OPERS offers tips to help our retirees in 2022
By Michael Pramik, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System
Jan. 6, 2022 – As we make our way into the new year, it’s a good time for OPERS retirees to review their accounts and other important information.
Because of high call volumes at OPERS this time of year, if you have questions about your HRA reimbursements, please contact Via Benefits directly at 1-844-287-9945.
Meanwhile, the OPERS “Get Ready for 2022” website page offers helpful information about several important considerations to be aware of at the first of the year.
Anytime there’s a change in your monthly benefit amount, you will receive a Statement of Benefit Payment (formerly called a Benefit Change Notice). These statements are also available in your online account, and if your mail preference is set to “electronic,” you’ll receive this statement only in your online account.
Because OPERS will no longer deduct Pre-Medicare medical plan premiums from monthly retirement benefits in 2022, Pre-Medicare benefit recipients enrolled in the group medical plan in 2021 received a statement in January showing an increase in their net benefit amount.
Many retirees will see a change in their pension benefit amount in February because of federal tax changes. Your February benefit amount reflecting any such changes will be available within your online account in late January.
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.
2021 IRS 1099-R
OPERS will mail the 2021 IRS Form 1099-R, which records pension distributions, by the end of January. About a week prior to mailing, this document will be available to view and print from your online account. OPERS will send an email notification when it can be viewed. Your Form 1099-R will not provide your health care deductions for 2021; that information will be in your 2021 OPERS Health Care Premium Receipt, also available through your online account.
If you’re an OPERS 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. But remember that OPERS members are evaluated for disability from their OPERS-covered position, not as a person who is permanently disabled as defined by the IRS.
OPERS creates an IRS Form 1095-B, which provides evidence of health care minimum essential coverage, for each primary plan participant who met minimum essential coverage requirements in 2021.
The form does not have to be filed with tax returns, so OPERS will not mail it. Beginning in late January OPERS primary plan participants, including group health, Health Reimbursement Arrangement and Retiree Medical Account plan participants, will be able to access and print the form for recordkeeping through their OPERS online accounts.
Additionally, participants can request a copy of their 1095-B form using the OPERS online messaging center within their online account or by calling our Member Services Center at 800-222-7377.
Benefit payment schedule
You’ll also find on the webpage a link to the 2022 OPERS benefit payment schedule, which shows which day of each month the pension benefit will be paid.