Employers and local boards play a fundamental role in ensuring proper enrollment into our Plans. Both have certain responsibilities in the process, so it is important that PSPRS and CORP local boards develop a strong partnership with their employer/payroll department in order to make the enrollment process as smooth as possible. Timely and accurate new member enrollments will make certain that participants in our Plans:
- Begin contributing to their future retirement, and
- Have the proper number of years of service recorded in their account to avoid any potential discrepancies with their benefits.
The following information summarizes the steps employers and local boards should consider when completing the new member enrollment process and while these are general descriptions for membership, employers and local boards need to refer to statutes for full definitions and qualifications for membership.
Step 1: Determining Membership Eligibility
Evaluating an employee’s eligibility to participate in our plans is the first step in the enrollment process. Rules for membership are established within the governing statutes for each plan. These rules for membership eligibility are based on the position. In general, membership for each of our plans is as follows:
Employee must be hired into a full-time (regularly works an average of 40 hours per week), regularly assigned hazardous duty position and be an AZPOST Certified Peace Officer, or Firefighter.
Employee must be hired into a full-time (regularly works an average of 40 hours per week) position and,
- State Corrections Officer,
- State, County or City Detention Officers,
- Probation Officers under the Judiciary, or
- Other Designated Positions as defined under statutes
Individuals holding elected office within the state at the state, county or city level, or be:
- Justices of the Supreme Court,
- Judges of the Court of Appeals,
- Judges of the Superior Court, or
- Court Commissioners
For EORP/EODCRS membership, see the Member Eligibility page for additional details.
Step 2: PSPRS & CORP Pre-Membership Medical Evaluation
As a requirement for participation, employers and local boards must ensure that employees who qualify for membership into PSPRS or CORP undergo a medical evaluation. This evaluation is completed to identify any physical or mental conditions that exist that may have a potential effect in the individual’s future eligibility for disability benefits. This evaluation is strictly conducted for the purposes related to Plan benefits and are not used in employment related decisions (i.e., hiring, promotion, termination, etc,). Each local board must establish procedures, evaluation criteria and reporting requirements associated with these pre-membership medical evaluations.
Step 3: Completing Membership Form
If you have determined that an employee may meet the eligibility to participate in our Plans, employers must have those employees complete the proper Membership Form associated with the Plan that they will be contributing to (i.e., PSPRS, CORP or EORP).
Step 4: PSPRS and CORP Local Board Action to Approve Membership
Before any new membership is submitted to our office for processing, the PSPRS and CORP local board must meet to determine the employee’s eligibility to participate in the Plan. While previous evaluation may have been completed by the employer in order to complete tasks such as the pre-membership medical evaluation, or to coordinate membership paperwork with the employee, the review, determination and approval for membership must be handled by official local board action. However, as with all eligibility for benefits, the System may review the actions of the local board to ensure that all statutory requirements are met.