Security of Your OPERS Benefit

Many members have been calling the OPERS office with concerns about the current financial problems in the U.S. and global markets. Needless to say, the current turbulent market conditions are making a lot of people nervous. If you are an OPERS member, your retirement benefits are secure. OPERS benefits are “defined” benefits and are not directly affected by fluctuations in the market. Our retirees receive a specific annuity payment for their lifetimes. That’s what sets us apart from those who only have individual investment accounts as their retirement savings. It is never good news to see investments in the stock market go down, but we have weathered many a market downturn and we are still as strong as ever. We are confident in the long-term strength of the retirement system.

Security of Your SoonerSave Account

We have also received phone calls about the security of amounts that participants have in their personal deferred compensation program (SoonerSave) accounts, and specifically about the program’s stable value product.

Any investment in a stock or bond mutual fund has risks. Many of us have seen the market value of our funds go down. While we cannot give you investment advice, or tell you whether to transfer funds, you should remember one thing. If you sell an investment when its market value goes down, you are realizing a loss that you cannot get back. Even though there is no guarantee, the value of many investments can recover and go back up. We do not try to time the market with the pension funds we manage, and we do not counsel members to time the market with their SoonerSave accounts.

The rest of this message is to convey information regarding the Stable Value Fund option in SoonerSave.

The Stable Value Fund is a portfolio of highly diversified investment grade government bonds that are held in an account just for the participants in the state’s deferred compensation plan. In addition, Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company provides an insurance policy to guarantee the participants’ principal investment in this Fund. It is not the equivalent of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) protection, but it is certainly added security for the participants. For more specific information, please click on the link below that will take you to the Great West website.

There will always be investment risks, but we believe that this is a time to stay calm and ride out the current economic storm. So consider very carefully before making decisions that affect your SoonerSave accounts.

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