For Immediate Release: March 16, 2012
Sen. John Sparks
Senate addresses benefit loophole for public employees who served
in Vietnam and Gulf Wars
Currently, an active member of the Oklahoma Public
Employees Retirement System (OPERS) who is a war veteran is eligible
for up to five years of service credit for overseas deployments.
An unintentional loophole in Oklahoma statutes, however, did not
extend this benefit to certain veterans of the Vietnam or Gulf
Senate Bill 616, by Sen. John Sparks, addresses the problem ensuring
these veterans get the benefits they deserve.
"The service credit benefit for war veterans is a way for
our state to thank those brave men and women for their selfless
service and sacrifice to their country in times of war,"
said Sparks, D-Norman. "This was a matter of simple oversight
in statute language that wasn't brought to the legislature's attention
until this year. My bill will ensure our Vietnam and Gulf War
veterans get the benefits they rightfully earned and deserve.”
Retirement credit will be extended for certain military service
for eligible members who joined OPERS prior to July 1, 2000, and
their military service was earned before joining OPERS.
SB 616 will next be heard in a House committee.