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Retirement

­Ohio University’s retirement program is considered a pick-up-plan; regardless of plan choice the retirement contributions are a tax-deferred contribution deducted automatically each pay period. Primary retirement will be with the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS), State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) or an Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP). State employees of Ohio are exempt from contributing to Social Security. Employees hired after March 31, 1986 will make contributions to Medicare.

Newly Hired Employees

Newly hired, full-time employees of Ohio University have a choice between two retirement systems; the state system (OPERS or STRS) and the Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP). This decision is irrevocable; once a system is chosen, the employee remains with that system throughout their employment at Ohio University.

OPERS and STRS offer a choice of three plans within their systems to new members. Those who have previously contributed should contact OPERS (1-866-673-7748) or STRS (1-888-227-7877) to verify options.
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State Retirement Plans

OPERS

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) is a retirement plan option available to administrative and classified staff. Visit the OPERS website for further details.­

STRS

The State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) is a retirement plan option available to faculty members and master teachers. Visit the STRS website for further details.

­Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP)

In 1998 the Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) was offered to administrators and faculty with less than five years of service; the ARP became available to classified staff with less than five years of service in 2005. The ARP was available to employees hired after it's implementation.

The ARP is a defined contribution plan with a choice of providers offering various investment options. Retirement income is based on the performance choices for the total contributions (employee and employer; subject to contribution limits).­ Contributions may be allocated among various investment options managed by the providers.­ Participating employees may change ARP providers throughout their careers.

Click here for a list of approved Ohio University ARP Providers.

Contributions

Regardless of the selected plan, the employee contributes a percentage of allowable salary.­ Administrative and classified staff contribute 10% and the university contributes 14%.­ Faculty members contribute 12% and the university 14% toward retirement.­ NOTE: the university contributes 9.5% to faculty members participating with an ARP provider; currently an additional 4.5 % is forwarded to STRS unfunded liability account. The university contributes 13.23% to administrative and classified staff participating with an ARP provider; currently an additional .77% is forwarded to OPERS unfunded liability account.

The Internal Revenue Service places limits on the amount of contributions and compensation on which contributions may be remitted for employees.­ These limits vary depending on the type of plan an employee participates in and are based on compensation limits under 401(a)(17) and contribution limits under 415(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Future STRS - ARP Retirement Contributions

Legislation is pending to freeze the percentage of an alternative retirement plan (ARP) participant’s compensation paid by a public institution of higher education to STRS to mitigate any financial impact of an ARP on STRS at 4.5% effective until July 1, 2015. The chart below shows the current, as well as future rates, but notes the mitigating rate freeze is pending legislative approval. 

 
STRS
Defined
Benefit &
Combined Plans
ARP & STRS
Defined
Contribution
Plan

 
July 2014
Employee
Contribution
12% 12%
Ohio University
Contribution
14% 9.5%
Mitigating Rate   4.5% to STRS
  July 2015
Employee
Contribution
13% 13%
Ohio University
Contribution
14% 9.5%
Mitigating Rate   4.5% to STRS
  July 2016
Employee
Contribution
14% 14%
Ohio University
Contribution
14% 9.5%
Mitigating Rate   4.5% to STRS

 * Pending legislation may freeze the STRS mitigating rate at 4.5% through July 1, 2015

Supplemental Retirement Accounts

Ohio University also offers voluntary supplemental retirement accounts including 403(b) tax deferred annuities and 457 deferred compensation accounts. Employees are encouraged to participate in either/or both programs. Supplemental retirement accounts are subject to IRS deferral limits. Learn more....

Click here for a listing of approved Ohio University Providers.

­Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) Calculator

­http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/anyPiaWepjs04.htm

The Social Security WEP Benefit Calculator is maintained by the Social Security Administration.­ It is designed to allow you to estimate any benefits you may have earned for work covered by Social Security.­ LASERS does not sponsor the calculator, nor does it vouch for any calculations you may receive from using it. Any comments or questions­ regarding the Social Security WEP Calculator should be addressed to the Social Security Administration at CalculatorMaster@ssa.gov.

Government Pension Offset (GPO)

If you receive a pension from a federal, state or local government based on work where you did not pay Social Security taxes, your Social Security spouse's or widow's or widower's benefits may be reduced. To learn more visit:
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/gpo.htm

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