Five things to keep in mind while enjoying your retirement
By Heather Drago, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System
April 18, 2017 – Your OPERS benefit payment hits your bank account every month like clockwork – no need to worry about that. You’re free to spend your time doing what you want, when you want.
But it’s important to check in with us from time to time, especially if you have had a change in your personal or contact information.
- Keep your personal and contact information updated with OPERS – Because you receive your benefit payment via direct deposit, it’s easy to forget to notify OPERS if your address or bank changes. You can make changes to either by signing into your online account. Keeping your address updated will ensure that you receive important communications from OPERS.
- Review your tax withholding – If you haven’t reviewed your tax withholding since you retired, it might be time to discuss it with your financial adviser or tax preparer. We are not tax advisers at OPERS, so we really can’t help you decide what to withhold. Changes to your tax withholding can be made through your online account as well. If you do want to make a change you can also do this through your online account.
- Update your beneficiaries and family information – When you retired you selected one or more beneficiaries to receive either a monthly or lump sum benefit when you die. While there are only a few circumstances that allow you to update the beneficiaries named to receive a monthly benefit (death, marriage, or divorce), you can change who gets your lump sum death benefit. Your online account lists current designations and has the form needed to make changes to your lump sum death benefit.
- Consider a letter of last instruction – Unlike a will, a letter of last instruction is not a legally binding document. But it helps family members or friends handling your affairs in the event of your death. A letter of last instruction explains things like the location of vital papers, business affairs and designated funeral arrangements. You may wish to list OPERS and/or your insurance carriers with phone numbers so your family knows who to call to report your death.
- Consider asking your spouse or another trusted person to assist you with your retirement account – OPERS cannot discuss your personal account information with anyone unless we receive written authorization from you. If you would like us to be able to discuss account information with a person of your choice, you need to complete an Authorization for Release of Account Information (LL2), which can be found on opers.org under Retiree Forms. When completing this form, be specific about the information you authorize OPERS to share, and provide an expiration date.