose employment is incidental to their educational program (including, but not limited to student workers, graduate assistants, and residents) at the University are not eligible. For purposes of the Plan, “full-time employee” shall mean an employee who is on one-half time or greater appointment. An Employee who is eligible for Employer contributions shall be provided the opportunity to elect between the Plan and the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System, as set forth above.

B.    Community College Plan. Full-time employees at the Community Colleges are eligible to participate in Employer contributions under the Community Colleges Plan or APERS as provided in section 3. However, employees who are seasonal, extra help, temporary and employees whose employment is incidental to their educational program are not eligible. For purposes of the Plan, “full-time employee” shall mean an employee who is on one-half time or greater appointment. An Employee who is eligible for Employer contributions shall be provided the opportunity to elect between the Plan and the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System, as set forth above.

C.    UAFS Plan. Full-time employees at UAFS are eligible to participate in Employer contributions under the UAFS Plan or APERS, as provided in section 4. However, employees who are seasonal, extra help, temporary and employees whose employment is incidental to their educational program (including, but not limited to, student workers and graduate assistants) are not eligible. For purposes of the Plan, “full-time employee” shall mean an employee who is on one-half time or greater appointment. An Employee who is eligible for Employer contributions shall be provided the opportunity to elect between the Plan and the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System, as set forth above.

6.        Employer Contributions

A.    RP. Employer contributions to RP for eligible employees will begin to accrue as of date of employment. The University will make a basic Plan Contribution of five percent of Plan Compensation for all eligible employees. Eligible employees may make voluntary Plan Contributions in any amount as agreed by the participant and the University, subject to the contribution limitations of the Internal Revenue Code. Employees who make voluntary Plan Contributions in excess of five percent of Plan Compensation will be eligible for a matching University Plan Contribution on the amount in excess of five percent up to a total University Plan Contribution, both basic and matching, of ten percent of Plan Compensation. Plan Compensation shall be defined as provided in the 403(b) Plan documents.
Plan Contributions by a participant will be made first to a 403(b) program and then may be made to a 457(b) program, if elected by the participant. University contributions will be made to the 403(b) contract or account.

B.    Community College Plan. Employer contributions to the Community Colleges Plan for eligible employees will begin to accrue as of the date of employment. University and employee required contributions for each of the campuses included in the Community Colleges Plan shall be as set forth in the attached Exhibit A attached hereto.

Plan Contributions by a participant will be made first to a 403(b) program and then may be made to a 457(b) program, if elected by the participant. University contributions will be made to the 403(b) contract or account.

C.    UAFS Plan. Employer contributions to UAFS Plan for eligible employees will begin to accrue as of date of employment. The University will make a basic Plan Contribution of ten percent of Plan Compensation, as defined in the UAFS Plan document, for all eligible employees. Employee contributions shall not be required.
Plan Contributions by a participant will be made first to a 403(b) program and then may be made to a 457(b) program, if elected by the participant. University contributions will be made to the 403(b) contract or account.

7.        Funding Sponsors.

A.    Alternative Funding Sponsors-RP. The Plan has been funded through TIAA and/or CREF annuity contracts since April 21, 1923. A participant may select either TIAA-CREF or Fidelity Investments as a funding sponsor. Contributions to Fidelity Investments shall be applied either to individual or group annuities issued under a Metropolitan Life Guaranteed Account and/or one or more mutual funds held in a custodial account at Fidelity Investments. Contributions to TIAA-CREF shall be applied either to individual or group annuities issued by TIAA CREF or any mutual funds held in a custodial account at TIAA CREF. No other alternative funding sponsors are authorized. The President shall establish procedures for selection of a funding sponsor in the event a participant fails to select a funding sponsor.

B.    Alternative Funding Sponsors-Community College Plan. Alternative Funding Sponsors for campuses included in the Community Colleges Plan shall be as set forth on Exhibit A attached hereto.

C.    Alternative Funding Sponsors-UAFS. TIAA-CREF is the only authorized funding sponsor at UAFS.

8.        Vesting.

A.       Vesting in the RP shall be as follows:

(1) Employees hired after December 31, 2013 shall be fully vested upon completion of one year of service. If such an employee terminates before completion of one year of service, the accumulations attributable to Employer contributions in the RP shall be forfeited. Employees shall be 100% vested upon attainment of age 65, death or disability while employed.

(2) A classified employee hired before January 1, 2014, shall be fully vested on the earlier of (i) completion of one year of service; or (ii) the participant’s having made plan contributions of at least five percent of regular salary for six consecutive months. A faculty member or nonclassified employee hired before January 1, 2014 shall be 100% vested in the participant’s account.

(3) An employee shall be 100% vested in his account in the event of death, disability or attainment of age 65 while employed with the University.

(4) Participants terminating prior to January 1, 2014 shall be vested in accordance with the Board policies in effect prior to January 1, 2014.

(5) The President shall provide in the plan document rules concerning breaks in service for vesting purposes. Further, the President may provide for exceptions to the vesting rules in this paragraph for negotiations pending for faculty or administration employees as of January 1, 2014.

B.       Vesting for campuses included in the Community Colleges Plan shall be as follows:

(1) Employees hired after December 31, 2013 shall be fully vested upon completion of one year of service. If such an employee terminates before completion of one year of service, the accumulations attributable to Employer contributions in the Plan shall be forfeited. Employees shall be 100% vested upon attainment of age 65, death or disability while employed.

(2) Employees hired before January 1, 2014 will be vested in accordance with the Board policies in effect prior to January 1, 2014.

C.       Vesting in the UAFS Plan shall be as follows:

(1) Employees hired after December 31, 2013 shall be fully vested upon completion of one year of service. If such an employee terminates before completion of one year of service, the accumulations attributable to Employer contributions in the UAFS Plan shall be forfeited. Employees shall be 100% vested upon attainment of age 65, death or disability while employed.

(2) A classified employee hired before January 1, 2014, shall be fully vested on the earlier of (i) completion of one year of service; or (ii) the participant’s having made plan contributions of at least five percent of regular salary for six consecutive months. A faculty member or nonclassified employee hired before January 1, 2014 shall be 100% vested in the participant’s account.

(3) An employee shall be 100% vested in his account in the event of death, disability or attainment of age 65 while employed with the University.

(4) Participants terminating prior to January 1, 2014 shall be vested in accordance with the Board policies in effect prior to January 1, 2014.

D.       All employee contributions to either the 403(b) plan or 457(b) plan are 100% vested.

9.        Distributions. Plan provisions concerning distributions shall be as outlined in the separate 403(b) Plan documents and 457(b) Plan documents.

10.     Spendthrift Clause. No participant in any of the Retirement Plans shall have any right to assign, pledge, encumber, or commute his/her interest in any benefits under the Retirement Plan, either voluntarily or involuntarily (except for a participant loan as permitted under the plans), and such benefits shall not in any way be subject to any legal process or levy of execution upon, or attachment or garnishment proceedings against, the same for the payment of any claim against any such person.

11.     Amendment. The Board may amend these policies at any time. The President of the University or his delegate may amend any provision of either 403(b) Plan or 457(b) Plan not in conflict with these Board policies.

12.     Termination. While it is expected that the retirement plans will continue indefinitely, the Board of Trustees reserves the right to discontinue the Retirement Plans at any time. Any termination cannot adversely affect the benefits accrued by participants prior to the date of discontinuance or modification.

13.     Administration. The President of the University or his/her delegate may adopt rules and regulations for interpreting the Retirement Plans and for administering its provisions (including rules and regulations concerning funding sponsors) in a manner consistent with this Board Policy.

September 13, 2013 (Revised)
May 20, 2011 (Revised)
November 21, 2008 (Revised)
November 14, 2003 (Revised)
June 6, 2003 (Revised)
April 5, 2002 (Revised)
January 26, 2001 (Revised)
November 8, 1996 (Revised)
June 7, 1996 (Revised)
(For Revisions Prior to 1996 Refer
to Previous Board Policies File)
EXHIBIT A