We’ve got tips to make sure you’re ready for the new year
By Donna Castiglione, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System
Dec. 10, 2019 – We’d like to make it easy for our retirees to access information when they need it. Below is a list of common first-of-the-year topics and what you need to know about each.
Changes in your benefits
Anytime there’s a change in your monthly benefit amount, we send you a Benefit Change Notice. You’ll likely receive one in January because of changes in health care premiums. You also will be able to view the notice via your OPERS online account a few days prior to the end of the month. If there are changes to the annual IRS tax tables (which can affect your withholdings), another Benefit Change Notice will be issued in February.
2020 Health Care Premium Receipts
Health Care Premium Receipts for 2020 will be mailed to Medicare retirees with a Health Reimbursement Arrangement account, or HRA, beginning Dec. 16. This receipt is required to set up recurring reimbursements for next year and will be provided within a special “Get Ready for 2020” mailing. Beginning in mid-December, Connector administrator Via Benefits will mail personalized recurring reimbursement forms. Put the two mailings together and file for your reimbursements for 2020.
Changing your tax withholding
Most retirees review their tax withholdings once they file taxes for the previous year. The best way to do so is through your online account, which allows you to see the impact a change will make to your net monthly benefit amount.
OPERS will mail the 2019 1099-R and 1095-B documents by the end of January. If you would like to access them early, log into your OPERS online account. You also can access them through your online account up to a week before they’re mailed.
Your 1099-R will not provide your health care deductions for 2019. This information is available by signing in to your OPERS online account and accessing your 2019 OPERS Health Care Premium Receipt.
OPERS members are evaluated for disability from their OPERS-covered position, not as a person who is permanently disabled as defined by the IRS. As such, if you are a disability benefit recipient, Box 7 on your 1099-R will have a code number 7 or 2 depending on your age. Your tax adviser may incorrectly indicate this code should be a 3.
Changes in Medicare status
If you are currently on our pre-Medicare plan and qualify early for Medicare, it is very important that you notify OPERS as soon as this occurs, or no later than 30 days after you’ve been notified of coverage. Changes to your plan will need to take place, or you could enter an overpayments situation that we would like to avoid.
We look forward to continue serving you in 2020.