The law is the law

Mandated rules often dictate the terms of our members’ benefits

By Donna Castiglione, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

June 2, 2017 – Being smarter consumers is a hot topic lately and has people looking for ways to get the most out of their dollar.

Some sources advise you to ask for discounts or a supervisor to get a better deal.  While we are all for our members getting the best deal you can, you really can’t apply it to what we do at the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.

OPERS is governed by the Ohio Revised Code Chapter 145 and Ohio Administrative Rules, which outline what we can do. For example, if someone left public employment and wanted to refund their account right away we simply could not do it. The current law states that they need to wait two months. This time period is simply not negotiable no matter how much someone wants us to do it. (One of the reasons for this law is to ensure that we have all of the member’s contributions from their employer prior to issuing a refund so we are sure to issue the correct amount.)

We will always do our best to help you understand the law and are empathetic to your personal situations; however, the law is the law and in the end that is what we have to follow.

Something we do encourage for our members is to be better health care consumers, which can save you and OPERS money and help us to be able to continue to provide health care to our retirees. We are also looking for ways to help you make better financial decisions earlier in your careers that will positively impact you in retirement.

Donna Castiglione

Donna Castiglione is the assistant director of Member Services and has been with the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System for more than 13 years. She has extensive experience in customer service management in a variety of industries.

Donna Castiglione

Assistant Director of Member Services

10 thoughts on “The law is the law

  • June 2, 2017 at 4:35 pm
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    The law may be the law but a promise is a promise. Many of the laws changed promises. Disability for example. You receive medical for the first five years only with the new laws. Controlling medical costs after that is really easy. The same with retirement age. Credibility and reliability go out the window.

    Reply
  • June 2, 2017 at 9:44 pm
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    Thanks for the info…keep it up so we can be better informed…the law is the law and we aught not try to circumvent it by cutting corners unnecessarily.

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  • June 13, 2017 at 5:46 pm
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    What happens to the PERS retirees after 2018 and there is no more reimbursement from Opers. Are plans being made for 2019 and beyond. If most of us have to pay for our medical plans and medications out of pocket without help there will be many folks without adequate care. I presume and hope that traditional medicare and medicaid will still be an option for some folks.

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    • June 14, 2017 at 12:35 pm
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      Loretta,

      Thank you for your question. I think there might be some confusion about the status of reimbursements for retirees after 2018 versus spouses. I would encourage you to call us at 800-222-7377 so we can review your specific situation. You can also look for information about allowances in your Open Enrollment material that will be mailed in September.

      Donna

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      • June 14, 2017 at 5:56 pm
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        Is it the retirees or the spouses losing reimbursement after 2018 I am confused with the question and your response.

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        • June 16, 2017 at 10:51 am
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          Sorry for the confusion, We have been phasing out the spouse allowance for the past several years. The retirees allowance is not being phased out. I would highly recommend that everyone read their Open Enrollment packets that will be mailed in September. These packets contain valuable information about your specific allowances and coverage for the coming year.

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          • June 21, 2017 at 3:58 pm
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            WHAT ARE YOU TAKING AWAY NOW? if I die, is my wife out in the cold?

          • June 22, 2017 at 12:32 pm
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            Dick,

            I would suggest you call us at 800-222-7377 with your questions so we can pull up your account.

            Thank you

  • June 21, 2017 at 3:20 pm
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    Is there any money for retired being given to help pay premium for healthcare after 2018

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    • June 22, 2017 at 12:33 pm
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      Sondra,

      Yes, you should look for that information in September in your Open Enrollment packet that you will receive in the mail.

      Thank you

      Reply

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