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Ohio law requires retirees of SERS and other Ohio public pension plans - STRS, OPERS, Ohio Police & Fire, and State Highway Patrol - to contribute to SERS if they are employed in a school position covered by SERS. The current employee contribution rate, which is 10%, is deducted from your pay and sent by your employer to SERS.

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If a retiree is being rehired to the same position, the law states the employer must give public notice at least 60 days prior to the start of the reemployment. The notice must specify the date, time, and location of a public hearing on the reemployment. The hearing is to be conducted 15 to 30 days prior to the start of work.

Click here to read more information - Reemployment: How It Affects Your Pension.

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Retirees must wait two months from the effective date of retirement before starting in a position covered by SERS or another Ohio retirement system.

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The two-month wait applies to all Ohio public retirees. For example, a Police & Fire retiree must wait two months from the retirement date before working in a SERS-covered position. If two months have not passed, then the retiree will forfeit the pension for that period of time.

A SERS disability retiree cannot be employed in a position covered by SERS.

There is no limitation on the number of days a service retiree can work in a SERS-covered position or on the amount earned. Nor is there any certain number of months or years you must work before terminating employment and collecting benefits.

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The original pension received by the retiree is not affected during reemployment, unless the two-month wait is not observed.

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Otherwise, the retiree continues to receive the full amount of the pension plus other benefits provided by the pension plan.

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Reemployed retirees under the age of 65 can refund their contributions upon termination of employment.   [Read More...]
Only employee contributions will be paid–no employer contributions and no interest is included. In order to receive any employer contributions and interest, the retiree must be at least age 65. This is called an annuity, which is described below.   [Hide]
 

Reemployed Ohio public system retirees are entitled to an annuity once the employment is terminated and the retiree is at least age 65. The annuity effective date will be the first of the month following the last day of service, or age 65, whichever is later. No annuity, either lump sum or monthly, will be paid until the retiree is age 65 or older.

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Retirees can choose to take the annuity in a lump sum or in monthly payments, if the monthly amount equals $25 or more. If taken as a lump sum, the amount will equal the employee 10% contributions, an additional 8% from employer contributions, plus interest if the contributions are held by SERS more than one fiscal year. If contributions are held for more than one fiscal year, 4% interest is paid. Interest rates and annuity factors are subject to change by the Retirement Board. Interest is paid only to the effective date of retirement.

The monthly amount is the actuarial equivalent of the lump-sum payment. The monthly annuity is arrived at by dividing the lump-sum payment by an actuarial factor based on life expectancy. A monthly annuity is paid for life. There are no payment plans or joint survivor options available with a monthly annuity.

The monthly annuity payment will remain the same throughout the retiree’s lifetime– no cost-of-living raise or other legislated raises are granted. To give you an example of a lump sum and monthly annuity, the following retiree contributed $750 per year to SERS for three years and is age 67 when the annuity is paid.

 

 Contributions  Lump Sum Payment

  OR

 Monthly Annuity
 $2,250  $4214.16
(18% contributions
plus interest)
 $38.46

 

Multiple Annuities

A reemployed retiree can earn more than one annuity, but can apply and receive an additional annuity or a refund only once every 12 months. For instance, if a retiree quits and receives an annuity or refund in June, and then returns to work again, no additional annuity or refund can be paid until the following July.

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If a retiree dies prior to collecting the annuity, a lump-sum payment will be made to the beneficiary upon application to SERS. The payment is the same as what the retiree would have received. A beneficiary can not take the annuity on a monthly basis.

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If no beneficiary is designated, lump sum payments will be made in the following order provided by law:

  1. Spouse
  2. If no spouse, children share and share alike
  3. If none of the above, the retiree’s parents share and share alike
  4. If none of the above, the estate

Retirees should request a Beneficiary Form only if the order outlined above is not how you wish to have your funds distributed. Your original pension designation of beneficiary filed with SERS or any other pension system will not control payment of an annuity.

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Retirees who receive a lump-sum or monthly annuity might be subject to the Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision under Social Security provisions.

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Social Security benefits that a retiree is receiving either from a spouse’s account or the retiree’s own account might be reduced due to receiving an annuity.

It is the retiree’s responsibility to notify Social Security of any payments received from SERS.

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SERS is required to withhold federal income taxes from a lump sum annuity payment or a refund.

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If the employee contributions were tax-deferred, then the entire lump sum payment is taxable. The withholding rate will be 20% on any portion of the payment which was not previously taxed, unless it is transferred directly to an IRA.

SERS also will withhold federal income taxes from monthly annuities based on being married and having three exemptions. You can change the amount withheld, or elect not to have taxes withheld.

Further information on tax withholding will be provided at the time the annuity or a refund is received.

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If you did not previously qualify for health insurance, insurance cannot be earned with an annuity.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, if you retire and then go back to work for a public or private employer, you temporarily may lose eligibility for SERS' health care coverage while you are reemployed.

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Individuals affected are those:

  • under age 65 not yet eligible for Medicare
  • eligible for Medicare but not enrolled in Part B

Individuals not affected are those:

  • enrolled in Medicare Part A and B
  • enrolled in Part B only

SERS' health care eligibility is lost when:

  • You are eligible for medical and prescription coverage through your new employer
  • You are not eligible for medical and prescription coverage through your new employer but other employees in comparable positions are eligible for coverage. The coverage available to employees in comparable positions must be at the same cost as full-time employees.

You will not lose your eligibility for SERS' coverage if you do not have access to the employer coverage or it costs employees in comparable positions more than full-time employees pay.

Regaining Eligibility: Your SERS eligibility will be restored after you stop working. Because losing employer coverage is considered an involuntary termination of coverage, you will regain eligibility for SERS’ coverage. You have 31 days from the time your employer coverage ends to reenroll in SERS’ coverage.

Dependent Coverage: This rule also applies to your spouse. If your spouse has SERS’ health care coverage and takes a new job that offers access to health care coverage, your spouse will lose eligibility for SERS’ coverage. Your eligibility or coverage will not be affected.

If your child has SERS’ coverage and takes a job, your child will not lose SERS’ coverage. Federal law requires child coverage continue to age 26, regardless of the child’s employment or eligibility for employer coverage.

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Retirees are entitled only to the annuity based on contributions.

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No service credit can be purchased and reemployed retirees can not apply for disability benefits.

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Once employment is terminated, an application form can be requested from SERS.   [Read More...]

If you are not yet 65 and wish to withdraw your funds, a Refund Form will be sent and only your own contributions will be paid.

If you wish to wait until age 65 to receive the annuity, which includes part of the employer contributions plus interest, please contact us one month prior to your 65th birthday. Once you are 65 and no longer working, interest will not continue to accrue. An estimate of the lump-sum and monthly annuities, if applicable, will be sent.

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