Is A Pension Better Than A 401 Plan
A pension plan differs from a 401 plan, and different investors may be better suited for either option. A pension plan is usually better for investors who are interested in securing a fixed, stable income during their retirement. However, there is more risk involved regarding the pension plan as it is overseen by your company. Investors who want more control over their retirement plan without a guarantee of an income might prefer a 401.
Before You Start The Application
You will be asked to upload or provide information while completing the retirement application. To expediate the application process, have the following ready and available to upload before beginning.
Information Needed to Complete Application
Have the follow information easily accessible before starting the retirement application.
- Your retirement option.
- Spouse information, if applicable. Information will include name, date of birth, Social Security number and address.
- Beneficiary information for retiree death benefits. Information will include name, relationship, date of birth, Social Security number and address.
Documents to Upload
Have PDFs or images of the following documents ready to upload while completing the form. Files uploaded should include the entire document, including headers and footers, and be clearly legible.
- A voided check or letter from your financial institution to set up your direct deposit.
- Proof of your date of birth and your joint annuitant, if applicable.
- Documentation of your current marital status
Digital Signature & Submitting Your Retirement Application
After completing the online retirement application, you will receive an email with instructions to digitally sign your retirement application through OneSpan. Your application will not be submitted to OPERS until after it is digitally signed. You must follow the instructions and sign your application within the retirement deadline for your intended retirement date.
Rules Governing Independent Service Retirement
If you do not combine the accounts your benefit will be calculated using only your STRS Ohio service credit and your FAS will be based solely on your STRS Ohio earnings.
If your retirement date is April 1, 2017, or earlier, and you are eligible for and elect to take a monthly service retirement benefit independently from OPERS or SERS, your STRS Ohio service credit will be reduced for any years during which you earned concurrent OPERS or SERS credit. The reduction in credit for concurrent years is based on the ratio of earnings in STRS Ohio to the total earnings in all retirement systems.
OPERS and/or SERS credit that was earned concurrently with STRS Ohio may not not increase the STRS Ohio benefit. In these cases you may be eligible to withdraw the account from the other retirement system. If you are considering independent retirement, you should discuss your situation with an STRS Ohio benefits counselor.
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Rules Governing Combined Service Retirement
- Although the accounts may be combined, you cannot earn more than one year of service credit per fiscal year in one, two or all three public retirement systems.
- When the accounts are combined, your final average salary will be based on the average of the five highest years of total earnings from all systems.
- If you have withdrawn service with STRS Ohio, OPERS or SERS, please contact STRS Ohio to learn how restoring this service will affect your benefit.
Am I Eligible To Retire
Perhaps one of the most important things to be aware of when considering retirement is whether or not you meet the retirement eligibility requirements for your plan and retirement group.
You may be financially and mentally prepared to retire, but you need to meet the age and service eligibility requirements set by OPERS to take that next step.
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Retirement Application For The Traditional Pension Plan
To apply for retirement from the Traditional Pension Plan you need to complete the Traditional Pension Plan Retirement Application.
You can do this yourself through your OPERS online account, or with an OPERS counselor who can walk you through each step of the application.
When you apply for retirement, you’ll also be asked to select your retirement payment options. These will determine how you receive your monthly retirement benefit.
When you retire from the Traditional Pension Plan you have two options:
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Can I Have Both A Pension And 401
Yes, you can have both a pension plan and a 401 plan at the same time. It’s more likely to only have one active through your current employer, so it’s most often the case to have a pension plan you’ve vested for through a previous employer. In this situation, you can make contributions to your 401, and your pension plan benefits when you retire have already been established .
Ohio Public Pension Funds Sue Warner Bros Discovery Over $25 Million In Investment Losses
The sign at the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System headquarters in downtown Columbus.
COLUMBUS, OhioOhios two largest state pension funds are suing Warner Bros. Discovery, claiming they lost more than $25 million because company executives withheld adverse information about a merger earlier this year.
The class-action lawsuit, filed by the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, the State Teachers Retirement System and other Warner Bros. Discovery investors, claims the company and top executives David Zaslav and Gunnar Wiedenfels didnt reveal that WarnerMedia was in financial disarray when it merged with Discovery last spring.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in New York, specifically asserts that WarnerMedia didnt disclose that it was overinvesting in streaming content, overstated the number of HBO Max subscribers by as many as 10 million, and sought to attract streaming subscribers without regard to cost or profitability, among other allegations.
Warner Bros. Discovery stock, which sold at $24.78 per share when the merger was completed in April, fell by more than 50% to $11.79 per share in September, when the lawsuit was filed.
Had the true state of WarnerMedias financial situation been disclosed, the merger consideration would have been significantly higher for OPERS, STRS and other Discovery stockholders, stated a release issued Monday by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yosts office.
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Use The Benefit Estimator
Wonder how much your pension will be when you retire? If youre in our Traditional Pension Plan, you can use our benefit calculator to estimate the monthly benefit under a number of scenarios â if you take an initial payment, if you add an additional annuity, buy service time, or choose a different payment plan.
Investment Returns Improve Opers Funding Status
At the May OPERS Board meeting, OPERS staff gave a review of the systems 2021 investment returns and funding status. The OPERS Defined Benefit portfolio posted an investment return of over 15% for 2021. The overall funding of the pension plan improved from 82% to 84%.
The funding period of the pension plan represents the amount of time it would take to pay off the unfunded liabilities if all current assumptions were met. Based on the financial status of the plan at the end of calendar year 2021, the funding period of the OPERS plan was 16 years. This represents an improvement from a funding period of 21 years at the end of 2020.
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Things To Consider When Selecting A Plan
Know which plan is best for you. Here are a few questions to answer:
What stage are you at in your career?
When choosing your plan, you may want to consider how long you plan to spend in public employment.
Each plan has different service credit requirements in order for you to earn benefits. For example, you need 20 years of service credit in the Traditional Pension plan to get access to OPERS health care coverage.
The plans also have different age and service credit requirements that determine both how much of a retirement benefit you will receive, and the age at which you can retire. For example, the only requirement to be eligible to retire in the Member-Directed plan is to be 55 years of age or older.
Have you ever contributed to another Ohio retirement system?
Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System
|Great Seal of Oklahoma|
|$400 million in retirement payments each year|
The Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System is an agency of the government of Oklahoma that manages the public pension system for majority of Oklahoma state employees. 74 Okla.Statutes §§901 et seq. The System provides pension benefits such as normal retirement, disability retirement, surviving spouse benefits and a death benefit.
The System receives its funding from employer and member contributions, and returns on investments. OPERS is the second largest state-sponsored pension system in Oklahoma with the participation of most state officers and employees, as well as a large number of county officers and employees. The OPERS portfolio contains approximately 6.5 billion dollars in assets.
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Among Other Things The Responsibility Between The Employer And Employee Differs
A 401 and a pension are both employer-sponsored retirement plans. Each can be used by savvy investors to save for their retirement and can capitalize on contributions or benefits from their employer. So, how do these two retirement plans differ?
Ohio’s State Teachers Retirement System School Employees Retirement System
If you have service with Ohio’s State Teachers Retirement System or School Employees Retirement System , the Traditional Pension Plan is the only plan that allows you to combine non-concurrent service credit in order to receive a larger retirement benefit or to retire earlier. Non-concurrent service refers to time that you contributed to only one system.
Service credit earned with SERS or STRS cannot be combined with contributing months in the Member-Directed Plan.
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Health Care Under The Member
With the Member-Directed Plan, you do not qualify for health care when you retire but you will have a Retiree Medical Account that you can use for health care expenses. This account is funded from contributions from your employer, currently 4% of your salary as previously mentioned above.
The Retiree Medical Account investments are managed and directed by OPERS. The interest rate is tied to the performance of the OPERS Stable Value Fund. If the investment return is positive, interest will be applied in the same amount as the return but will not exceed 4 percent. If the investment return is negative, zero interest will be applied.
In retirement, the RMA can be used for the payment of health care expenses including insurance premiums, co-pays, medical services, and even transportation to receive medical care. You can also use it to pay for limited amounts of long-term care insurance.
If you were hired after July 1, 2015 you are fully vested in the RMA in 15 years. If you were hired prior to that, you are vested in 5 years.
Opers Traditional Pension Plan Overview
The Traditional Pension Plan is a defined benefit plan that provides a fixed monthly income in retirement . At retirement, your pension amount is determined by a formula that rewards you for working longer. The formula uses your final average salary and your years of service.
The benefit that is calculated with this formula is what your pension would be if you chose to only cover your life . Meaning, you would get that amount for your lifetime and then when you pass away, your spouse would not get your pension. Instead, if you decide to do a joint life pension, your monthly benefit will be reduced but your spouse will get your pension when you pass away.
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Law Enforcement And Public Safety Officers
OPERS provides special retirement coverage for certain law enforcement and public safety officers who are required to participate in the Traditional Pension Plan. If you are a Law Enforcement or Public Safety Officer, please refer to the
|Addresses, Social Security numbers and dates of birth for beneficiaries and dependents|
|Proof of Medicare A and B, if applicable|
|Direct deposit information, including bank account and routing numbers|
|Any court orders that may pertain to your retirement|
|Early Retirement Incentive Plan Agreement|
|Bureau of Workers Compensation claim number|
Opers Traditional Pension Plan
This is the kind of plan many people think of when they hear government pension. A participants employer makes all the contributions to the retirement and disability program, and benefits are paid out based on the participants years of service and the persons age at the time he or she left public sector employment.
If you sign up for the Traditional Pension Plan, you do not need to pay attention to the stock market, 401s or any of the quarterly and annual paperwork needed to manage investments. You will also have the option, unique among OPERS plans, to set up an annuity.
A possible downside is that the pension is fixed at what OPERS is required to pay based on the years-of-service-and-age formula.
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Welcome To The School Employees Retirement System Of Ohio
As a member of SERS, you are part of a statewide community of more than 146,000 school professionals administrative assistants, bus drivers, business officials, cafeteria workers, crossing guards, custodians, librarians, maintenance workers, and teachers aides working in jobs for Ohios public schools and community colleges.
Ohio Sues Warner Brothers Discovery
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has filed a motion asking to be appointed lead plaintiff in a securities class-action lawsuit claiming that Warner Bros. Discovery deliberately misled investors during the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc., fueling $25.5 million in losses for the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and the State Teachers Retirement System.
The motion, recently filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, says that WBD and company executives David Zaslav and Gunnar Wiedenfels either knew or had access to adverse financial information about WarnerMedia but did not disclose it as required by U.S. securities law before the merger closed on April 8, 2022.
Warner Bros. Discovery willfully withheld financial information that it was legally obligated to reveal for one highly self-serving reason to ensure the mergers approval, Yost said. In doing so, it created market distortions that cost Ohios pension systems and other institutional investors dearly, and that is not OK.
At the time of the merger, the lawsuit says, WarnerMedia was in financial disarray and intentionally hid that fact from Discovery stockholders. The company, it turned out, had overinvested in costly but unproductive business lines, inflated its subscriber numbers by up to 10 million with no regard to margins, and otherwise provided false financial information to Discovery stockholders.
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State Employees Enroll Today
Complete the SoonerSave Participant Quick Enrollment Form and return to your agency retirement coordinator. You can designate your beneficiaries at www.soonersave.com or by using the Beneficiary Designation Form. Contributions will be invested in the default investment option until another designation is made online or by phone.
Receiving An Opers Benefit When You Retire
When you are ready to retire the money you have invested with OPERS will be available to you.
Your retirement payment options depend upon the retirement plan you choose. You can either annuitize your account and receive lifetime payments, or you can take a lump sum and annuitize the remaining portion .
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Facts You Should Know
- As a student employee you have ONE opportunity to waive OPERS membership.
- Optional exemption is available to undergraduate students taking at least six credit hours and graduate students taking at least five credit hours. Membership in OPERS for student employees enrolled less than half time is required by law.
- Participants in the cooperative education program are not eligible for exemption during their work term.Co-op students who are employed full time equivalency are eligible to participate in the Alternative Retirement Plan rather than the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System . Newly hired UC co-ops are eligible to elect the ARP within 120 days of their hire date. If the co-op does not make an election within the 120 day deadline, contributions will automatically be defaulted to OPERS.
- You must have a 365-day break from student employment with UC in order to change your retirement election. Rehired or transferred student employees without at least a 365-day break in UC service may not change their election.
- Changing positions of employment or departments within the university does not void an exemption or constitute separation of employment.
- Rehired student employees are NOT eligible to make a new OPERS election unless all positions are separated and the rehire occurs 365 days or more following the last separation of employment.