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Legislative Changes and Enrolling New Members

The 2012 Legislative Update newsletter from OPERS is about to hit mailboxes. We are writing to inform you of how two pieces of legislation impact the enrollment of new members. The process of enrolling a member has not changed, but the information you provide at enrollment, and to whom, has changed slightly.

The most notable change in this most recent session of the Oklahoma Legislature was the elimination of rounding of service credit for those who will become members of OPERS on or after November 1, 2012. While this does not change the enrollment process, it does represent a minor difference in the benefit structure between current and new employees. Rounding of service credit is still in effect for all other OPERS participants who became members prior to November 1, 2012.

The second change has to do with participation in the Step-Up Program. You may recall in 2011, the Legislature passed a bill providing that all new elected participants in OPERS first elected or appointed to elected office on or after November 1, 2011, participate in OPERS in the same way as other state and local government employee participants. Those newly elected or appointed officials pay the same employee contribution rate and receive the same benefit computation factor in their retirement benefit calculation.

In 2012, the Legislature went a step further to enact a bill that allows these newly elected or appointed officials to participate in the Step-Up program. As a result, if you are enrolling a new member who was first elected or appointed after November 1, 2011, you need to provide them with the Step-Up brochure like you do with other members.

Documents Provided at Enrollment

In addition to the Step-Up brochure, you should be providing the EssentialOPERS plan overview document, which was included in the recent newsletter to all active members. This one-page summary of plan provisions provides an at-a-glance overview of the benefits of plan membership and is a convenient summary for those who want to know the most important elements of the OPERS plan.

The Step-Up brochure and versions of EssentialOPERS for State & Local Government Employees, Hazardous Duty Employees, and Elected Officials have been updated for FY 2013 and are available on the Publications page of the OPERS website here.

Road Show coming this fall

Well, itís that time of year. OPERS is in the process of developing dates, times and locations for the annual retirement coordinator training seminars held around the State in the fall. We will be in contact with you as details are confirmed, so be on the lookout for an invitation in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

As always, please let us know if there is anything we can do to be of assistance to you. We appreciate your continued support and valued partnership.

Sincerely,
Your friends at OPERS

 


Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System

Web Address:       www.opers.ok.gov 
Mailing Address: 
PO Box 53007, Oklahoma City, OK 73152-3007
Phone Number:  
(800) 733-9008

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