Tips for seasonal workers

How you can help your child select the right retirement plan

By Kristen Dohrmann, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

May 22, 2018 – Is your child spending the summer working as a lifeguard or cutting grass during the summer for a city department? These jobs may be covered by OPERS.

Whether it’s their first job out of college or part-time summer employment, it’s important that children pick the right OPERS retirement plan. Help them do so, because the choices they make today can impact their retirement future.

Comparing the plans

After children are hired they will have 180 days to select the one of the three OPERS retirement plans:

  • Traditional Pension Plan
  • Combined Plan
  • Member-Directed Plan

The easiest way to compare the plans is to use the Plan Comparison Calculator. You and your child can find it by logging into or creating an online account. The calculator allows you to:

  • Input personalized information such as salary
  • Find out what the retirement payments and refund amounts would be from all three plans

Things to consider

The member, not the parent, should create the online account. It’s ultimately the member’s decision on which plan to select, even if the member is a minor.

Also, it’s important to remember the Combined and Member-Directed plans have a monthly administrative fee of $5 charged to all accounts, regardless of balance. This fee may affect children’s account balance if they choose the Combined or Member-Directed plan and only work part of a year and are not contributing consistently to OPERS.

If they select the Traditional Pension Plan, they will not be charged the $5 monthly fee.

If your child selects the Combined or Member-Directed plan, they may want to roll over their account balance into an IRA or another retirement plan, or take a refund when their seasonal job ends to avoid the monthly administrative fee.

No matter which plan they choose, your child can leave the account on deposit with OPERS when the seasonal or part-time job ends. If they decide to return to the same job, or any other OPERS-covered position, they can pick up where they left off and continue contributing to the same plan. We have an employer search function on our website that can help you locate other OPERS-covered positions.

To learn more, view a brief video about how you can help your child select the right plan. It’s never too early to start saving for retirement!


2 thoughts on “Tips for seasonal workers

  • June 26, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    I worked every summer for 4 years for the city of Elyria, Ohio and 1 summer for the state in the 80’s. Would I be able to purchase those months worked?

    • June 29, 2018 at 3:03 pm


      It’s possible, if you contributed to OPERS during that time. To find out for sure, call us at 800-222-7377.

      –Ohio PERS


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