Benefit Changes Power of Attorney and Guardianship

A benefit recipient may designate an attorney in fact under a power of attorney or durable power of attorney document. The attorney in fact may manage the recipient’s OPERS account through such activities as authorizing the release of account information, providing and updating bank information for direct deposit of benefits, updating the recipient’s address, receiving correspondence on behalf of the recipient, and making changes to health care coverage.

Additionally, if specifically authorized in the power of attorney document, the attorney in fact may also change retirement plans, select a plan of payment, apply for and receive a refund, and designate a beneficiary.

However, if there is a conflict between the direction given by the benefit recipient and the direction given by the attorney in fact, and the benefit recipient is competent to direct their account, OPERS will follow the direction of the attorney in fact until the benefit recipient revokes the attorney in fact’s power and OPERS receives written notice of the revocation.

You should consult with your own legal counsel about having a power of attorney document drafted and selecting someone to serve as your attorney in fact.

In the absence of a power of attorney document granting specific authority to an attorney in fact, OPERS may require guardianship of an estate for a recipient who is under 18 years of age or, if over 18 years of age, who is, or becomes, incompetent. Additionally, the guardian is required to obtain a court order approving a selection of a retirement payment plan, including a refund of the account and/or the designation of a beneficiary.

If you become unable to handle your affairs, OPERS should be notified.