As an Oklahoma local government employer, you have the option to join OPERS to give your employees a retirement benefit. This page has information and resources to consider before deciding to become an OPERS participating employer. When you are ready, complete the Prospective Employer Request form below to gain pre-approval from OPERS. With the form you will be asked to upload a copy of the document that created your organization.

Interested employers should start the process at least 90 days before the end of the year. This allows time for OPERS to pre-approve your eligibility to join, your governing body to pass required resolutions, and then OPERS to review and give final approval. Once approved, you will have several tasks to complete prior to your first payroll in January.

Who can join?

An eligible employer may join OPERS in January of any year. To be eligible to join, the employer must meet the requirements of membership as found in 74 O.S.§ 902(13):

  • Be an Oklahoma local government organization. Emergency medical service districts may also join the System upon proper application to the Board.
  • All eligible employees are covered by Social Security
  • All eligible employees are not covered or eligible for another retirement plan authorized under Oklahoma state law


Costs and Responsibilities

Offering a defined benefit plan has a cost for employers. This includes a minimum contribution cost of 20% of every payroll for every employee. This cost is shared between the employer and the employee. The total contribution amount is set by legislation and subject to change. However, in providing a defined benefit plan you provide an uncommon and attractive benefit to recruit and retain employees.


Every eligible employee must participate

  • Ability to cover cost of contributions (employer and employee)
  • Ability to cover cost of unused sick leave (up to 960 hours)
  • Acknowledgment of membership being irrevocable


  • Name one main and one or more alternate retirement coordinators
  • Provide salary and hours for each employee every payroll cycle
  • Keep permanent records of all employee’s salary and hours
  • Enroll new employees in a timely manner
  •  Assist employees with completing retirement forms and remembering deadlines
  •  Relaying relevant information to employees

Employer and employee participation in OPERS is irrevocable. Employers may not withdraw from the System for any reason.

Prospective Employer Request

Complete the form below to request pre-approval to join OPERS or if you have questions about joining. For pre-approval, you will need to upload a copy of the document that created your organization, such as a trust indenture or charter. OPERS staff will respond once your information has been reviewed.

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