Alaska Teaching Salaries and Benefits

alaska

The Last Frontier of American education isn't nearly as hardened and tough as the reputation surrounding Alaska suggests. While the state may be known for its resilient people and rugged environment, Alaskans still understand the need to provide their teachers with the support they require to live successful lives.

Teachers employed in the state of Alaska gain access to a host of retirement and health insurance benefits that ensure they remain healthy and conclude their careers in relative wealth. With help from Alaska's various supporting programs, you'll not only be taken care of during your career, but throughout your future retirement as well.

Learn more about becoming a teacher. Contact schools offering teacher education/certification programs in Alaska.

Retiring in Alaska

Alaska's Teachers' Retirement System offers a variety of benefits to teachers in the state. Participation in the TRS is mandatory for elementary and secondary-level teachers, school nurses, or any professional requiring a teaching certification as a condition for hire in an Alaskan public school.

The TRS is a hybrid plan that combines the traditional benefits of a defined contribution retirement plan with defined benefit retirement plan perks, such as occupational death and disability benefits.

In the plan, you'll contribute 8% of your salary each pay period into a fund that becomes available upon retirement. Additionally, your employer will match 7%, bumping that contribution to 15% each pay period.

So, for example, if you made $40,000 a year, your retirement fund would grow by $6,000 each year with your 8% contribution and the school's 7% contribution. The size of your defined contribution retirement account rests on several factors. These factors include:

  • Contributions
  • Net Investment Earnings or Losses
  • Length of Time Invested
  • Investment Options Selected

You're vested in 100% of the funds you, yourself contribute to the retirement plan, but the funds contributed by your employer take time to access. Depending on how many years of service you accrue, you become more vested in those funds:

  • Retirement after 1 year of service = 0%
  • Retirement after 2 years of service = 25%
  • Retirement after 3 years of service = 50%
  • Retirement after 4 years of service = 75%
  • Retirement after 5 years of service = 100%

These contributions are invested in several stock options you're given control over. The Alaska TRS provides financial guidance and advice in the form of three services, including:

Managed Account
An automatically managed investment account personalized to your retirement strategy. Costs .5% of your total assets annually.

Online Investment Advice
Provides online advice while still allowing you to make the final decision regarding your investment options. Costs $25 per year.

Online Investment Guidance
A free-of-charge service allowing you to build your own investment portfolio. Also provides you with access to video guides to help manage your investments, streamed through the TRS website.

If you're interested in learning more about retirement benefits in Alaska, contact the Department of Administration .

Access to Affordable Health Insurance

There is no overarching health insurance plan provided by the Alaskan government to teachers, and is instead, left up to individual school districts. The exceptions to this are teachers employed by Mt. Edgecumbe high school, who have access to AlaskaCare.

However, as part of the Alaska Teachers' Retirement System, retirees are granted severalhealth insurance options. To be eligible for this health insurance plan, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Retirement after one year of service
  • Perform at least 30 years of service
  • Be eligible for Medicare and have 10 years of service
  • Be a surviving spouse of a participant
  • Be an eligible dependent of a surviving spouse

Under this plan, for example, you would pay 20% of the cost of a prescription drug, with the insurance plan covering the remaining 80%.

If you have more questions about retirement and health benefits in Alaska, explore more information about the Teachers' Retirement System.

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