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Monthly Benefit Payments Direct Deposit Dates
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.

You will receive a check stub whenever there is a change to your benefit, such as health care premium change, a tax withholding change, or a bank account change.

SERS strongly encourages all retirees to 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.

If you do not enroll in direct deposit, there is no guarantee that you will receive your payment right on the first of every month. Delivery delays might occur that are beyond SERS’ control, such as lost or stolen checks. You must wait 10 days after the expected delivery date before SERS can begin the process of stopping payment and issuing a new check. This delay will not occur if you have direct deposit.

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(7/1/14) - SERS and State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS) recently issued guidance to employers on membership determination for positions of mutual interest between the two systems.

Such determinations became effective July 1, 2014. If you were holding a position of mutual interest and were not contributing to the correct retirement system, your membership was changed by your employer.

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As a result, your employer has notified you that you are now a member of SERS. As a member of both SERS and STRS, you may retire independently from each of the systems if you are eligible, or you may combine your service credit and accounts to receive one benefit. The system with the greatest service credit will be the system that will calculate and pay your benefit. While your salaries in one year will be added together, if you have service credit in each system for the same year, you cannot be credited with more than one year of service credit for each 12 months in a year. You also may combine service credit and accounts for a disability benefit.

You will receive an information packet from us in the next few months. In the meantime, click here for a link to the Member Handbook. Please contact us toll-free at 800-878-5853 or send a secure message if you have further questions about your SERS membership.

For more information about membership determination between the systems, click here to view the systems’ joint message to employers.
 

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(6/19/14)-  For the 29th consecutive year, SERS has received the Certificate of Achievement for Financial Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA).

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The GFOA awards the certificate to government entities whose annual financial reports are judged to adhere to program standards. It represents the highest award in government financial reporting.

SERS received the award for its FY2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

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(5/6/14) -  Farouki Majeed, Chief Investment Officer for SERS, received the inaugural Investor Intelligence Award in the category of Risk Culture.

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The Investor Intelligence Awards are sponsored by the Investor Intelligence Network, a 2,000-plus member organization of Chief/Senior Investment Officers who exchange investment ideas.

Click here to read more about this prestigious honor.

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(4/16/14) - You may have heard recent news reports about an internet security flaw called the Heartbleed bug, which could allow hackers to steal passwords to online accounts. SERS’ member and retiree accounts are not vulnerable to this bug; however, it is always a good practice to change your password every 60-90 days.

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As a reminder, the best passwords are at least eight characters in length and use a combination of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and special characters (e.g. !, &, @, and $). The longer and more complex the password, the longer it will take a hacker to figure it out.

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(3/25/14) - After years of fine-tuning the operational efficiency at our building in downtown Columbus, SERS applied for and received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB®) award from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The SERS building became the 5th LEED-EB certified building in Columbus and the 32nd in Ohio.

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Click here to read about the improvements and energy efficiency efforts that helped SERS obtain LEED Silver certification.

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(2/27/14) - Members who are thinking about retiring in next five to ten years should consider attending a Pre-Retirement Educational Program (PREP) seminar.

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The half-day seminar will cover important aspects of retirement planning: pension payment information, health care, Social Security, and financial planning.

There is no cost to attend a PREP seminar, but registration is required. Dates and locations are available here. To download the registration form, click here.

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(1/30/14) - Some SERS members with Aetna health care coverage have received suspicious calls from an individual claiming to be an Aetna representative. The caller asked for confidential bank account information in order to send the member a new ID card.

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If you receive a similar call, do not give out any personal information and call us toll-free at 800-878-5853 to report the incident. Medical providers do not need your banking information or Social Security number. You also can call the phone number of your medical provider (usually listed on your ID card) to be sure you are talking with actual company representatives.

SERS does not place phone calls to members and retirees, or send staff door-to-door to ask for personal information. However, if you call us, we will ask you a series of questions to verify your personal information and identity.

When you call us, we need your name, Social Security number, date of birth, telephone number, and email address, if you have one. We ask for this information in order to protect your personal SERS information.

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SERS is good steward of retirement system and environment

(1/27/14) - While the School Employees Retirement System of Ohio (SERS) may be serving the people who serve our schools, 300 E. Broad St., the building has been the focus of improvements that will save money and the environment.

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We recently completed several energy conservation measures that qualified for the American Electric Power (AEP) Ohio’s Retrocommissioning (RCx) Program. Implementing these measures enabled the building to receive a rebate of $26,781.90 from AEP.

RCx is an incentive program that rewards AEP Ohio commercial customers for improving the performance of their building by lowering operating costs, energy consumption, and environmental impacts. The building is involved with the program as a result of its efforts to obtain the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, a national benchmark for design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.

By examining issues such as lighting and HVAC running times, six measures for reducing energy use and costs were proposed. Additionally, re-lamping the building with lower wattage bulbs, including changing about 5,000 bulbs, resulted in a reduction of more than 26,000 watts. These low-cost and practical measures allowed for immediate implementation. They were completed in June.

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(12/16/13) - Kaiser Permanente is now part of HealthSpan. Nothing has changed with the health care coverage offered to SERS retirees and their families.

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Plan participants may receive documents and information that says either Kaiser Permanente or HealthSpan.

New HealthSpan ID cards are being mailed. Plan participants should stop using the Kaiser card and start using the HealthSpan card after it arrives.

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(11/26/13) - The Health Insurance Marketplace is a new way to buy health insurance. It can help if you don’t have coverage now or if you have insurance but want to look at other options.

In the Marketplace, the cost for insurance is based on your household size and income.

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You can find out what you will pay by filling out the Marketplace application. You also can compare plans side-by-side. Filling out the application does not mean you are buying a plan; it just tells you what plans are available and what each plan will cost you.

You also can use the Kaiser Family Foundation calculator for a rough estimate of how much health insurance through the Marketplace may cost you in 2014. Your final premiums and costs may differ from the estimates.

Click here to visit the Kaiser Family Foundation website to use the health insurance costs and savings calculator.

Eligibility for Ohio Medicaid has recently been expanded. This change means more adults between the ages of 19 and 64 will be eligible for no cost or low cost health care coverage through Medicaid beginning Jan. 1, 2014. More information is available in the Medicaid Eligibility Expanded for Adults Ages 19 to 64 article below.

The Marketplace will not affect your SERS’ health care coverage. You are not required to switch plans. You decide what is best for you.

The Marketplace is not for those who have Medicare. If you are a SERS retiree who does not have Medicare, click here to learn more about how to look for insurance in the Marketplace.

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(11/26/13) - Eligibility for Ohio Medicaid has recently changed. This change means more adults between the ages of 19 and 64 will be eligible for no cost or low cost health care coverage through Medicaid beginning Jan 1, 2014.

Under the new eligibility rules, an individual with an income of $15,856 or less is now eligible for Medicaid. For a household size of two adults, the combined income could be up to $21,406.

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If you think you qualify because of the new Medicaid rules, there are three ways to apply:

  1. Starting Dec. 9, 2013, you can apply online at www.benefits.ohio.gov.
  2. You can go to your local Job and Family Services office and complete an application with a caseworker.
  3. You can call the Ohio Medicaid Consumer Hotline toll-free at 800-324-8680.

If you do not qualify for Medicaid, you may still qualify for help paying for other insurance you can buy on the federal Health Insurance Marketplace.

The Marketplace is not for those who have Medicare. To learn more about how to look for insurance in the Marketplace, click here.

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(9/26/13) - Many of you have called us expressing interest in the remote counseling program. Unfortunately, all appointments for our September through November sessions have been booked. Registration is now closed.

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We are currently working on scheduling more remote counseling sessions for 2014. If you are interested in meeting with a counselor and will be retiring within the next 12 months, there are other ways we can help you:

  • Call our toll-free number 800-878-5853 Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Schedule a one-on-one counseling session in our Columbus office.
  • Schedule a phone conference.
  • Join us from the comfort of your own home by participating in an online webinar.
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(9/12/13) - All active SERS members soon will receive their Member Annual Statements. This year’s statements reflect changes resulting from pension reform and show how the changes may affect members. There are four different versions of the annual statement based on a member’s years of service.

Included with the annual statement is the latest News & Views newsletter, explaining the new format. Members also can watch a video that will guide them through reading their new statements. Smartphone users can scan the QR code on the front page of their newsletter to access the video that relates to their statement type.

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Members are grouped into four categories, according to the statement type they will receive. To determine your group, please refer to the front page of your News & Views or look at the lower left corner of your statement. It displays a form number 25.90 and a letter (either a, b, c, or d).

Read below to determine which video you should watch:

You received Statement 25.90a. The story on the front page of your News & Views and the QR code are contained in pink boxes.

 

You received Statement 25.90b. The story on the front page of your News & Views and the QR code are contained in yellow boxes.

 

You received Statement 25.90c. The story on the front page of your News & Views and the QR code are contained in blue boxes.

 

You received Statement 25.90d. The story on the front page of your News & Views and the QR code are contained in green boxes.

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(8/30/13) - SERS is adding vision coverage to the SERS’ health care program in 2014.

The coverage is being offered through Vision Service Plan, VSP. In addition to vision benefits, the VSP plan includes hearing-related services through TruHearing MemberPlus. It offers participants savings of up to 50% on select hearing aids.

The dental provider is changing for 2014. Delta Dental of Ohio will provide coverage.

Eligibility for the vision and dental plans also is changing. Enrollment is no longer limited to those enrolled in SERS medical coverage.

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Benefit recipients who previously waived their SERS’ health care coverage can now enroll in dental and vision coverage. Benefit recipients only need to be eligible for SERS health care to enroll in the dental and/or vision coverage.

Dental and vision enrollment applications are being taken through Oct. 31, 2013. Plan coverage begins on Jan. 1, 2014.

For more information, click on the links below:

Dental Plan

Vision Plan

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(8/19/13) - SERS is beginning its mailing of health care open enrollment information. Packets will be mailed today through Aug. 28. Health care participants should expect to receive their open enrollment information no later than the first week of September.

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Inside the packet are premiums for 2014. It also has an overview of the changes taking place and the schedule of upcoming open enrollment meetings and webinars.

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