Help us help you: Read your mail

Our communication to members and retirees has important information

By Donna Castiglione, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

Nov. 2, 2017 – Every day we are contacted by members and retirees who say they had no idea of something that they needed to do.

Our first question is usually to double check that we have the correct address for the individual. After that we ask if you received any of the communications we sent you on this topic, and sometimes you tell us you don’t read your mail.

I have a couple of theories on why this happens:

  1. When you are actively working you are focused on doing your job, and retirement is one of the last things on your mind. You might also think if it’s something really important your employer will tell you about it.
  2. Once you are retired you figure you have made all your decisions and it’s time to relax. When you were going to work every day, your coworkers would be talking about any major changes, or your employer would give you a heads up about it. So you didn’t have to read about changes all on your own.

I bet you can relate to one of those scenarios. While you are actively working you actually do have a better chance at staying informed because your co-workers or employers might read their mail, and you would hear about changes from them.

The problem is, once you retire you aren’t going to work every day to have those water cooler conversations, and your employer isn’t sending you emails or notices of changes. That communication comes from us at OPERS and the way we do that is through the mail.

I hope you can see where I’m going here – if you don’t open your mail you won’t get the information!

I know you get a lot of mail, but I can tell you that we are never sending you anything you don’t need. We are also taking it a step further and doing our best in our communications to tell you right up front if you need to take action, what your due date is and exactly what you need to do. If we are sending you something just for your information we are trying to tell you that upfront as well.

The worst scenario for us is to have someone miss an important deadline because they didn’t open their mail. So, “help us help you” by reading your mail.


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

    • Thank you. I do read my email and snail mail and appreciate all that you are doing to keep us informed.

    • What mail? We get almost nothing in print from Opers. It’s always some notice on this site telling us to view a video on some topic. Why are you afraid to put things in writing. You have no idea how many retirees don’t even have computers or the internet on which to view your videos. Your videos can be forwarded to our legislature and the press, I imagine, so you are not going to be able to backtrack because it’s not in writing.

      • Linda,

        We provide quarterly newsletters for members and retirees, in addition to notices when a major change occurs such as the two letters we sent outlining the proposed COLA changes.


  • thank you, for all the help we can get , sometimes the mail is over whelming to read with all the pro scams and pay after details.

  • Now that the new COLA rules are in effect, how is it determined when ones purchasing power goes below 85 percent? Please explain.

    • The new COLA rules aren’t in effect just yet — they need to be approved by the Ohio Legislature.

      We are still working out final details of what groups the increase will apply to, the increase amounts and how we will administer them. The increase will affect only a small percentage of our retirees who have been retired for more than 30 years. There are a lot of reasons why their current pensions have a value of less than 85 percent of the original benefit, most notably the historically high levels of inflation through the 1970s.

      Julie, OPERS

  • I am retired from the Traditional PERS.
    I, did not read my mail as the years went on and I did lose out. I will never make that mistake again. It was on healthcare and I wished I would of paid attention. However., I do have a caregiver from Humana., a coach if you will and along with her we made some changes together and I will read all mail that comes in from USPS., e-mails and other ways I choose to “get it.”
    Thank you Donna and the entire PERSpective team as I read you right along with all other mailings.
    Pamela V. Presti

  • I completely understand how frustrating it must be for OPERS when they’ve taken great pains to communicate with us, then members call in with questions that would have been answered had they read the newsletter they received! Thank you for doing an excellent job of keeping us informed!

  • Thank you for sending information to us in the mail. I am one of those who enjoys opening the mail and reading it. This way I can always go back and re-read the info with a cup of coffee.

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