Next benefit payments to be made Jan. 3

Because of the New Year’s Day holiday falling on Sunday in 2017, January benefit payments made by the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System will be posted to our members’ accounts on Jan. 3.

These payments cannot be made in December because of Internal Revenue Service regulations. The earliest we can make them is the first business day after the observation of the New Year’s Day holiday. Because the holiday is observed on Jan. 2, the payments will be made on Jan. 3.

Retirees can refer to the payment schedule page on the OPERS website to see when benefits will be paid each month in 2017.

With the first benefit payment of a new calendar year, you may notice a change in your monthly payment amount. This new total could be the result of tax changes, an increase in your health care coverage premium for 2017 or your cost-of-living increase.

Michael Pramik

Michael Pramik is communication strategist for the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and editor of the PERSpective blog. As an experienced business journalist, he clarifies complex pension policies and helps members make smart choices to secure their retirement.

Michael Pramik

Communication Strategist

      • You haven’t sent us notifications yet as to what will be in our check. You know what the dollar amount is going to be but never share it until midnight on New Years eve by mail.

        • Linda,

          Thank you for your comment. Benefit Change Notices are mailed in late December. In addition, your check amount will be available online in late December. To view the amount, log in to your online account and click on the ‘Benefit Summary’ tab. If you don’t have an online account, you can register for one from the front page of the OPERS website, top right corner (“Member Login”).

          Ohio PERS

  • This whole thing is getting all too confusing. It appears that this coming year (2017) my dental insurance is decreasing (a good thing), I am getting a cost of living increase (good thing), BUT MY RETIREMENT CHECK IS DECREASING (bad thing) in addition to the decrease in my health savings plan deposits. I understand the health savings account decrease because of the lower amount for my spouse (and I see a lower amount for myself as well, even though costs are going up), but do not at all see why the increase in cost of living plus decrease in dental results in a lower retirement check! Also, something that has been bothering me since we were forced to go through OneExchange – – – Why in previous years where we had a medical savings plan, we got interest on the balance of the account, but now that we are dealing with OneExchange, we are forced to PAY them to administer the account, even though THEY are getting interest on OUR money. Can anyone explain that one to me? I spoke with someone recently who retired from First Energy, and they told me that they were once using OneExchange and it got so bad that they dumped them!

    • Peggie,

      The money in your HRA is held in notional accounts belonging to OPERS, not to OneExchange. OneExchange never has direct control of these funds, so they cannot earn interest on them. They simply administer the inflows and outflows, for a fee. “Notional” means these funds are designed to mimic a traditional bank account. We took the concept of interest in mind when we set the allowance level we provide each month.

      –Ohio PERS

      • Appreciate the information concerning the HRA. What about the question concerning lowering of retirement check in 2017 in spite of a COLA increase and a dental cost decrease?

        • Peggie,

          There are several reasons that a retirement check can vary from year to year. For answers specific to your personal situation, call us at 800-222-7377, and a Member Services representative can give you the answer that applies to you. If you’d prefer not to wait on the phone, use our Virtual Hold system to schedule a time for us to call you back. You also can use your online account to send us a secure message, and a Member Services representative will get back to you.

          –Ohio PERS

    • Spouses will continue to have access to OPERS health insurance plans. Where there may be some confusion is that the allowance for spouses not yet eligible for Medicare will continue to be incrementally reduced to $0 by 2018, which as a result may lend to exploration of Exchange plans as OPERS plan premiums may be more than some may be able to comfortably afford. Please refer to the third quarter Retiree Newsletter as there is more information, including resources for exploring outside options. If you have further questions about spouse coverage, please call OPERS.

      thanks,
      OPERS

  • 2018 spouses will not get any reimbursement, but can they continue on the medicare supplement and part D they are currently on? Or will they have to find other insurance?
    Thank you

    • While spouses would no longer receive the HRA, they are still welcome to continue on with their current plan coverage. However I would encourage plan participants to always compare costs between plans on a yearly basis to ensure whatever the plan may be, is right for them to meet budget and lifestyle needs.

  • i have a question about prescription rebates or refunds, i have never submitted a claim for these is it possible two submit the 2 previous years also (2014&15)? can you also email me any mailing info to start this process.and what i might need besides the purchase summary from my pharmacist.
    i was unaware of any such benefit from OneExchange until i seen the comment from above article.
    thank you and happiest holidays Bill W.

    • Bill, please call OPERS at 1-800-222-7377 at your convenience and we can walk you through the process. You can also review information online, at medicare.oneexchange.com/opers from information from OneExchange.

      Thank you,
      OPERS

  • I receive a retirement check from Opers. I will be 65 in March. Do I have to purchase medicare from Opers or can I go thru another insurance company?If I have to go thru Opers how do I find out the insurance cost? Thank you

    • Please call us at 800-222-7377, and a Member Services representative can give you the answer that applies to you. If you’d prefer not to wait on the phone, use our Virtual Hold system to schedule a time for us to call you back. You also can use your online account to send us a secure message, and a Member Services representative will get back to you.

      Thanks,
      OPERS

  • Opers did reimburse part of our medicare payment but as of January of this year 2017 they don’t, that is why our checks went down some. Just fyi

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