Ohio Public Employees Retirement System Opers

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No, Ohio’s public employee retirement system is not discontinuing its health benefits, but there are

Founder Jim Lineweaver, CFP®, AIF®

For 27 years, Lineweaver Financial Group has helped prepare individuals for a successful retirement. In 2013, we expanded to create our Deferred Compensation department, with a focus on first responders, educators, and municipal workers. The five state retirement plans in Ohio can be challenging to navigate, and weve had the privilege of helping hundreds of state employees and their families prepare for a successful retirement. We hope that youll find the information, research, and resources weve assembled for your helpful, and that youll call us with your questions. Were looking forward to speaking with you.

Lineweaver Financial Group is independently owned and operated. Securities offered through Triad Advisors, LLC, Member FINRA / SIPCAdvisory services offered through Lineweaver Wealth Advisors, LLC. Lineweaver Wealth Advisors, LLC, is not affiliated with Triad Advisors, LLC.

*: Yahoo.com Article: 64% of Americans Arent Prepared for Retirement and 48% Dont Care.

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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.

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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Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

The Ohio Public Employee Retirement System provides retirement, disability, and survivor benefit programs for public employees throughout the state of Ohio who are not otherwise covered by another state or local retirement system. OPERS serves more than 1 million past and present Ohio workers and had over $94.1 billion in net assets as of the end of 2018. OPERS is the largest pension fund in Ohio and the 12th largest public retirement system in the country.

There is serious and frequent discussion among state legislators focused on reducing the retirement benefits that members of OPERS have spent their working lives accumulating. While no one individual may be able to halt the long-term momentum of public sentiment, you can, to some extent, protect yourself by making sure you and your family have coordinated and managed your future entitlements before you retire.

For an OPERS member to effectively manage their retirement, they need the knowledge to make informed personal decisions and the initiative to take action now. The goal should be to maximize individual benefits available under your personal pension and any deferred compensation plans, and to consider whether a Partial Lump Sum Option Payment may be right for you.

Use The Benefit Estimator

Retired Ohio Public Workers Receive Massive Cuts to Health Care ...

Wonder how much your pension will be when you retire? If you’re 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.

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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.

Ohio Public Employees Retirement System Eyes Private Credit

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System iseyeing a move into private credit.

At the OPERS August Board of Trustees meeting, Chief Investment Officer PaulGreff said the system is not looking to do anything super dramatic.Rather, it would look to reallocate capital from its fixed income holdingstoward establishing a private credit allocation.

As of December 31, 2021, OPERS had a target allocation of 24% to fixed incomein its defined benefit fund the largest of the three funds that it manages. OPERSended 2021 with $126.2 billion in assets under management, with $109.3 billionin its defined benefit fund. It also had $14.5 billion in its healthcare planand some $2 billion in its defined contribution plan.

Greff said the hope would be to bring a plan before theboard in November and perhaps have the board take action at its next meeting inJanuary. Given the market slowdown, he said it might be an opportune time toget into private credit.

In its 2021 annual report, private credit and infrastructure were identified astwo investment sectors that OPERS staff would look to explore in 2022.

Fixed income is OPERS largest target allocation, followed by internationalequities at 23% and domestic equities at 21%. It has a 12% target to privateequity and a 11% target to real estate. The board eliminated hedge funds as aninvestment sector in 2020.

Although OPERS does not have an allocation to privatecredit, Greff said the staff does have experience with the segment.

SECTORS

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State And Federal Tax Withholding

Federal and/or state of Ohio income taxes can be taken out of monthly benefit payment.

Changes can be made to your withholding amounts at any time through your online account.

Federal taxes

  • If you do nothing, federal income tax will be withheld from your benefit payments using withholding rates applicable to a single individual with no adjustments.
  • Even if you elect not to have federal income tax withheld, you are liable for payment of federal income tax on the taxable portion of your payments.

State taxes

  • The payments may be subject to Ohio state income tax and you may elect to have Ohio state income tax withheld.

Rules Governing Combined Service Retirement

Why You Should Care OPERS votes to cut pension benefits
  • 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.

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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.

Receiving Your First Check

You will receive your first benefit payment approximately 8 business days after OPERS receives all valid documentation from both you and your employer, or your retirement effective date, whichever is later.

If you chose a partial lump sum option payment, it will be released 90 days after your first benefit check.

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Service Credit With Other Systems

If you have service credit in the School Employees Retirement System of Ohio, the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio Defined Benefit Plan, or the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund you may retire independently from each system or have your contributions and total service credit in the OPERS Traditional Pension Plan, School Employees Retirement System and State Teachers Retirement System Defined Benefit Plan combined for the purpose of determining eligibility for and calculation of benefits.

The system that has the most service credit will pay the benefit, while funds and service credit in the other system are transferred to the paying system.

Please refer to the Service Credit and Contributing Months leaflet for more information.

Law Enforcement And Public Safety Officers

ECS Help

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

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Sherman V Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

In this case involving a subsidy to offset part of the cost of health insurance that Ohio Public Employees Retirement System provides to retirees receiving an OPERS pension the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the trial court’s dismissal of the action for failure to state a claim, holding that the court of appeals correctly determined that Plaintiff stated a claim under Civ.R. 12.Plaintiff filed a class action suit against OPERS arguing that reducing the subsidy of any retiree who is reemployed by a public employer that is a member of the OPERS network violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Ohio Constitution. The trial court dismissed the case under Civ.R. 12. The appellate court reversed, holding that Plaintiff stated a claim under Ohio’s Equal Protection Clause. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Plaintiff alleged facts that, if accepted as true, would entitle him to relief.

Primary Holding

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Primary Holding

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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Combining Strs Ohio/opers/sers Service

OPERS Essentials: Combining Service Credit

Service credit in a defined benefit plan with Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and the School Employees Retirement System can be combined with STRS Ohio service credit at the time you retire. The benefit is calculated and paid by the system in which the greatest amount of service credit is established.

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Student Employees & Opers

Employees of Ohio public institutions do not contribute to the federal Social Security system, other than contributions to Medicare .

As a student employee, your retirement contributions will be directed to the state retirement plan, the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System .

You may be eligible to opt out of OPERS participation when first hired by UC as long as certain requirements are met. See below for additional information.

Ohio Public Employee Retirement System

Full and part-time staff is enrolled in the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System upon hire. Each pay period, employees contribute 10% of their wages into their OPERS account and Southern State contributes another 14%. Newly hired full-time employees may choose an Alternative Retirement Plan within 120 days of their first day of paid service. This election is irrevocable and applies to all employment with the current employer.

OPERS offer three retirement plan options for eligible staff who elect participation in OPERS. The options include:

  • 1. Traditional Pension Plan The Traditional Pension Plan is a defined benefit plan under which a members retirement benefit is based on a formula. The formula is determined by years of contributing service and the average of the 3 highest years of earnable salary .
  • OPERS investment professionals manage the investment of employee and employer contributions to ensure that funds are available to pay the formula benefit.

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Information For New Employees Regarding Opers Retirement

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Information for New Employees Regarding OPERS Retirement

New members to the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System have several opportunities available to access information that will help them decide which OPERS retirement plan is best for them from the three Ohio PERS plans offered within their 180-day enrollment period.

First, the OPERS website at www.opers.org has decision tools available, including a Retirement Plan Selection Guide that can be viewed or printed.

Second, OPERS will continue to offer the How to Select Your OPERS Retirement Plan seminars, which are offered in person at locations in our area. A schedule of current seminars is available at www.opers.org.

Third, for new employees who are unable to attend a seminar in person, Ohio PERS has announced a live and interactive webinar.

The webinar can be accessed on the www.opers.org website. Employees may register online to participate in the webinar by reviewing the schedule and selecting a day of the training event. Once they have filled out the registration page and clicked the submit button, they will receive and e-mail confirmation with instructions. Because space is limited, an employee may be unable to register for a webinar. He/she should try another webinar date.

Last, new employees may contact an OPERS counselor by calling the Help Line at 1-866-673-7748 to speak about the benefits and features of the three plans and to make their selection, or to schedule a counseling session.

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