Public Employees/Retirement

 

A $15 million pay raise package for all state employees was passed in the last hours of the session. The plan provides employees with a 2% pay increase, with a minimum of $600 and a maximum of $1,000, effective July 1, 1999. Funding for the raise comes from a 2.5% reduction in agencies' contributions to the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) on behalf of each OPERS member. Despite the contribution decrease, the system's actuarial obligation is expected to remain funded at more than 90%. (SB 183)

$32,000 was appropriated for the Employee Assistance Program to expand outreach programs. (SB 133)

SB 272 allows retirees participating in plans offered by the State and Education Employees Group Insurance Board to purchase life insurance up to $50,000.

  • Includes persons drawing disability benefits, provided they meet the disability requirements.

  • Life insurance is purchased in increments of $5,000.

SB 295 transfers $36 million of excess retirement contributions made by active employees of OPERS from July 1, 1994 to June 30, 1998. During that period, employees making more than $25,000 had the option of contributing more to OPERS in order to have their retirement benefits based on the higher salary.

  • Excess funds will be transferred to the employee's Savings Incentive Plan (SIP) account. Funds in SIP accounts are invested to provide members with supplemental retirement income.

  • Earnings will be added to the employee's contributions at a rate of 7.5% compounded annually until the date of transfer.

HB 1005 makes permanent the 5.4% COLA for Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System members granted during the 1998 session.

HB 1574 changes apportionment of sales, use and income taxes so that 3.54% of each is deposited to a newly created revolving fund for the benefit of the Teachers' Retirement System.

 

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