Teachers' Retirement System of Alabama (TRS)

The TRS is a defined benefit plan qualified under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. Eligible employees are categorized by the TRS as Tier 1 (member prior to 01/01/2013 or Tier 2 (member on or after 01/01/2013).  As explained in the TRS Member Handbooks, the plan provides disability and service retirement benefits to members and survivor benefits to qualified beneficiaries. A defined benefit plan provides the member with a specific benefit at retirement by calculating his/her retirement benefit based on a formula, which is listed in the TRS Member Handbook or can be calculated using the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA)  Retirement Benefit Estimate Calculator. Benefits are payable monthly for the lifetime of the member, possibly continuing for the lifetime of his/her beneficiary.  This benefit is a pension plan, which means there is not a cash value balance associated.

Participation in the TRS is mandatory if a person is employed in a position eligible for coverage in a non-temporary capacity on at least on a one-half time basis earning at least the federal minimum wage. Once enrolled, the member must continue participation until employment is terminated. The chart below provides details and differences between Tier 1 and Tier 2.

New Hire Retirement Comparison (Act 2012-377)
Tier 1 Employee Tier 2 Employee
Date of Employment Prior to January 1, 2013 On or After January 1, 2013
Member Contribution Rate 7.5% for Regular Employees
8.5% for FLC* Employees
6.2% for Regular Employees
7.0% for FLC* Employees
Retirement Eligibility 25 years of service at any age
10 years of service at the age of 60
NO 25 year retirement
10 years of service at the age of 62 (56 for FLC Employees)
Retirement Factor 2.0125% 1.6500%
Average Final Salary Average of the highest three years of the last ten years Average of the highest five years of the last ten years
Benefit Cap None 80% of Average Final Salary
Retirement Contributions on Overtime Pay Earnable Compensation cannot exceed 120% of base pay Earnable Compensation cannot exceed 125% of base pay
Sick Leave Conversion Yes Yes
FLC* Bonus Year Yes No

*FLC Employees - Firefighters, Law Enforcement, and Correctional Officers

Enrollment forms are completed during the new hire orientation meeting. The TRS website, located at  http://www.rsa-al.gov contains more details regarding the plan.  The TRS website also lists the sick leave conversion rates for conversion of accrued sick leave days to months of service.

The Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) publishes monthly newsletters containing information articles about the retirement system, legislative updates, and special deals for RSA members.  The newsletters are mailed to all members of TRS and archived copies of newsletters are available on their website .

If you wish to change your beneficiary prior to retirement, you may fill out the Change of Beneficiary Form and mail to Becky Price at UNA Box 5043.  Please do not send the completed form directly to the retirement system as the form must be notarized and a copy retained in your personnel file.  If you are a retiree of the University and wish to change your beneficiary, you must contact the RSA directly using the contact information below:

201 South Union Street
Montgomery, AL  36104
(Map and Directions)

PO Box 302150
Montgomery, AL  36130-2150

Phone: 334-517-7000 or toll-free 877-517-0020
Fax: 334-517-7001 or toll-free 877.517.0021

MEMBER SERVICES:  member.services@rsa-al.gov
TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM:  trsinfo@rsa-al.gov
PEEHIP:  peehipinfo@rsa-al.gov


Handbook / Policies