Tips for seasonal workers

Help your child select the right retirement plan with OPERS

By Michael Pramik, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

May 12, 2021 – If your child has a summer job with a public entity in Ohio, there’s a good chance that job is covered by OPERS.

That means your child will be earning money toward a pension in addition to picking up a salary for cutting grass, lifeguarding or other traditional summer jobs. Thus, it’s important that your child choose the right OPERS retirement plan. 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. Your child can find it by logging into or creating an online account. The calculator allows OPERS participants 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

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.

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.

Remember – it’s never too early to start saving for retirement.

Editor’s note: Beginning January 1, 2022, the Combined Plan no longer will be a plan selection option for new hires. Newly hired members will have only the option to select from the two remaining OPERS retirement plans — the Traditional Pension Plan or the Member-Directed Plan. This will simplify the plan selection process for new members.

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