OPERS announces 2019 cost-of-living adjustment

Annual benefit increase tied to Consumer Price Index to be 3 percent

By Michael Pramik, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

July 24, 2018 – All eligible OPERS retirees will receive a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment in 2019, including those whose increase will be based on the U.S. Consumer Price Index.

Members whose effective date of retirement is after Jan. 7, 2013, are scheduled to have next year’s COLA based on the CPI-W, the government’s inflation index for urban wage earners and clerical workers. According to state law, the annual COLA for these retirees is to be based on the change in the CPI-W index from the end of June 2017 to the end of June this year.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the CPI-W index increased 3.09 percent over that period. State law caps the OPERS COLA at 3 percent.

The BLS also reported that two other inflationary indexes increased over the June-to-June span, although not as much as the CPI-W. The CPI-U, a common measure of inflation in the United States, increased 2.87 percent. The CPI-E, an experimental CPI for Americans 62 years of age and older, trailed the other measures at 2.79 percent.

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

    • I’m just thankful every month when this deposit shows up in my bank account. I don’t understand all these people complaining about what’s fair or unfair. I keep track of how much I’ve drawn from OPERS and the total to date is UNBELIEVABLE!! Thanks for sending money every month so I don’t have to work and can enjoy retired life. Keep up the good work with the investments.

        • This is a great system and I want to thank the hard working folks at OPERS who keep an eye on the investments, get the monthly benefit out, and do so many other things to help those of use who are retired.
          I am very grateful for this system, and realize that in the future many people will not have a retirement fund and will have to rely on their own savings (while paying off mortgage, kids college, etc, etc)

      • I am very thankful I retired in 2012 and have not had to worry about finances. When OPERS direct deposits into my bank account I am grateful. I am very blessed, and have no complaints about anything. I echo the sentiments of Ron, “keep up the good work with the investiments”.

        • I agree with you completely!!!!!! We are so VERY bless. I fear for the next generation coming up. They just do not understand how to save for the future.

          • I didn’t know importance of retirement at first either. Thank God for an old-timer and my parents teaching me to LISTEN to my elders. The old-timer said put money in deferred comp and eventually max it out. 🙂 Thank you BN!

      • My heart feels the same way as your statement reflected. I’m happy & grateful for my Opers Check each month. They do a wonderful job of looking out for us.

      • Ron,

        You are missing the point. Many of us retired based on the ability to get the 3%. Our insurance will rise, our bills will rise, but our pension might not rise. I had just gotten my 1st. 3% increase when I was told that was being taken away. In my case, I got my initial 3% pension increase, but my insurance doubled. We who spoke out about the unfairness were looking to the future. I also know many retirees who cannot go back to work to supplement their retirement, but their insurance, medical, and prescription costs are terribly high.

        • Exactly. I am certainly thankful for the retirement money that I earned. But I also retired specifically to take advantage of the guaranteed 3%, which I later was told is only on the initial year of retirement. I just want the benefit that was promised.

        • I couldn’t agree more with you Cindy. I retired in November of 2019 due to attrition. I had my 40 quarters in the private sector but only get up to 1/3 of my PERS benefit and that was also reduced due to the fact that I went at 25 years . I am not complaining about my PERS benefits , I just wish the Feds would allow me to get my full benefit from Social Security then that would be more like a full retirement. I look forward to possible future legislation that changes the Wind Fall part of this.

      • I am also very thankful to OPERS for looking out for me. I retired in 2009 and have not had a problem with my direct deposit since my retirement. I’m more than thankful to have representatives that know the laws and can make good sound choices on my behalf. OPERS is doing and excellent job, keep up the good work.

      • Amen to this type of thinking. When you compare OPERS to other systems like Illinois and Detroit, you have to be thankful. OPERS, has the wisdom to look into the future, make the adjustments NOW, and not have to engage in future DAMAGE CONTROL !!!

    • Thank you OPERS for all you do. I just wish the government would get rid of Cola so I could get all I worked for over the years.

    • Thank goodness we have a big DAWG watching our backs and doing everything possible to keep the funding solvent! We paid our dues and now are reaping the rewards. It is paramount that we all hand together with our OPERS angels or we will hang separately!!
      THANK YOU!!

    • Yes I’m thankful for 3% but the fairness of across the board increases has been left out. I lived with across the board increases as a percentage being a Director in county government. This method of increase does very little to benefit the lower paid recipients and gives the highest REAL usable increase to top earners who need it least. The increase should be tiered or better yet, the total 3% increase for all recipients should be divided equally among all recipients. When will fairness and common sense be recognized?

    • Thank you OPERS. I retired after 30 years of service in 2006, I continue to be grateful every 1st of the month. Please keep up the great work in maintaining our pension system.

      Also, I recently attended an OPERS transition to Medicare seminar in Independence, Ohio……Thanks for hosting these informative workshops & seminars…..much appreciated.

    • Thankful for my OPERS check each month. It helps when both of you are retired. And glad we will be getting the #% increase.

      • Congratulations on your retirement! Retirees receive their COLA on the anniversary of their retirement date, beginning 12 months after they retire. If you retired in June 2018, you will receive a COLA in June 2019. The COLA amount will be set every year based on the Consumer Price Index. In 2019, the COLA is 3%. Please call us at 1-800-222-7377 if you have any questions.

    • You don’t know how good your plan is until you compare with other States. I also am part of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. There is no “cost of living” increases. What you start with is what you get for life. Also no health insurance plan. Our brilliant former governor Brownback stop paying the states share to support the program and borrowed from KPERS and the highway fund to balance the state budget with a promised to pay back KPERS with interest. So far wishful thinking when the state is still short of money.

  • I wish the cola was simply allowed to float with the CPI. Just maintaining purchasing power over the long haul is all I’m after.

  • Does this mean that after 2019 the COLA for pre 2013 retirees will also be tied to the CPI?

    • No. Retirees whose effective date of retirement is after Jan. 7, 2013, are scheduled to have next year’s COLA based on the Consumer Price Index. For those retirees, the COLA amount will be set every year.

      Julie, OPERS

          • Retirees whose effective date of retirement is after Jan. 7, 2013 are scheduled to have next year’s COLA based on the Consumer Price Index, not to exceed 3%. For those retirees, the COLA amount will be set every year. We won’t set the 2020 and 2021 COLAs until we get closer to those dates.

        • I too am very grateful for all that you do and I thank you all as well. I think a lot of people are confused as to the pre-2013 and post 2013. Can you explain please? Thank you.

          • Retirees whose effective date of retirement is after Jan. 7, 2013, are scheduled to have next year’s COLA based on the Consumer Price Index, not to exceed 3%. For those retirees, the COLA amount will be set every year. Because the CPI-W over the recording period averaged 3.09 percent, the 2019 COLA will be 3 percent. For retrees who retired before Jan. 7, 2013, their COLA is not tied to the Consumer Price Index. It is 3% every year.

  • That is great…every little bit helps. And not changing or reducing pension in whatever manner is a wise decision.

    God bless
    love Teresa and Everyone

  • Can you please give an example of how this will work. If based on an estimated FAS will this 3% be added into the FAS and increase the total amount each year or ALWAYS go back to the FAS for the rest of a persons life?

    • Sure, Cathleen. OPERS provides a simple COLA. That means the annual adjustment is always based on your original pension benefit.

      Hope that helps,

      Julie, OPERS

  • When the changes take place , it should be for all retirees and not just for those who retired after Jan.. 2013. That is completely unfair. It should be across the board. Those of us who retired recently are dealing with higher prices for food, gas, etc. Continuing to allow those prior to 2013 to receive 3 percent allows them to increase their pension to exceed ours. How is that fair?

    • What difference does it make what everyone else is getting? Regardless of when we retired, we are buying the same food, gas, etc. that you are. Don’t begrudge anyone else’s success. Just be grateful for what you have and are getting.

    • And…those of us that retired years ago our pensions are based on lower..sometimes MUCH LOWER ..salaries amounting in lower initial pensions than current employees/retirees
      We are just staying even.

      • You were made aware that the COLA is based on your FAS when you retired, right? And it was great for you when you retired, right-now it’s not so great? Gotta keep in mind the pay scale was much lower when you were working as was the cost of living-you could buy a home for $10,000 or less. Try seeing what kind of home you can buy these days for that amount and the cost of food, gas, etc. So wages must increase due to the higher cost of everything so the COLA will be higher
        . I am so very thankful for what I get even knowing people who retire years from now may be getting so much more COLA.

      • And in years to come, those of us that retired a year ago, our pensions will be “based on lower..sometimes MUCH LOWER ..salaries amounting in lower initial pensions than,” future employees/retirees. We’re in the same boat, just some are in front and some are in back.

        • When I started working over 31 yrs ago,starting pay was like 5 something an hr,now a days its 10 or more,therefore fas is more these days than back then,this is why some are higher than others,your pension, as opers has stated soo many times is based on fas,[final average salary].If my pension becomes not enough, or I need more income,I will get a pt job,problem solved.Do what ya gotta do but NEVER bite the hand that feeds you.Period!

      • I too agree Mark! We have much lower pensions, but still pay the high prices for food, gas and utilities, not mention 20% of medical bills! It is hard to keep afloat.

    • How is it fair I have to pay the same amount in health insurance as a person whose pension is 3x’s more than mine?

      • Seriously? Should you pay less for groceries or automobiles because your pension is lower than others? OPERS does not have control over insurance companies’ prices.

      • Insurance rates are set for everyone,be glad you have insurance, some dont.Imagine a surgery without it,then it would come out of your pocket.

    • Don’t you think all of us have to fee increases AND, we not be receiving any monies to help on costs if insurance.
      All isn’t fair because we everyone older were working they were going to receive full medical for life & that changed for all of us too. Sorry, I don’t normally get involved to responding to anyone but, now, if we keep our Medicare supplemental policy, we are going to be paying for this amount totally out of our pocket! We’re all already on a set income so now we all need to relook st finances.
      Sorry but needed to get my two cents in.
      I’m very happy our eye & dental are going to be able to purchase at a reasonable price with OPERS paying, I don’t know how much for it.

    • I think the point that Patricia is trying to make is why was there a cut off date of January 1, 2013? I think she feels it would have been more fair if ALL current retirees had the same rules for their increases and the new rules apply for all future retirees from the point the bill was passed. I am very grateful for any increase that I get and try to keep an open mind of everyone’s opinions. Thank you to everyone at OPERS for what they do for us.

    • It is what it is!!! Everyone who lives on a pension regardless if it’s OPERS, social security or any other company retirement, we all have to make adjustments, some more than others. That’s life!!! I’m very thankful for my retirement. I also have my deferred comp that I soaked money into for all the years I worked and that is a very added plus. I’m very thankful for our reimbursements on our insurance. VERY THANKFUL.

    • Read the basic OPERS plan. You should have retired before 2013. Those who did realized that OPERS was going to make the change to the CPI Index. Those who stayed on either had to or were padding their yearly average to maximize their monthly payments. Fair has nothing to do with your argument.

  • That is GREAT news! Does OPERS have any plans for future COLA increases for retirees who retired before Jan &, 2013?

      • I retired August 2013. I just got an increase for my anniversary. Do I get another increase for the 2019 cola? Then another one for next year’s anniversary? Thanks for all you go.

        • For retirees whose effective date of retirement is after Jan. 7, 2013, the COLA amount is set every year based on the Consumer Price Index, not to exceed 3%. In 2019 COLA will be 3 percent. We won’t know the amount of the 2020 COLA until we get closer to that date.

    • Those who retired before 2013 received 3% per year. That 3% eligibility ended Nov. 30, 2018, then you had to be “grandfathered” in. I know because I retired on that date for that very reason. I’m real sure the 3% I’m supposed to get in 2019 is not going to be 6%. My already 3% due plus the cola just awarded. Although if I get both I’ll be jumping for joy.

  • Do new retiree’s that retire this year in 2018 have to wait
    2 years before their first COLA increase ?


    • No, Bill, you are eligible for a COLA 12 months after your effective retirement date. If you retire in 2018, you will receive a 3% COLA in 2019.

      Julie, OPERS

  • Looking forward to 2020… will the 3% continue or will it be evaluated again…
    Is it evaluated each year or every few years

    • Retirees whose effective date of retirement is after Jan. 7, 2013, are scheduled to have next year’s COLA based on the Consumer Price Index. For those retirees, the COLA amount will be set every year.

      Julie, OPERS

    • Jim,

      It was scheduled to be tied to the Consumer Price Index for 2019, not to exceed 3 percent. Because the CPI-W over the recording period averaged 3.09 percent, the 2019 COLA will be 3 percent.

      –Ohio PERS

  • I retired in September 2015. I will get my last set 3% COLA this September, then it is based on CPI. Will I get the 2019 COLA in January 2019 or September 2019?

    • Yes. Your monthly Health Reimbursement Arrangement allowance in 2019 will be the same amount as your allowance in 2018. More detail will be provided in your open enrollment materials this fall. For more information about how to use your HRA, go to opers.org.

      Julie, OPERS

      • I have been retired since 2007. I am truly blessed that OPERS people have invested the monies over all the years I worked for Children Services and thank God everyday for my retirement money and thrilled when I get my $ every month. The HRA account is a wonderful blessing too. Thank everyone for me and my husband worked under PERS also and he is ill now so between medicare, Health Plan and the HRA reimbursement is another blessing. God has taken care of us and so has OPERS.

  • Have I missed something?? I thought ALL retirees’ COLA’s would be based on the CPI beginning in 2019. But it seems like you’re saying ONLY those who retired after January 7, 2013 will have their COLA’s based on the CPI. Those of us who retired since 2000 have been receiving a fixed 3% COLA annually . . will that continue??

    • Only those retirees whose effective date of retirement is after Jan. 7, 2013 have their COLA based on the Consumer Price Index. For those retirees, the COLA amount will be set every year.

      • Thank you Julie for your quick response. So am I correct in saying that those of us who retired prior to Jan. 7, 2013, will continue to receive a fixed 3% annual COLA? At least for the time being . . . Forgive me for being a bit dense, but a simple yes or no will do. Thanks!

        • I thought the same as you. I thought next year all of us were going to be tied to the CPI. So she s saying we’re going to get the 3% every year. I must have misread or understood something. I thought they voted for CPI starting in 2019.
          Good news for those of us who retired before 2013

  • This announcement did not mention that, as required by the state constitution and state statute, those who retired before 2013 will continue to receive the 3% COLA.

  • Good to hear the reimbursement allowance did not decrease for 2019, although an increase would have been appreciated since the premiums have gone up. Will there at least be another one-time payment again this year?

    • Sharon,

      OPERS will not extend the annual $300 deposit for Medicare-eligible retirees into 2019. The subsidy was provided for three years (2016-2018) to help offset out-of-pocket costs due to the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap. Pre-Medicare participants will receive a $49 premium reduction to help offset costs, $25 less than in previous years.

      Julie, OPERS

      • I question the need to eliminate the subsidies while the market is doing so well. PERS has always done a great job of protecting and keeping our system healthy. Whatever happens–know that some of us appreciate what the system has done for retirees. The 3% COLA is great.

  • Thank you, the ones of us that had ours based on lower incomes see a pinch in paying for things at today’s prices. Greatly appreciated.

  • Thank you. I do not understand all the technicalities of retiring prior or after Jan 2013, but whatever increase we get will be appreciated. I agree with the comment of we are paying the same price for food and gas, etc as those that retired after 2013. Keep it coming!

  • when I first retired in June of 04, I opted to take a lesser amount so if something happened to me, by husband would get some benefits. When my husband passed in 09, my retirement was raised. So my question is, which amount is my COLA based on.

  • I retired in 2007. In 2008 I received a 3% increase. Since then the dollar amount has remained the same. Will I get an increase or will my dollar increase remain the same for 2019?

  • When you state that OPERS will not extend the annual $300 deposit for Medicare-eligible retirees into 2019, what about a person who begins Medicare in November of this year? Will that person get the $300 (or a prorated portion of it)?

    • The subsidy was provided only for three years, 2016-2018, to help offset out-of-pocket costs due to the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap. If you retire anytime in 2018 you will receive $300.

  • Is the 3% based on our base retirement, which was the figure at the time of retirement or on what we are currently making?

  • I appreciate the time and effort you all devote to administering our pensions and protecting our investments. Thank you.

  • I for one really appreciate the 3% cola each year. I actually retired nine months early, short of my 30 years, just to be able to receive the actual 3% yearly. As in my job due to budget cuts none of our employees received a raise for five years so the 3% looked really good To me. And this year I’m on Medicare and I have higher out-of-pocket so 3% is greatly appreciated. We have the best pension plan around and I’m so thankful I work for OPERS for almost 30 years and grateful for everything I get. Thank you OPERS and thank you for a wonderful job for 30 years. Pensions are a thing of the past and we are very lucky

    • Amen, Janet. Well said and I totally agree. My job, my pension, my medical allowance and the COLA are greatly appreciated.

    • I agree. OPERS certainly ranks among the best-managed public pension systems in the U.S., while others are struggling to avoid insolvency (Illinois & Calif) due to poor management and/or political meddling. Private-sector pensions have mostly gone the way of the dinosaurs. We’re are quite lucky and should be thankful for any annual COLA.

    • Your personalized information will be mailed in early October in the 2019 Health Care Open Enrollment packet.

  • I wish this was a meaningful pecuniary increase but 3% is better than 0%. If I am cynical it is because retirement institutions are making brazen moves that negatively impact retirees. Just give us a nominal flat payout rather than a marginal tinkering around the edges. Thank you, I’ll take the 3%, while knowing the OPERS investment portfolio could be more robust leading to a larger ROI.

  • The cost of living increase of 3% is based on the retiree’s benefit at the time of first retirement. Each year the percentage of COL is reduced based on the current benefit. After eighteen years on retirement, which I greatly appreciate, my realized COL increased is less than two percent. This fact should be published as a disclaimer.

  • Appreciate all the comments and responses. My thought to the OPERS staff and Board tinkering with the current system: step into the shoes of 10 – 20 year retirees and consider how you would feel having healthcare reimbursement reduced effectively reducing your benefit, then add COLA adjustments that could reduce the benefit further. I like to think Ohio and OPERS are better than that.

    Instead of spending energy on picking away at current retiree benefits, let’s work on the SS windfall adjustments with PERI and our representatives to the US Congress.

  • I thought the COLA changes requested of the legislature were not brought to a vote. Therefore, 3 percent would be what all retirees would get at this time. If the bill was voted on, when did that take place, since PUblic Employee Retirees Incorporated has stated that the legislature did not bring the bill to a floor vote.

    • Retirees whose effective date of retirement is after Jan. 7, 2013, are scheduled to have next year’s COLA based on the Consumer Price Index, not to exceed 3%. For those retirees, the COLA amount will be set every year. Because the CPI-W over the recording period averaged 3.09 percent, the 2019 COLA will be 3 percent.

    • Not in 2019. Retirees whose effective date of retirement is after Jan. 7, 2013, like you, are scheduled to have next year’s COLA based on the Consumer Price Index, not to exceed 3%. Because the CPI-W over the recording period averaged 3.09 percent, the 2019 COLA will be 3 percent.

  • I feel we have theBest retirement system in the USA. OPERS workers are the very best. I thank god every day for OPERS. keep up the good work. Thanks

  • Thank you for continuing to help retirees. Like so many others have said, I appreciate the monthly income. Any increase is welcome, because the cost of living continues to rise. I feel fortunate for having been employed under your retirement system. So many others struggle from month to month but I am able to pay necessary bills, and I have enough for groceries and gas for the car, and some left over for little luxuries. You manage the system well, thinking not only of today but of tomorrow.

  • I am grateful to be a retiree under OPERS. Our retirement fund is much more secure and better run than Social Security!

    • I retired in 2005 and was told the annual amount of pay, health insurance for my self (no charge) and family plan health insurance at substantial reduction ($80 a month) as well as 3% col increase annually. No one could have predicted 9/11, which caused a great shock to every American and our economy. However, at no time did anyone from OPERS say “you may need to pay for your health insurance, as well as your entire family (children out of house ….wife alone paying $1450 per month through OPERS) and OPERS may reduce your COLA. It appears to me, the OPERS employees in charge of keeping their eye on the economy and taking the necessary steps to keep the retirement plan on course, failed to do so and now the solution is to “take away” benefits the retirees earned throughout their employment. A simple way of maintaining our benefits would have been to compel all new OPERS members after 2010-13 (whenever the problem was discovered) to work addition years until they are able to retire. Now my retirement check is 1/3 less than when I retied in 2005. Including all COLA increases since. Once you retired and are on fixed income, you’re at the mercy of everyone. While I admit this is a bit controversial, I certainly appreciated being able to retire with 30 years service, new employees being brought in with 33- 35 years until they are fully vested (I suspect my math could be wrong. OPERS have numbers crunchers whom could figure out the exact amount of time to achieve this). This would add additional revenue into our system, allow current retirees to be grandfathered in at the amounts promised and the new employees would know coming in, exactly how long they would need to work to be able to enjoy the wonderful benefits we were prior to 2013. Anyone at OPERS has my permission to take this idea, claim it as your own and be a super hero to all retirees. Just sayin’

      • Thank you for your comment. You should know that as a result of pension redesign in 2012, active members are required to work longer before they are eligible to retire. In addition, they must wait longer before they can access health care — previously 10 years of service at any age, now age 60 with 20 years of service or any age with more than 30 years of service.

        Julie, OPERS

  • Thanks everyone for maintaining our investment funds, which has allowed, so far, a cost of living increase. This allow me to enjoy my retirement life.

  • I was fortunate enough to have worked in S.S. and PERS for long enough to draw both without reduction. I still work at age 78+ and pay into S.S. I do not know if I will ever retire fully but feel fortunate to be able to maintain a reasonable standard of living by continuing to be a producer. Isn’t that what our Constitutional Republic allows us to do? Be glad you are an American and be proud of it. No one else owes us a living. We get what we earned, and then some. Please encourage all current PERS members to use their deferred income accounts. Mine gives me more income per month than either PERS or S.S. and continues to grow. I guess I was smart to maximize my contributions when I was a PERS employee.

  • Thank you, OPERS, for looking out for we retirees. I am so grateful for the blessing of a retirement income. Keep up the good work!

  • THANK YOU OPERS!! I am always telling friends how grateful I am for having worked under this retirement system–it is really a blessing and our HRA’s have been such a help–When I hear of people having to pay $500- $600 a month for healthcare premiums and then with high deductibles I feel badly for them and breathe a sigh of relief and gratefulness!

  • OPERS has been proactive in keeping our pensions secure. As of 2014, Ohio ranked 20 out of 50 states for their funding of public pensions. You only have to look at Illinois to see how bad things can get. That state gives accumulative COLAs, resulting in pensions nearly doubling over the course of ones retirement and digging the state further into a financial hole.

    Thank you OPERS for your responsible stewardship!

  • There are a lot of people who wish they had a traditional retirement plan as good as this, thanks for the great work PERS.

  • I am very grateful for my pension. I worked hard for it and applaud OPERS for wise investment and looking out for the future. Thank you all for all you do; from the top of the organization to the bottom – I thank you.

  • Love all the comments. Me and my husband retired almost a year ago under OPERS after more than 30 years of working and it was good to hear we will be receiving an additional 3 percent increase in 2019, that is good news. I echo the comments about how appreciative everyone is to be receiving OPERS. It has been great and I agree the staff down in Columbus continue to do a great job protecting our pensions. We have been able to live on that income and travel, etc. So, thanks again for your good work. Also, thanks for all the updates throughout the year, they are very informative. Laura

  • I worked part time for 30 years I am Very very grateful for my pension check every month. Good job OPERS. Thank you for my raise. I really appreciate it. Thank you again! Have a safe day!

  • Thank you for all the work in our retirement system. I am thankful for my retirement income and the help with my medical benefits.

    Thanks again.

  • Thanks OPERS for all you have done. Although some may say the 3% isn’t much, it’s better than nothing. Just ask government employees. Thanks again :-))

  • We all should feel blessed. We all worked hard. We all started from the bottom and worked our way up the ladder. I never regret the wages we made. Most Importantly, we serviced people (customers) everyday, to make their lives a little brighter. A lot of those people still struggle today we served, and I bet they wish they were in our shoes. I have no complaints. I live within means, and I am happy. I’m certainly thankful to OPERS for their hard work supporting us.

  • I thank God every day for the choices I’ve made in life. This is one of them. Thank you OPERS for protecting our pensions.

  • Every month, I am so grateful, to be an OPERS retiree (2011). Because of all your hard work, I am enjoying a very comfortable retirement. I have no complaints, whatsoever. You have exceeded my expectations!

  • Just another “thank you” for the COLA adjustment and to let you know how grateful I am for my monthly retirement benefits and Health Care advantage. So many people out there my age, are struggling to pay their Health Care every month while our system looked ahead and worked to supply us with plans to fit the needs of each of us, even though we had to sacrifice “paid for” coverage for our spouses. We are fortunate to have good plans in effect compared to so many other retirees. I am grateful for everything OPERS provides and to be a part of the retirement system. Keep up the good work!!

  • Since 2006, I am ALSO one of the grateful ones who receives monthly benefit from OPERS. I never dreamed ‘retirement’ could be this way, and I continue to discover my passions and be exposed to different careers, because I CAN. Thank you, OPERS, for allowing me to ‘lifelong work’ and ‘lifelong educate’ myself—based solely on my preference and interests. That was something I happened to get into after college, totally by accident, and had no idea how truly valuable it was at the time…

  • I retired at the end of 2013, and I knew that I would get the guaranteed 3% through 2018, and after that, any COLA would be tied to the CPI. I am happy that I will get 3% next year, and I don’t begrudge anyone who retired before 2013 their 3%. Accepting a job covered by OPERS was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Thank you!

  • I appreciate and grateful for the time & effort you all devote to administering our pensions & protecting our investments.
    Thank you!!!

  • The question as to whether rehired retirees who receive an annuity will get 3% increase on both pension and annuity needs an answer for full disclosure.

  • Thank you for the hard work at keeping our retirement strong. There are many states having trouble with there retirement fund. The market is doing well right now but we have to be proactive at preserving our fund. Thank you for keeping an eye on the needs for retirees.

  • When I applied for my retirement in 2012. I was told I would get 3percent every year on my retirement anniversary date. This was a factor in my decision to retire in March 2013. Soon I wont have any benefits and the retirement I worked for wont matter.

  • I am very thankful to be a part of this fantastic retirement system. When I started working for the State in 1977 I didn’t understand (or think about) what this would mean to me 40 years later!! Thank you for all that you do in monitoring investments and strategies to keep this the very best pension plan anyone could ask for after their many years of service. Keep up the good work!!

  • PERS is doing a good job. PERS employees only need to check at what is happening to their fellow state employee pension at STRS. They must go 5 years without a COLA upon retirement. They are capped at 2%. Those who had already retired saw their promised 3% COLA reduced to 2%. These former teachers also endured no COLA in 2013. Then in 2016, STRS reduced their 2% COLA to ZERO and will keep it at ZERO through at least June of 2022. The STRS pension system did this because the General Assembly gave STRS the right to “adjust the COLA.” Being unsupervised, STRS took this to mean they could also ELIMINATE the COLA, which is what they did. STRS does not want to payout a COLA until they are 100% fully funded so many retirees will die without ever seeing their earned COLA again. You might ask, “is STRS outside the 30 year funding period?” No, they are well within it at 17 years and STRS is 77% fully funded. Just be thankful you are in PERS, you could be in STRS.

  • All I have to say is …
    God Bless Julie for having to answer the same stupid question over and over because people do not read or do not comprehend what they read.
    Your pension is Guaranteed no matter when you retired.
    Your Health Insurance Benefits are NOT. Be thankful that you have what you have.
    The COLA is a luxury. Be thankful you get something and don’t be greedy. They don’t have to give it all.
    They have made the changes over the years to keep the fund solvent for as long as possible.
    Thanks OPERS for all you.

    • Thanks, Cynthia. We’re happy to answer any questions from our members and correct misinformation.

      Julie, OPERS

    • I couldn’t have said it better Cynthia, I am so grateful for my pension, and the Health Benefit is a such a wonderful bonus. Keep up the good work Opers. Happy Holidays to you all.

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