This summer OPERS will hold dozens of meetings around the state, to gather feedback on proposed changes to our health care coverage plan and to review pending pension legislation.
Members and retirees of the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System are encouraged to attend. The sessions will come in two forms:
Town Hall meetings: Open to all members and retirees, two-hour meetings will be held at various locations to review proposed health care coverage changes and pension legislation updates. The first meetings will be May 29 in Cleveland.
Retirement Education Fairs: As part of wider-ranging seminars on retirement topics, presentations on health care coverage and legislative updates will be given by OPERS staff at the Planning to Retire, Ready to Retire and Retiree Education Fairs.
Registration is required. You may register by calling our Member Services department at 800-222-7377. You also can sign up online by logging into your online account and following these instructions:
- Scroll over “My Profile.”
- Click on “My Appointments.”
- Click on “Schedule Seminar.”
- Choose the seminar you would like to attend – either the Town Hall meetings, or the Education Fairs titled Planning to Retire, Ready to Retire or Retiree (you must be eligible to sign up for a specific Education Fair in order to register).
- Select a location, date and time. There are two Town Hall meetings each day in each location.
The Ohio Senate last week unanimously approved Senate Bill 343, pension legislation that is based on proposals submitted by the OPERS Board of Trustees. The bill now goes to the Ohio House of Representatives for consideration. We are hopeful that pension legislation will pass in 2012.
Pension legislation is critical for OPERS to continue offering retirees access to health care coverage. OPERS currently is considering changes to the health care plan to extend the program for as long as possible. These proposed changes, which will affect both current and future retirees, will need to be made regardless of legislative action on pensions. However, if pension legislation is not passed in 2012, more extensive changes to the health care program will be required.
The Town Hall meetings and Retirement Fairs will help to explain the health care changes under consideration and will give you the opportunity to provide feedback. In addition, OPERS associates will highlight the proposed benefit plan changes that are in the current pension legislation and tell you how you can help advocate for passage this year.
We encourage as many members as possible to attend a Town Hall meeting or Education Fair this year. Register today – seats will fill up quickly.