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Edited by LM 4/22/22Not Apprvd


Layoff and Leaving State Employment Resources


Find information and resources for taking leave of absence or furlough.

Important Phone Numbers

Pension Plan, Defined Contribution Plan, and AlaskaCare Health Benefit

Toll-Free: (800) 821-2251
Local to Juneau: (907) 465-4460

Layoff Rights Information

Division of Personnel and Labor Relations: (907) 465-2498 or (907) 465-4789

Retirement Counseling Appointment Scheduling

Toll-Free: (800) 821-2251
Local to Juneau: (907) 465-4460

Division of Retirement and Benefits

Layoff Resource Center Contacts and Information

AlaskaCare Members

AlaskaCare members are employees in the following groups:

  • AVTEC
  • Confidential
  • Correctional Officers
  • Marine Engineers
  • TEAME (Mt. Edgecumbe Teachers)
  • Supervisory
  • Unlicensed Vessel Personnel/Inland Boatmen’s Union (IBU)
  • Employees not covered by collective bargaining (Exempt)

When you are separated for layoff, a notice of coverage termination is sent to our vendor, PayFlex. PayFlex will then send a notice of COBRA rights and an application for continuation of coverage by mail to you. If you wish to continue your health coverage for you and your eligible dependents, you must elect continuation of coverage on the form provided by PayFlex and you must do so within 60 days of when the initial notice is issued to you. Payment for coverage, as described in the notice, must be made when due. Premium amounts will be listed in the initial notice and can also be found on our COBRA medical coverage web page shown below.

You may elect the same level of coverage as your active plan, or you may elect a lower level of coverage. For example, if you are covered under the medical plan and have elected the standard plan, you may elect COBRA continuation coverage under either the standard plan or the economy plan. Additionally, you may elect COBRA continuation coverage under the medical plan only; or under the medical plan and under the dental plan and/or the vision plan. You have a right to continue coverage for up to 18 months. If you elect COBRA, you do not need to sign up for health care under the Affordable Care Act. However, being eligible for COBRA does not limit your eligibility for coverage for a tax credit through the Marketplace.

Other Health Plan Contact Information

ASEA/AFSCME Local 52 Health Trust

Toll-free: (866) 553-8206

Public Employees Local 71

Toll-free: (800) 446-3671
Local to Anchorage: (907) 276-7107

Public Safety Employees Association (PSEA)

Local to Anchorage: (907) 337-1979

Master, Mates, & Pilots

Toll-free: (877) 667-5522

Deferred Compensation Plan Participants

For general questions regarding your DCP investment account, call the Empower Retirement customer service contact center at (800) 232-0859 or visit the Empower website, akdrb.com .

To make an appointment with a Retirement and Benefits Counselor, please call (800) 821-2251 or use our online scheduler .

Supplemental Annuity Plan Participants

For general questions regarding your SBS account, call the Empower Retirement customer service contact center at (800) 232-0859 or visit the Empower website, akdrb.com .

To schedule an appointment with an Empower Retirement Plan Advisor (at no cost) for a financial account review, and/or to discuss your investment and withdrawal options in detail, please call (800) 526-0560, email , or use Empower’s online scheduler.

To make an appointment with a Retirement and Benefits Counselor, please call (800) 821-2251 or use our online scheduler .

Public Employees’ Retirement System

PERS Defined Benefit Plan (DB) Members

Vested PERS Defined Benefit (DB) members (Tiers I, II, and III) may be eligible for retirement at the time of a layoff separation. To determine your eligibility please visit the Defined Benefit webpage. Members contemplating retirement should check with their human resources office to determine the effect of retirement on layoff rights. Layoff rights are not within the scope of the Division of Retirement and Benefits.

Teachers’ Retirement System

TRS Defined Benefit Plan (DB) Members

Vested TRS Defined Benefit members may be eligible for retirement at the time of a layoff separation. For TRS Tier I, early retirement eligibility is at age 50, and normal retirement eligibility at age 55. For TRS Tier II, early retirement eligibility is at age 55, and normal retirement eligibility at age 60. Members in Tiers I and II may retire at any age with 20 years of paid-up service. Members contemplating retirement should check with their human resources office to determine the effect of retirement on layoff rights. Layoff rights are not within the scope of the Division of Retirement and Benefits. To obtain a projection of benefits for retirement or make an appointment with a Retirement and Benefits Counselor for a review of your accounts and benefit eligibility, please call (800) 821-2251 or use our online scheduler .

PERS and TRS Defined Contribution Plan (DCR) Members
(hired after 7/1/2006)

A layoff separation is considered a termination of employment by the PERS and TRS Defined Contribution Retirement (DCR) Plan and allows you to take a withdrawal once separated from employment for 60 days. For details on whether you are eligible for retirement in the DCR Plan please go to “add link to the dcr plan” You are not required to remove your funds simply because you have separated. You may leave your contributions in the plan and continue your retirement savings in order to meet your goals for the future. Experts say most people will live on retirement benefits longer than it took to earn them. Your contributions can be left in the plan or rolled into a tax-qualified plan with another employer or with a private sector provider to help you maintain your retirement savings.

If you are planning on reinvesting your money, please be sure to compare the fees for the services you will receive. The DCR Plans management and administrative fees are very low compared to the private sector.

If you must withdraw your DCR Plan funds, you will need to consider the following:

  • You may elect to maintain your account, rollover all or a portion of your account to another qualified plan, or elect one of the plan’s payment options, which include full or partial lump sum withdrawal, periodic payments, and annuities.
  • DCR funds are taxable income as you receive them, and the plan is required to withhold 20% for federal income tax. You may want to choose a method of payment that spreads your account balance across tax years. There is also a potential 10% tax penalty for early withdrawal prior to age 59 ½.
  • You must wait 60 days from your separation date before you can access your funds. If you reemploy with a DCR employer before the 60 day period is up you will not be able to access your funds.

To make an appointment with a Retirement and Benefits Counselor for a review of your accounts and benefit eligibility, please call (800) 821-2251 or use our online scheduler.

For general questions regarding your DCR Plan investment account, call the Empower Retirement customer service contact center at (800) 232-0859 or visit the Empower website, akdrb.com .

To schedule an appointment with an Empower Retirement Plan Advisor (at no cost) for a financial account review, and/or to discuss your investment and withdrawal options in detail, please call (800) 526-0560, email , or use Empower’s online scheduler .

PERS/TRS Defined Benefit Plan

When you leave state employment and are participating in the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), you may choose to retire (if eligible), leave your contributions in the PERS, or refund your contributions.

  • If you are retiring, contact the division’s Member Service Center at least 90 days in advance of your planned retirement date to obtain the required forms and information. Make sure you are eligible to retire before you terminate employment.
  • If you are vested (have at least 5 paid-up years of creditable PERS service), you may terminate and receive a retirement benefit when you reach retirement age. You must leave your contributions in the system to receive a retirement benefit.
  • You may refund your PERS account after being terminated from employment for at least 60 days.

It does not pay to delay! Once you are eligible for a normal retirement benefit, you will not receive a higher PERS benefit if you have stopped working in a PERS position and delay receiving a retirement benefit until after your normal retirement age.

Decisions Regarding Your Contribution Account

If you are not eligible to retire from the PERS or TRS, you have choices to make regarding your contribution account. You can leave your contributions in the system and retain your benefit tier in anticipation of future work with the Alaska PERS or TRS; or refund your contributions

  1. Leaving Your Contributions in PERS

    If you are not retiring, you may choose to leave your contributions in your PERS or TRS account when you leave state employment. To maintain rights to PERS or TRS benefits, inactive (terminated) PERS or TRS members must apply for a refund or benefit before July 1 following their 75th birthday or within 50 years of the last active date of PERS or TRS membership. It is very important to notify the division about changes to your address and the address of your beneficiary.

  2. PERS or TRS Refunds

    You may refund your PERS or TRS contribution account at any time after being terminated from employment for at least 60 days. A refund from your PERS or TRS Defined Benefit account can be paid as a lump sum payment to the participant or as a direct transfer/rollover to a qualified plan. The refund can be made in combination of the two forms of distribution, but the distribution amount must equal 100%. To request a refund, you must complete a Refund Election form (gen008).

    Your employee contribution account includes:

    • your mandatory contributions;
    • any indebtedness principal and interest payments; and
    • interest earned.

    A refund of contributions does not include the employer contributions that have been made or the investment income earned.

    If you are married, a notarized consent from your spouse on the Refund Election form (gen008) is required if you are vested and want to receive a refund of your contributions. (Some exceptions may apply).

Repaying Refunds or Indebtedness

Under certain circumstances, you may repay a claimed service indebtedness through pretax transfers from your Alaska Supplemental Annuity or Deferred Compensation Plan. You may also transfer a pretax payment from other qualifying plans. This option is available upon termination or while you are still in-service. It is not available if you are retired. Contact the Member Service Center for specific information.

The option to use pretax payroll deductions to purchase a reinstatement indebtedness (prior refunded service) ended on July 1, 2010.

You may also repay an indebtedness with after-tax payments to the PERS.

Defined Contribution Retirement Plan / Supplemental Annuity Plan

You are first eligible to receive payment of your Defined Contribution Retirement (DCR) Plan account or your Alaska Supplemental Annuity Plan (SBS-AP) when you have been terminated for at least 60 days, provided that you are not rehired by a participating employer before 60 days have passed.

If you have completed the Distribution/Direct Rollover Request, provided by Empower Retirement Services, to receive payment of your account, ERS will verify you are eligible to receive payment and set up the final payment instructions after 60 days have passed. Partial account payments will be allowed, up to two per year, after the 60-day termination requirement has been met.

You are not required to complete a Distribution/Direct Rollover Request unless you are planning to refund your account. After you terminate, you may defer payment of your account for any length of time until April 1 of the year after you turn 70½; however payments must begin no later than April 1 of the year after you turn 70-1/2. The balance of your account will continue to change in value depending on market conditions.

Important information about payments and taxes is included as part of the instructions to the Distribution/Direct Rollover Request form. For request forms, information on how to complete them, the status of pending payments, or further answers to your questions, contact Empower Retirement Services at (800) 232-0859.

Alaska Deferred Compensation Plan

If you have participated in the Alaska Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP), your normal monthly contribution will not be withheld from your termination paycheck unless you request it.

You may request up to the maximum allowable amount to be withheld and placed into your DCP from your terminal leave amount. The amount of terminal leave allowed to be deferred will depend on your particular situation. Terminal leave deferral must be requested no later than the month prior to leaving state employment.

You are eligible to receive payment of your DCP account after you terminate. You are not required to complete a DCP Distribution/Direct Rollover Request form provided by Empower Retirement Services unless you wish to receive payment.

If you do not want to receive payment of your DCP account, you may defer payment until April 1 of the calendar year following the year you attain age 70½.

Important information about payments and taxes is included as part of the instructions to the Distribution/Direct Rollover Request form. For request forms, information on how to complete them, the status of pending payments, or further answers to your questions, contact Empower Retirement Services at (800) 232-0859.

Taxes and Your Benefits

Refunds are subject to state and federal taxes or penalties. Division employees do not give tax advice. You are encouraged to contact a tax expert for advice about how a contribution refund will affect you.

Twenty percent (20%) will be withheld for federal income tax on:

  1. Lump sum payments paid directly to participants, and
  2. Monthly payment for the five-year certain annuity option

The 20% withholding does not apply to lump sum payments transferred plan-to-plan into other qualified plans. (Deferred Compensation funds transferred into another plan take on the rules for that new plan.)

The federal government may also impose a tax penalty of 10% of distribution amounts, in addition to regular taxes due, when plan accounts are withdrawn before age 59½ under the lump sum payments and five, ten, or fifteen-year certain annuity options. (This 10% does not apply to the Deferred Compensation Plan.)

There may be exceptions allowed by the federal government. Contact the Internal Revenue Service or a tax expert for details before paying the penalty.

Medical Coverage

Medical coverage and participation in the Health Flexible Spending Account (HFSA) ends on the last day of the month in which you terminate (or are last in pay status, whichever is earlier). You may submit claims for services incurred prior to coverage termination.

If you are covered by the AlaskaCare plan at the time of your termination, you may purchase HFSA and Health Continuation Coverage (COBRA) after you terminate employment. You are eligible to continue the same or less coverage you had at the time of termination.

If you are covered by a Union Trust Health Plan at the time of your termination, contact your union health trust for information regarding health care coverage.

Leaving State Employment Because of Disability

If you are terminating your employment because of disability, your application for disability benefits must be either received by the division or postmarked within 90 days after termination of employment. For an application packet or for more information, contact the Disability/Appeals Unit.

Life Insurance

Life insurance ends on the last day of the month in which you terminate (or are last in pay status, whichever is earlier). If you wish to continue your life insurance coverage after retirement, you must apply for it on your application for retirement benefits before you are appointed to a retirement benefit.

You may convert your Optional, Select or SBS Life Insurance coverage to a private policy with the life insurance carrier. Coverage will be a whole life policy and the premiums will be substantially different from the rate you are currently paying.

To convert to a private policy, you must complete a conversion form and pay the required premiums. Your conversion form must be received by the life insurance carrier within 31 days of the date your life insurance terminates. Contact the Member Service Center for the required forms and premiums.

Beneficiary Designations

Please review your beneficiary designations periodically and make any necessary changes. Many people forget to update their designations when they marry, divorce, their spouse dies, or a beneficiary's address changes. Contact the Division of Retirement and Benefits if you need to change your designations for the:

  • Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) Tier I/II/III Defined Benefit Plan
  • Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) Tier I/II Defined Benefit Plan

Contact Empower Retirement Services , (800) 232-0859, for the

  • Supplemental Annuity Plan (SBS-AP)
  • Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (DCP)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP)

A separate designation form is required for each benefit. Beneficiary designations on file at the time of death determine the payout, not your will. It is important to keep your beneficiary designations and beneficiary addresses up to date.

Address Changes

Prior to leaving state service, contact Division of Retirement and Benefits to Change Your Address in the state payroll system.

After you terminate, if you have money in the PERS, DCP, and/or SBS-AP, you must notify each plan to change your address. For the PERS, you must notify the Division of Retirement and Benefits. For the DCP and SBS-AP you must notify Empower Retirement Services.

You may change your address by sending written, signed requests with your Retirement Identification Number (RIN) or the last four digits of your Social Security number to the division’s Juneau office for the PERS and to Empower Retirement Services for the DCP and SBS-AP.

Always keep your address current so you will receive important information regarding your benefits.

Reminder Checklist

You may be required to complete (or provide) the following forms when you leave state employment:

Page Last Modified: 05/12/22 18:52:12

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