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SERS asks that all retirees have their pension payments paid directly to a bank or credit union. Direct deposit of your funds is the only way to assure that your payment will be available on the first of every month. Direct deposit eliminates any concerns about late, lost, or stolen checks. Since pension checks cannot be forwarded, direct deposit also eliminates delays when you travel during retirement. It is your responsibility to make sure the funds are in your account before writing checks against your account.

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Your very first payment will be sent once SERS has the final pay figures from your employer, so we cannot predict exactly when the first payment will be made. However, all payments after that will be made on or about the first of every month for that month.

All retirees receive a quarterly Focus publication. SERS sends a quarterly statement to you detailing the current gross monthly pension and deductions and these amounts for the year-to-date. You also will receive a statement if there are any changes to your monthly payment amount, such as when you receive a cost-of-living increase.

 

Monthly Benefit Payments Direct Deposit Dates
January 01/02/14
February 01/31/14
March* 02/28/14
April 04/01/14
May 05/01/14
June* 05/30/14
July 07/01/14
August 08/01/14
September* 08/29/14
October 10/01/14
November 10/31/14
December* 12/01/14

 

 

*Direct deposit notice or check stub will be mailed to all benefit recipients during these months; you also will receive a notice or check stub any time your monthly amount changes.

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Under current law, one year after the effective date of your retirement, you will receive a cost-of-living increase of 3%. You will continue to receive 3% of your base pension amount every year on the anniversary date of your retirement.

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All SERS pension increases should be reported to Social Security if you are receiving Social Security benefits based on your spouse’s Social Security earnings.

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When you write to SERS, please make sure to give your full name and the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Also, make sure you advise SERS of any change in address. Even if SERS sends your check directly to your bank, we still need your current home address.

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You must also notify us when circumstances change, such as the death of a spouse if the spouse was covered by our health plan or if you chose a Joint Life plan of payment.

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If you recieve your monthly payment by paper check and it does not arrive by the tenth business day of the month, notify SERS in writing with your name, address, Social Security number. Sign the letter and mail it to SERS, Attn: Retiree Accounting Specialist, 300 East Broad Street, Suite 100, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

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If your check was lost or stolen and not cashed, SERS will place a stop payment on the original check and issue a duplicate. If your check was lost or stolen and cashed, SERS will only issue a duplicate check if it is determined the original check was fraudulently cashed.

If your check arrives severely damaged so that the bank will not process it, write “void” on the face of the check and return it to SERS with a letter as described above; SERS will issue a duplicate check.

If SERS determines that a retiree’s monthly checks are being endorsed and cashed by a person other than the retiree and the proper paperwork (Power of Attorney or Guardianship Form) has not been submitted to SERS, the retiree’s checks will be held by SERS pending an investigation.

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In some instances, such as a hospital or convalescent stay, a retiree may be prevented from cashing the monthly check. Again, in such instances, direct deposit is safe and convenient. At times like these, many persons find it helpful to be able to have a trusted friend or relative act on their behalf and handle pressing financial matters. If you, as a retiree, want someone other than yourself to handle your SERS’ retirement, you must provide SERS with either a General or a Limited Power of Attorney form.

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This is necessary because in addition to the retiree, SERS’ pension checks may only be cashed by authorized individuals. In order for another person to have authority to handle a SERS pension, the retiree must grant Power of Attorney to someone, or a probate court must appoint a guardian for the retiree’s estate.

A Limited Power of Attorney form is available upon request from SERS. The filing of a Limited Power of Attorney form will also allow the designated person to change the address to the location where the check is being sent.

Guardianship

A guardian might need to be appointed by a probate court when a retiree becomes unable to handle financial matters.

A copy of the appointment of the guardian must be filed with SERS. This information is necessary so that we know how to prepare future payments and where to send them.

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