Public pensions allow portability of benefits

Public employees who wish to change jobs throughout their careers are well-served by defined benefit pension plans, a new study states.

In a report titled, “Preserving Retirement Income for Public Sector Employees,” the National Institute on Retirement Security found that nearly all public retirement systems allow for the accumulation of pension benefits for members who job-hop during their careers. In addition to allowing time to add up in multiple plans, most public employees can purchase service credits or redeposit withdrawn contributions if they leave public employment and later return.

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Posted in Benefits, DB plans, Ohio PERS, OPERS | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

New financial reports posted on OPERS website

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System has published the 2015 versions of its main financial reports, with new online availability to help members understand our latest financial highlights.

The 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, and a condensed version called the 2015 Popular Annual Financial Report, are available on the OPERS website. They contain important financial, investment, actuarial and statistical information about our retirement system as of the end of last year.

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Posted in Benefits, Board of Trustees, DB plans, Government Relations, Health Care, Investments, Ohio PERS, OPERS, Pensions, Research | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

OPERS offers tips on diabetes care

We’ve been receiving many blog comments from retirees about the rising costs of health care, and several have revolved around the high price of diabetes medication.

The concern is valid. Recent media articles have chronicled how diabetes drugs have taken an acute turn upward. For instance, an article in Diabetes Forecast explains the rising cost of insulin. The Alliance of Community Health Plans reports that spending on insulin and other diabetes medication is expected to rise 18.3 percent over the next three years.

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High health care costs affect OPERS retirees

Two recent articles in the Wall Street Journal highlight the growing cost of health care felt by consumers around the country.

The Ohio Public Employee Retirement System, and our retirees, are not immune to these cost increases.

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Posted in Health Care, Pensions | Tagged , , | 31 Comments

OPERS pharmacy expert interviewed on NPR

Brian Lehman, OPERS’ nationally recognized expert on pharmacy issues, recently was interviewed by National Public Radio on why we are fighting to see more “biosimilar” drugs approved in the United States. One big reason: They save consumers money.

Biosimilars are generic versions of biologics, specialty drugs used to treat illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and a variety of cancers.

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Posted in Health Care, Media | 17 Comments

OPERS survey to shape education topics

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System’s Education team is partnering with public employers to learn how we can help members of all ages make better financial decisions throughout their careers.

We’d like your help. Throughout July, OPERS is conducting a member survey that will help us tailor our education services to meet member needs. We are asking what topics you’d like us to cover in seminars, whether you’d like to know more about personal finance, or about how your pension works, or about the other benefits of being an OPERS member.

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Posted in Benefits, Ohio PERS, OPERS | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Most public systems altered plans after recession

On the heels of the Great Recession, public pension plan design underwent massive change.

In fact, the period of 2009-14 included the greatest changes in the history of state pension plans, said the National Association of State Retirement Administrators. In a new report titled “Significant Reforms to State Retirement Systems,” NASRA said nearly every state passed meaningful pension reform to one or more of its public plans as the plans lost a cumulative $1.1 trillion in 15 months.

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OneExchange improving Med B process

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System continues to work with OneExchange, the administrator of the OPERS Medicare Connector, to improve the reimbursement process for Medicare Part B payments.

OneExchange recently conducted a review of Medicare Part B claims that were denied during the first three months of 2016. OneExchange asked PayFlex, its HRA administrator, to determine if some of the claims could be paid out based on a new process.

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Posted in Health Care, Ohio PERS, OPERS, OPERS Medicare Connector | 15 Comments

Transcripts now available for OPERS videos

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System in recent years has been increasingly using video communication. Now, those who watch our videos can read along with the transcripts and watch the dialogue via closed captioning.

OPERS has translated most of the videos stored on our YouTube channel dating back to the beginning of 2015. Some members have requested this service, and we intend to provide the readable scripts on an ongoing basis.

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Posted in Media, Ohio PERS, OPERS | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

State pension bill among issues we’re following

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System External Relations staff has been busy on a number of issues that affect our members.

Here’s a roundup of some of those legislative issues that we are closely watching, both here in Columbus and in Washington: Continue reading

Posted in Pensions | 52 Comments