To know the balance in your OPERS account is often information that eludes public employees I represent. For those who do not work in government OPERS is short for Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. It is the major thing that separates government employees from the rest of us. They do not pay into social security. It is a real pension that pays out 70% of the average of your 3 highest earning yeas of public employment plus medical.
For all the good that it is for public employees, very few know their OPERS statement balance. Why is it necessary to know this information for bankruptcy purposes? In schedule B of the bankruptcy petition it is necessary to list all your pension plans. Then in schedule C, Ohio exemptions are applied to protect the entire balance in the PERS account. Ohio law protects its own. Long before regular pension and IRAs were exempt, the state protected their own pensions. What a shock!
For the sake of accuracy I like to list an actual amount and not “unknown” for the pension balance. OPERS sends out annual paper statements. Hardly ever does a client have one to bring in. Nothing is too good for government employees. Problem solved. You can now access your last annual statement online.
You will need to set up an online account. You need a computer with Internet access then:
- Log on to www.opers.org
- Click the register now button in the “access your account” section. Top right corner.
- You will need to have an active email account and your social security number.
If you already enabled online account access, sign in with your user id and password. Once you log in click on the My Account drop down and select Annual Statement.
Like any other good government function OPERS wants to save paper (and money). You also have the option to opt out of receiving the paper copy of the annual statement. That is a good choice since if you are one of my clients you will throw it in the trash anyway.
It is a good idea to know your OPERS statement balance not only if you are filing bankruptcy, but also to assist you in retirement planning.