Alternative Retirement Plans for Colleges & Universities
Since you work for a public institution, you are being offered the option of making a decision to choose your retirement plan provider. This is an important decision, and one you should take seriously. We understand that each one of you has unique and changing needs when it comes to planning for your retirement.
Keeping your best interests in mind, Ohio PERS offers you a choice of retirement plans with valuable and flexible benefits at very little or no cost to you. Read on to find out more.
Beginning August 1, 2005, Senate Bill 133 (SB 133) extended eligibility for participation in an alternative retirement plan (ARP) to:
- All eligible full-time employees of public universities and colleges with less than five years of service credit as of August 1, 2005 who have not previously had the opportunity to choose an ARP;
- Full-time employees hired after August 1, 2005;
- Employees who change from part-time to full-time status after August 1, 2005 who will be treated as new hires; and
- Law enforcement personnel and re-employed retirees who are otherwise eligible.
Remember, the college or university determines the definition of full-time employment.
Prior to SB 133, only full-time academic or administrative employees in the unclassified civil service with less than five years of service credit at the time the alternative retirement plan (ARP) was established and new employees in that category who were hired or reclassified were eligible to participate in an ARP.
Eligible employees have 120 days in which to make the decision to choose an ARP. For those with less than five years of service credit on August 1, the deadline for enrollment is Nov. 28, 2005. For all others, their deadline will be 120 days from their employment start date or date they transferred to an eligible position.
Election forms are available from the college or university or by clicking here. Be sure to talk with your employer to learn which ARP vendors your institution has a relationship with. The completed form must be returned to the college or university human resources department within the 120-day election period - do not return these election forms to Ohio PERS.
Remember, if you do decide to choose an ARP, that choice is irrevocable. You will not be able to change plans to Ohio PERS unless you quit your job and then start over in another Ohio PERS-covered position and meet certain eligibility requirements.
How to Learn More
- New employees who are eligible to choose one of the three Ohio PERS retirement plans will receive the Retirement Plan Selection Kit, which contains detailed information about Ohio PERS and the benefits of membership in our system.
- Employees are encouraged to call the Ohio PERS Member Service Center at 1-800-222-7377 for counseling on this important decision. In-house counseling and phone counseling appointments can be scheduled at this number.
- Law enforcement officers, re-employed retirees and those with previous Ohio PERS service credit are urged to call Ohio PERS to discuss their unique situation.
Special Note on Employer Contributions
The Ohio Retirement Study Council (ORSC) is conducting an actuarial review to determine whether a portion of the employer contributions will be remitted to Ohio PERS. Ohio PERS will inform employers once this has been determined.