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Retiree Accumulated Sick Leave (RASL) FAQs

The Retiree Accumulated Sick Leave (RASL) Program is maintained and administered by the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA) and the Arizona General Accounting Office (GAO). This program may be changed at any time with or without notice to participants. The following information provides an overview of the RASL program. Final eligibility is determined by ADOA and GAO.

What is the Retiree Accumulated Sick Leave (RASL) benefit?

This benefit applies to eligible employees who retire from the University and have accumulated unused sick leave of 500 hours or more at time of retirement. These eligible employees may elect a cash payout of their sick leave benefit over a three (3) year period. The RASL benefit is defined in Arizona Revised Statutes and outlined in both the University Handbook for Appointed Personnel and the Classified Staff Human Resources Policy Manual.

How do I know if I am eligible for the RASL benefit?

To be eligible for RASL benefit you must

  • be an active State employee at the time of retirement,
  • apply for retirement with one of the authorized State of Arizona retirement systems immediately (within 31 calendar days of separation from State service),
  • have at least 500 hours of accrued unused sick leave at the time of retirement, and
  • apply in writing for the RASL benefit within 180 days of your retirement date by completing the RASL Certification Forms and returning it to the UA Payroll Department,

If you intend to take the deferred compensation option for your first payment, you must submit the completed RASL forms to the UA Payroll Department prior to separation from employment.

There are no extensions to these deadlines. If you do not meet them, you permanently and irrevocably forfeit this benefit.

How do I apply for the RASL benefit?

  1. You must apply for retirement from one of the authorized State of Arizona retirement systems within 31 calendar days from your date of separation from State service.
  2. You must complete the RASL Certification Form and return it to UA Human Resources within 180 days of your retirement date.

Is this benefit subject to Federal, FICA, Medicare, and State tax withholdings?

Yes, RASL is considered earned income  not a retirement benefit. Federal, FICA, and Medicare taxes are withheld on each installment. Arizona State tax is also withheld, even if you move to another state, because the income was earned in Arizona. Amounts rolled into a deferred compensation account are subject only to FICA and Medicare taxes.

Can the RASL benefit be put into a deferred compensation plan through the RASL Program?

Yes, you may roll over your first RASL payment into a 457(b) plan with the State-sponsored deferred compensation provider, Nationwide. Deferred compensation may benefit you if you expect your income to drop after your retirement.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Contact Klark Krauter at (800) 796-9753 or (520) 262-0348 to enroll in deferred compensation with Nationwide before your last day of UA service.
  • Submit the Nationwide RASL Deferral Notification Form directly to Nationwide before your last day of UA service.
  • Complete RASL Forms and submit to the Payroll Office before your last day of UA service.

The deferral amount will still be subject to FICA and Medicare withholdings.

What is the maximum RASL benefit?

The maximum total benefit is $30,000.

What is the maximum amount of accrued unused sick leave that can be applied to the RASL benefit?

The RASL benefit value is calculated by multiplying the hourly pay rate at the time of separation by the number of unused sick leave hours (up to 1,500) multiplied by the appropriate following percentage:

500–749 hours 25%
750–999 hours 33%
1,000–1,500 hours 50%

Example: Your hourly rate of pay is $16.00 and you have 750 hours of accrued unused sick leave. $16.00 x 750 x .33 = $3,960.00 total RASL benefit.

How is the RASL benefit paid?

The cash benefit is paid in equal installments over three years. You may elect to have the payments electronically deposited or mailed directly to your home address.

Can the RASL benefit be accelerated in the event of an emergency or financial hardship?

The RASL benefit cannot be accelerated. However, in the event of the retiree's death, the designated beneficiary is paid the remainder of the benefit.

Can I use the RASL benefit as compensation in calculating my retirement benefit?

No. State statute prohibits this benefit from being included as compensation for retirement purposes.

Where do I send the completed RASL application?

Send your completed RASL application to the Payroll Office in the University Services Building, 888 N. Euclid Ave, Room 402. Please label the envelope "RASL Application."


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