Welcome to the new PERSpective blog
Updated design, new bloggers to keep readers in mind
The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System introduces an improved PERSpective blog, designed to be more responsive to the needs and interests of our readers.
PERSpective debuted in March 2011, providing a convenient way for our members and stakeholders to communicate with us and to learn about important pension and health care issues. So far, we’ve had nearly 2.5 million views, a testament to the blog’s success.
With the new design, we’ll continue our advocacy for our members and retirees, as well as provide new features to enhance the experience.
First, we’re introducing several new bloggers who will be happy to lend their expertise to you:
- Betsy Butler, providing pension industry research
- Donna Castiglione, giving helpful tips from our Member Services department
- Chris Collins, bringing you government relations updates from Columbus and Washington
- Kristen Dohrmann, sharing news and information for our active members
- Heather Drago, explaining important health care issues
- Bobbie O’Neil, showing you the ways we provide member and retiree education
The new design will include photographs, including many that show our associates at work. Look for more videos, too, especially on health care and education topics. And, we’ll be posting more often to keep you better up to date.
Finally, we’re going to keep the conversation flowing – you’ll still be able to comment on our blogs, a communication tool that we believe sets our social media program apart from those of other public pension systems.
If you have any tips or suggestions, please let us know by commenting on this blog.
Welcome to the new PERSpective.
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.
46 thoughts on “Welcome to the new PERSpective blog”
Wow, nice job! Blog is fresh and bright. Thought I’d gotten the wrong site when it first came up. It’s very professional looking but then who’d expect anything less from PERS.
Any chance in the future we could get health insurance for outside the USA? For those of us who would like to retire overseas? It would have to save opers lot’s of money.
Thanks! Great idea as usual from OPERS!
The new site looks nice. Good to learn about and see the folks running the site.
It would be helpful to included the date that a new post is made, along with the title.
Thanks for your comment. We are working to find a solution to the date issue.
The new site looks nice. It’s good to learn about and see the folks running the site.
It would be helpful to included the date that a new post is made, along with the title.
I’m looking forward to PERSpective. We need all the help we can get and
that would be from other retirees and everyone else in the system.
Anything to enhance communication is a plus. Thanks for keeping us well informed.
I like to review previous blogs and see if there are any new comments made by OPERS officials (Michael P., Heather D., etc.). The new indentations make the task difficult, so may I suggest using bold print for OPERS officials comments.
Thanks for your input. We are continuing to adjust the new blog format, and we will consider your suggestion about the appearance of the comment section.
Thanks for keeping us well informed!
re: “… we’ll continue our advocacy for our members and retirees, …”
IMO, OPERS abandoned retirees years ago and the latest version of PERSpective blog is only marketing to current members to keep them UNINFORMED about the lack of support of retirees!
Thanks OPERS for the nice site!
Thank you for noticing, and for reading PERSpective.
Wow very nice, thank you
Nice job. Thank you.
The old format had previous PERSpectives in a column on the right. Can we get that back?
Our new design allows us to feature the most-recent entries in four boxes to the right of the current blog, and you can find our blog library by clicking on the “Archive” tab in the header bar.
Thanks for checking out the new PERSpective.
Is membership in PERI worthwhile?
Public Employee Retirees Inc., known as PERI, is an association exclusively for OPERS members and retirees. PERI is an independent organization not affiliated with OPERS, and we remain neutral with regard to associations involved in the pension industry. You can learn more at http://www.operi.org.
Julie, Ohio PERS
No comment just want to get e-mail notification of new articles.
Thanks for your note. To receive email notification of new PERSpective blogs, just enter your email on the blog home page (in the right-hand column under the “Featured Video.” Then confirm the request when we send you an email.
I just found out about this site, how many more people are like us and haven’t seen this information? Is there a better way to let uncomputer nerds like myself to find this stuff? I been retired since 2006. Thanks for your time and keep up the good work—-hopefully I’ll be able to find this site again later.
I don’t know that I would call you an “uncomputer nerd,” Dick. You just posted a comment on a blog!
We try to take the same information you read on the blog and repackage it for the member and retiree newsletters, post it on the OPERS website and on our Facebook page.
Thank you for your comment,
Julie, Ohio PERS
I just received an email from OPERS regarding possible changes to retirees’ COLAs. I’m looking forward to learning more about it and providing input.
It would be helpful for OPERS to refer to the specific CPI OPERS plans to use to calculate retiree COLAs. In its communications thus far (email, video, special Perspective), OPERS repeatedly referred to “the” CPI. There is more than one. Please let members/retirees know the CPI-W is what OPERS currently plans to use beginning in 2019 for retirees who retired in 2013 or later.
So, in all future communications about the COLA, please specify the specific CPI being discussed– especially given the growing movement to have Social Security (and perhaps OPERS?) use the CPI-E (elderly) instead of the CPI-W.
I am opposed to restructuring our COLA commitment to current retirees. If changes must be made, they should be made with full disclosure to future retirees. It is not fair to pull the rug from under current retirees that served the state of Ohio in the good faith understanding that the state made to their retirement plan. Even though similar, private sector employers offered higher compensation, the retirement promise offered incentive to remain in the public sector. Many public employees remained faithful to public service, with the promise that they would , at least, benefit from a great retirement plan. To pull that rug from under long term, faithful employees is deplorable. You can bet that if inflation rates had exceeded the 3% COLA that the OPERS Board would not be clamoring to increase our cola.
Can PERS address the ballot issue 2…it is very deceptive in the wording and we are not really sure how to vote.
While OPERS is not a state agency or entity of the state, we are watching closely what is happening with the Drug Price Relief Act. At this time, it is unclear what impact, if at all, this will have on our retirees if it passes. OPERS remains neutral on this initiative. We’ll keep you posted once we know more.
I think I may have thrown an offer from Colonial Life away. I have contacted an agent who has never reached out. Would it be possible to get information about how to contact them or send a copy of the letter so that we can find out how and what we need to do? By the way this offer is for life and accident insurance for members and family.
Colonial Life can provide more information. Please call them at 1-844-341-8803 — they can assist you Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9 a.m.-noon and 4 p.m.-7 p.m. EST.
I am sure this has been asked before but can you tell me approximately what time after midnight on the monthly benefit date does my pension payment get electronically deposited in my bank account.
Each individual bank and credit union determines what time they make the funds available on the payment effective date. They have up until 11:59 p.m. to make the funds available on the payment date. For the list of 2019 payment dates, read our recent blog on the subject, https://perspective.opers.org/index.php/2018/12/26/benefit-schedule-set-for-2019/
Just looked at the 2020 benefit offerings for Retires, leaves me sad that with the size of the group OPERS has and the amount of money OPERS pays to the insurance company that OPERS allows the insurance companies to be the dictator. Who is profiting here, not the retirees. OPERS should negotiate better plans for retirees that have affordable out of pockets expenses for the retirees. OPERS you are not negotiating plans for a Small group this is a huge group and any other insurance company would jump on the chance to IMPROVE the offerings. You can do better in negotiating plans, why line the pockets of insurance companies. Guess that forces us to keep working.
Since we all were promised a 3% COLA when we started employment with OPERS.. I feel it is unfair to change it for some members while other members receive a 3% for lifetime. With the new retirees receiving a COLA based on the C.P.I which can be 0% some years and the other groups receiving 3% every year seems quite unfair. Why not move everyone to a guaranteed 2% or either one based on the C.P.I. but if leaving the max at 3% at least have a minimum at 1 to 1.5%.
Can anyone give me some guidance re my Health Account. VIA benefits keeps denying my $115 monthly payment reimbursement for medical care. I made payment arrangements on medical treatment I received & VIA keeps denying me payment. By making monthly payments it prevents my account being sent to collection of my total invoice.
Please contact our Member Services Center at 1-800-222-7377 so a representative from OPERS can try and help assist with your questions.
Can my HRA funds be used for qualified expenses for our spouse as well? ( out of pocket medical, Medicare supplemental insurance premiums for example)
I understand IRS Publication 502 needs followed.
You can generally include medical expenses you pay for yourself, as well as those you pay for someone who was your spouse or your dependent either when the services were provided or when you paid for them.
mike I received my2022 opers health care guide. I read the open and closed HRA part, why can’t the medicare closed HRA be switched to the open HRA? steve lee
We implemented a closed HRA for the Medicare population to ensure that we could account for each Medicare retiree who was enrolled in our group plan at that time. We knew that if we linked enrolling into a medical plan with our Medicare Connector (Via Benefits) to receiving the HRA, we could ensure that everyone had successfully enrolled into an individual plan, and we felt comfortable making the decision about the closed HRA because of how many insurance carriers and individual plans could be offered through Via Benefits. Additionally, implementing the closed HRA model allowed us to manage the Connector and the customer service experience and to prevent carrier steerage. On an annual basis, we evaluate all aspects of OPERS health care, and review/discuss future strategies with the OPERS Board of Trustees.
Mike can I go to the board to request moving from the closed HRA to the open HRA ? Steve Lee
Here are the guidelines for addressing the Board of Trustees.
Thank you for the information Steve Lee
Do I understand correctly that retirees will now purchase their own drug plan and medical plan? I always thought the only way to receive the HRA was to use OPERS group drug and medical plans. I am confused
The Pre-Medicare recipients will have an open HRA that does not require the enrollment into a medical plan through Via Benefits. The Pre-Medicare recipients will be required to opt in to the HRA by contacting Via Benefits during the open enrollment period 11/1/2021-12/15/2021.