The OPERS staff has prepared this summary of 2012 pension legislation for our members. The 2012 session of the Oklahoma Legislature adjourned on May 25, 2012. This was a relatively light year, in terms of legislation directly impacting OPERS and our members. In this legislative update, we focus on three bills signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin.
House Bill 2321
Rounding of service credit eliminated for new members
HB 2321 eliminates rounding of service credit for members who joined OPERS on or after November 1, 2012. The bill states the number of years of credited service used in calculating retirement benefits shall be based on actual years and months of credited service without rounding up or down. Members who joined OPERS prior to November 1, 2012, are not impacted by this new provision.
House Bill 2322
Step-Up Program offered to elected officials
Last year, Senate Bill 794 provided that newly elected officials after November 1, 2011, are subject to the same contribution rates and benefit computation factors as state and local government members of OPERS. This year, HB 2322 went further to allow elected officials to begin participating in the “Step-Up” Program just as state and local government members are allowed to do. The Step-Up program allows members to pay an additional contribution, currently 2.91%, for an increased benefit computation factor of 2.5%.
House Bill 2939
I.T. consolidation and participation in the Oklahoma Teachers' Retirement System
This bill affects a relatively small number of members impacted by the 2011 Information Technology Consolidation and Coordination Act. HB 2939 provides state employees who are (or were) members of the Teachers’ Retirement System of Oklahoma and are transferred pursuant to the Information Technology Consolidation and Coordination Act may elect to continue their participation in the Teachers’ Retirement System of Oklahoma in lieu of participating in OPERS.
Any transferred employee who wishes to make this election must do so in writing within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this act. If a transferred employee who has already begun participating in OPERS elects to return to the Teachers’ Retirement System, OPERS will transfer the service credit and contributions to the Teachers’ Retirement System for any credit that accrued after the initial transfer. The election to continue or return to participation in the Teachers’ Retirement System is irrevocable and effective until the employment with the Office of State Finance is terminated.
For more detailed information on these and other bills before the Legislature, please visit the Oklahoma State Legislature’s Bill Search page. Simply enter the bill number and you will gain access to a wealth of information, including the full text of the bill, amendments, actions taken, and voting history. We hope you find this information helpful in tracking the activity of retirement legislation.