Returning to Work
ATRS TERMINATION SEPARATION PERIOD

The Termination Separation period is a very specific legal period as defined in Act 743 of 2009 and is strictly enforced by ATRS. From the effective date of retirement (the effective date of your retirement is NOT when you left your ATRS covered employer but the first (1st) day of the month you receive your first retirement check – in most cases, July 1 is the effective date of retirement), you must stay separated from ATRS employment until the separation period that applies to you is complete.

ATRS covered employers include Arkansas public schools (including charter schools), educationally related state agencies, colleges, universities, and post-secondary institutions.

Termination Separation means more than not working. You can sign NO CONTRACTS and can make NO DEALS until the Termination Separation period is over. You CANNOT APPLY for a job with an ATRS covered employer during the Termination Separation period. You can have NO CONNECTION to the district by AGREEMENT OR UNDERSTANDING for future employment. You CANNOT WORK INDIRECTLY at an ATRS covered employer through an INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR, LLC, PARTNERSHIP, CORPORATION, or other LEGAL ENTITY where you have substantial control over the employer-employee relationship. You CANNOT SUBSTITUTE – NOT ONE HOUR, NOT ONE DAY!

ATRS is very serious about enforcing the Termination Separation requirements. As fiduciaries for the ATRS members, ATRS must protect the assets of ATRS by enforcing all laws equitably. Below, you will find details regarding the Termination Separation period. If you have any questions, you are strongly encouraged to obtain written clearance from ATRS before a mistake is made.

FAILURE TO PROPERLY TERMINATE AND COMPLY WITH THE TERMINATION SEPARATION PERIOD IS OFTEN FINANCIALLY HARSH ON A MEMBER SINCE THE MEMBER MUST SUBMIT A NEW RETIREMENT APPLICATION AND REPAY ALL BENEFITS RECEIVED FROM THE VOIDED RETIREMENT.

LESS THAN 38 YEARS OF CREDITED SERVICE AND UNDER AGE 65:
  • Since you are under age 65 and have less than 38 years of ATRS credited service, you must terminate employment prior to the effective date of your retirement (always the 1st of the month) with ALL ATRS covered employers for SIX (6) CALENDAR MONTHS.

38 OR MORE YEARS OF CREDITED SERVICE AND UNDER AGE 65:
  • Since you are under age 65 and have 38 or more years of ATRS credited service or a combined total of 38 years of credited ATRS service, participation in the T-DROP plan, and reciprocal service from another eligible state retirement system, you must terminate your employment with an ATRS employer prior to the effective date of your retirement (always the 1st of the month) and remain terminated with ALL ATRS covered employers for a FULL CALENDAR MONTH.

NEW RETIREES WHO ARE AGE 65 OR OLDER:

  • If you are 65 prior to the effective date of your retirement (always the 1st of the month), you can receive your retirement check and enjoy your retirement or, you can receive your retirement check and continue working at an ATRS employer WITHOUT TERMINATION OR ANY SEPARATION. Since you have reached age 65 or older prior to the effective date of your retirement, ATRS does not require you to terminate employment or have a separation period.

For questions regarding the Termination Separation period, contact ATRS at
501-682-1517, 1-800-666-2877, or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Last Updated ( Thursday, 20 June 2013 )