State law permits Ohio's public employers to establish a retirement incentive plan. Such a plan, if established, allows the employer to purchase additional service credit for eligible employees, enabling those employees to retire early or to retire with a larger retirement benefit than they may have otherwise been entitled.
If an employer establishes a plan that is offered to less than 100 percent of the employees, total service credit with OPERS, including STRS and SERS credit, is used to determine employee seniority for participation in the plan. An employer may obtain service credit information from OPERS only upon completion of an Authorization for Release of Account Information.
The following is a summary of the requirements that must be considered when an employer establishes a plan:
In addition to the above requirements, a state employer which closes a state institution or institutes a layoff which affects 350 people or 40 percent of the employer's OPERS-covered employees within a six-month period is required to establish a mandatory retirement incentive plan. This provision excludes any state employing unit with 50 or fewer employees.
Employees eligible to participate in a plan are those who are contributing members of OPERS and who qualify to retire or will qualify to retire on an age and service benefit with the purchase of additional credit under the plan.
Not eligible to participate in a plan are the following individuals:
Adoption of a plan does not affect any other provisions of Chapter 145, Ohio Revised Code. An employee must meet appropriate age and service requirements with the purchased credit, file an application for retirement and retire within 90 days.