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Retiree Accumulated Sick Leave (RASL)

As state employees, UA retirees are eligible to participate in the Retiree Accumulated Sick Leave (RASL) program, maintained and administered by the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA) and the General Accounting Office (GAO). Employees who have accumulated 500 hours or more of unused sick leave at time of retirement may elect a cash payout of their sick leave benefit over a 3-year period.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the RASL benefit, you must meet these criteria. Final eligibility is determined by ADOA and GAO:

  • Be an active Arizona state employee at the time of retirement.
  • Apply for retirement with your retirement plan (either the Arizona State Retirement System or Optional Retirement Plan) within 31 calendar days of separation from UA service.
  • Have 500 or more hours of accrued unused sick leave at the time of retirement.
  • Apply in writing for the RASL benefit within 180 days of the retirement date by completing the RASL Certification Forms and returning them to UA Payroll. Note: If you intend to take the deferred compensation option, you must submit the completed RASL Forms to UA Payroll prior to ending your employment.

There are no extensions to these deadlines. If you miss these deadlines, you permanently and irrevocably forfeit the benefit.

RASL Benefit

The RASL benefit value is calculated by multiplying your hourly pay rate at the time of retirement by the number of unused sick leave hours (up to 1,500) multiplied by a percentage based on the number of accumulated hours:

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

Example: Your hourly pay rate is $20.00 and you have 750 hours of accrued unused sick leave.
$20.00 × 750 × .33 = $4,950.00 total RASL benefit.

Maximum Amounts

You can apply a maximum of 1,500 hours of accrued, unused sick leave to the RASL benefit. Hours in excess of this limit are irrevocably forfeited and purged from the payroll system.

The maximum RASL payout is $30,000.

Payouts

The cash benefit is paid in equal installments over 3 years. You may elect to have the payments electronically deposited or mailed directly to your home address.

The RASL benefit cannot be accelerated, but in the event the retiree dies, the designated beneficiary is paid the remainder of the benefit.

RASL cannot be included as compensation for retirement purposes.

Taxability of Benefits

RASL is considered earned income, not a retirement benefit. Therefore, 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.

Deferred Compensation Option

To reduce your tax liability, you may choose to have all or part of your first RASL payment rolled over into a 457 Deferred Compensation Plan with Nationwide. Amounts rolled into a deferred compensation account are subject only to FICA and Medicare taxes.

RASL Deferred Compensation Calculator: Retirees who receive RASL payouts have the option of rolling over the first payment into a deferred compensation plan with Nationwide, which may reduce tax liability for people whose income drops after retirement. This calculator helps you determine whether deferred compensation is to your advantage.

Applying for the RASL Benefit

  1. If you wish to roll your first RASL payment into a 457 deferred compensation plan, you must open an account with Nationwide prior to separating from UA service. Click here for information on this option.
  2. Submit the Nationwide RASL Deferral Notification Form directly to Nationwide, prior to your separation date.
  3. Complete the requisite forms and submit them to UA Payroll If you are seeking deferred compensation, you must submit all paperwork before separating from UA employment; otherwise, you have 180 days. All the forms can be found on the gao.az.gov website.
  • RASL Application and Certification Form (If you get a "Please Wait" error simply download that page then open in within Adobe Reader.)
  • RASL University Employee Checklist
  • A-4 Arizona Withholding Election
  • W-4 Federal Withholding Certificate

Submit to UA Payroll
University Services Building, Room 402
888 N. Euclid Ave. / P.O. Box 210158
Tucson, AZ 85721-0158

Label the envelope “RASL Application.”

  1. You must apply for retirement from an authorized State of Arizona retirement system (ASRS or ORP) within 31 calendar days from your date of separation from UA service.

RASL Forms

Frequently Asked Questions about RASL