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After spending over 32 years at a job that I loved, teaching and counseling students, I consider myself extremely fortunate. Now as a retired educator, I am able to be economically independent thanks to my deferred compensation in the form of my ASRS defined benefit state pension. Although I never received a substantial salary that was considered worthy of my level of education or my endeavors in serving the public, I was able to maintain a middle-class standard of living for my devotion to students and parents.

However, the one amazing benefit of my years of public service was the opportunity to pay into an exceptional public pension system. My employer matched my retirement contributions that I paid during all the years that I worked in Arizona. The Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) took excellent care of the funds contributed by me and thousands of others and created a solid foundation of over $49 billion in assets.

Outstanding leadership by a knowledgeable Board of Trustees and management combined with expert investments by professionals have made the ASRS a shining example of what a public pension system should be. ASRS has won national acclaim for its management skills and efficiency, and over 173,000 current retirees are the beneficiaries of such a smooth functioning organization.

Because of my defined benefit retirement, I know that my pension is secure for the rest of my life. I never have to worry about my pension running out or being decreased. Although not large, my pension check enables me to continue being a contributing member of society and the economy, instead of a burden. For those who are still working for an ASRS employer, keep in mind that there is indeed a wonderful reward waiting for you when you retire, your defined benefit pension.