Re-employment and the Health Reimbursement Arrangement
A re-employed retiree is one who is receiving an OPERS pension benefit and is also employed in an OPERS-covered position. This includes re-employment in a full-time, part-time or seasonal/occasional OPERS position. It also includes a surviving spouse who is employed in an OPERS-covered position and receives a survivor benefit payment from OPERS. Classification of a re-employed retiree is not dependent upon contribution or earnings.
In the event you become re-employed by an OPERS-covered employer, you must inform the employer that you are receiving an OPERS benefit. If you know of your intention to become re-employed when you apply for retirement, you can provide that information within your retirement application.
Potential re-employment plans should be discussed with the employer to determine whether there are any restrictions or policies on re-employment. Contributions to OPERS must begin from the first day of re-employment.
Action steps when entering a Re-employment Period
Once you make the decision to become employed in an OPERS-covered position as an OPERS retiree, be certain to complete the following:
- Inform your employer that you are receiving an OPERS benefit.
- Make sure your employer does the following:
- Completes a Notice of Re-employment or Contract Services of an OPERS Benefit Recipient form.
- Submits the completed and certified form to OPERS by the end of your first month of employment.
- Create an OPERS online account (link opens in new tab) to track your Re-Employed Accumulated HRA balance.
How re-employment impacts your Health Reimbursement Arrangement
The OPERS HRA is a retiree-only plan, which means it works a little differently for re-employed retirees.
Medical plan enrollment requirements
Pre-Medicare – Pre-Medicare re-employed retirees can accrue HRA deposits during their re-employment period. Same as a Pre-Medicare benefit recipient who is not re-employed, you can enroll in any medical plan you choose; however, you must be opted in to the HRA to receive monthly HRA deposits from OPERS. Even though you are accruing HRA deposits while re-employed, any expenses incurred during your re-employment period are not reimbursable.
Medicare – Medicare-eligible re-employed retirees can accrue HRA deposits during their re-employment period. You must be enrolled in a medical plan through the OPERS Medicare Connector administered by Via Benefits to receive HRA deposits. Even though you are accruing HRA deposits while re-employed, any expenses incurred during your re-employment period are not reimbursable.
Accruing HRA deposits during your re-employment period
Your monthly HRA deposits from OPERS will accrue in a Re-employed Accumulated HRA for the month(s) you are employed in an OPERS-covered position. Your Re-employed Accumulated HRA will not be accessible during your re-employment period.
You may use any balance you had in your HRA prior to your re-employment period to be reimbursed for expenses incurred prior to your re-employment period, but not for expenses incurred during your re-employment period.
Administrative fees will not be deducted while you are re-employed. To view or print your Re-employed Accumulated HRA balance at any time, log into your OPERS online account (link opens in new tab).
When Your Re-employment Period Ends
The monthly HRA deposits accrued in your Re-employed Accumulated HRA will be deposited into your primary HRA account. The accrued deposits will have an administrative fee of $2.60 deducted for every month in which you accrued funds within your Re-employed Accumulated HRA. You may use your HRA to receive reimbursement for expenses incurred before and/or after your re-employment period. However, you may not use your HRA to receive reimbursement for expenses incurred during your re-employment period.
What is a Re-employment Period?
Your re-employment period begins the first day of the month in which your employment in an OPERS–covered position started and ends the last day of the month in which your employment is terminated.
Depending on when your employer notifies OPERS of your re-employment, you may have received HRA reimbursements for expenses that were incurred during your re-employment period. If this happens, you will receive notification from the OPERS Connector regarding the overpayment. As the HRA plan sponsor, OPERS may assist in the collection of those reimbursements if they are not settled with the OPERS Connector in a timely manner.