Updates under consideration will affect only future OPERS members
By Kristen Dohrmann, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System
Dec. 12, 2019 – You’ve heard about new membership tiers, new retirement groups and new plans. So, you’re probably wondering: what does this mean to me? In short – not much. That’s because the changes being considered by the Board will only impact new members.
Let’s break down these changes.
What is Group D? Group D is simply another retirement group in which new members hired after Jan. 1, 2022 will be classified. Group D members will have their own set of retirement eligibility requirements, benefit structure and features – just like our other retirement groups (A, B and C).
Group D is not a specific retirement plan. In fact, new members in Group D will have the opportunity to choose from two OPERS retirement plans: the Traditional Pension Plan and a modified Member-Directed Plan.
Why are we proposing a Group D? As new generations enter the workforce, OPERS must continue to adapt and change to ensure we are offering retirement plans that are relevant and meet the needs of tomorrow’s workers. Group D will have its own eligibility requirements, benefit structure and unique member features designed to meet those needs.
The changes we’re proposing will also help OPERS address expected investment market volatility and adjust to the lack of available funding for health care.
What’s going on with the Combined Plan? Under the proposed changes, the Combined Plan would merge into the Traditional Pension Plan. It would not be available to new members hired in 2022 and beyond. If you’re currently enrolled in the Combined Plan, this merger will not affect you or any of your plan features such as retirement eligibility requirements or benefits.
Why are we modifying the Member-Directed Plan? The proposed modifications to the Member-Directed Plan would align future benefits in that plan with the ones offered in the Traditional Pension Plan. Taking a fresh look at the Member-Directed Plan design in today’s market and exploring changes allows us to ensure parity among our retirement plans.
Perhaps the biggest thing to take away from this article is that these changes are all proposals being considered by the Board and the details and implementation dates can (and likely will) change.
Although these changes won’t impact you, we still want you to be informed on the actions your Board of Trustees is taking to meet the needs of all members (past, present and future) and continue providing secure retirement benefits.