ASRS is a defined benefit plan qualified under Internal Revenue Code 401(a) that provides a monthly benefit at normal or early retirement.


  • Classified Staff- You must participate in ASRS if you work 20 or more hours per week for at least 20 weeks during the fiscal year
  • Appointed Staff and Faculty - You may elect to participate in either the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) plan or the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP). Your election must be made within 30 calendar days of eligibility, or you will be enrolled in ASRS.

Effective Date

You will be enrolled and your contributions will begin effective:

  • New Members: the first day of the pay period following 183 days of continuous service. 
  • Current Members: at your date of hire if you have an active retirement account.
  • Forfeited Members: at your date of hire if you forfeited your account less than two years ago.


 Both you and NAU contribute to ASRS. Contributions cover the ASRS defined benefit plan, health insurance supplement and long term disability plan.

  • 2018 Fiscal Year: 11.50% 
Note: Contribution amounts are actuarially determined and set by the ASRS Board of Trustees each year.


Vesting refers to the requirement of service before “owning” all funds in your account. In the case of pre-retirement separation from NAU employment you may withdraw or transfer vested contributions
Your ContributionsNorthern Arizona University Contributions
You are always 100% vested in your own contributionsIf you were hired 
  • prior to 07/01/2011, you will become partially vested after five years of service and fully vested after 10 years of service
  • on or after, 07/01/2011, NAU's contributions do not vest unless you separate due to involuntary reductions in force or position elimination.

If you leave before retirement

In the case of pre-retirement separation from employment, your contributions that are vested may be rolled over to another qualified plan or refunded subject to tax laws. You also may leave your contributions on deposit for a future benefit.

Normal retirement

Normal retirement is the earliest you can retire with a full benefit. The requirements for normal retirement are based on your hire date: 

Hired prior to July 1, 2011Hired on or after July 1, 2011
  • Age 65
  • Age 62 & 10 years of service
  • 80 points (Age+Service)
  • Age 65
  • Age 62 & 10 years of service
  • Age 60 & 25 years of service
  • Age 55 & 30 years of service

Early retirement

In some cases you may retire early and with a reduced benefit as early as age 50 and 5 years of service.