- Basic Life, AD&D, Supplemental Life Insurance
- Dental Insurance
- Employee Assistance Program - Impact
- Leaves of Absence
- Medical Insurance
- Prescription - Caremark
- Tuition Waiver
- Vision Insurance
- Wellness - OneWellU
Employer Sponsored Benefits:
- Flexible Spending
- Voluntary Indemnity Plans
- Voluntary Long-Term Care Insurance
- Voluntary Long Term Disability
- Domestic Partners
- Employment Separation
- Life Events
- New Hire Orientation
- Workers' Compensation
Kent State offers a variety of retirement plans. Employees at Kent State are required to participate in one of the state retirement systems - Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) or the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS). University employees do not contribute to the federal social security system and all retirement benefits related to their employment come from the state retirement system(s). Employees who at some time work in employment covered by the federal social security system may have an adjustment in their social security benefits as a result of their coverage under one of the state retirement systems. The Windfall Elimination Provision notice from the Social Security Administration Form SSA-1945 contains more information on this adjustment.
Full-time classified and unclassified employees may elect to participate in either OPERS or an Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP). Full-time faculty members may elect to participate in either STRS or an ARP. Part-time classified and unclassified employees must participate in OPERS and part-time faculty must participate in STRS. There is no ARP option available for part-time employees.
In addition, all university employees are eligible to participate in the 403(b) and 457 retirement savings programs described below.
State Teacher's Retirement System (STRS)
Employees who participate in STRS have the option to select the Defined Benefits Plan, the Defined Contribution Plan or the Combined Plan. Details regarding the features of these plans are available in the information packet provided to new faculty members by STRS and on the STRS Web Site.
STRS requires an employee contribution of 11% and an employer contribution of 14%. Retirement eligibility under the STRS Defined Benefit or Combined plans is any age with 30 years of service or more, age 55 with at least 25 years of service, or age 60 with at least 5 years of service. Disability retirement benefits may be available after at least 5 years of service credit under the Defined Benefit or Combined plans. There are no disability benefits available under the Defined Contribution plan.
For more information, visit the STRS Web Site.
Ohio Public Employee's Retirement System (OPERS)
Employees who participate in OPERS have the option to select the Traditional Plan, the Member-Directed Plan or the Combined Plan. Details regarding the features of these plans are available in the information packet provided to new employees by OPERS and on the OPERS Web Site.
OPERS requires contributions from employees of 10% and Kent State University may contribute up to 14.0%.
Retirement eligibility under the OPERS Traditional or Combined Plan is any age with 30 years of service or more, age 55 with at least 25 years of service, or age 60 with at least 5 years of service. Disability retirement benefits may be available after at least 5 years of service credit under the Traditional or Combined plans. There are no disability benefits available under the Member Directed plan.
OPERS provides special retirement coverage for certain law enforcement officers (OPERS-LE). The OPERS-LE provision requires a 11.6% employee contribution and an employer contribution of 18.1%.
For more information, visit the OPERS Web Site.
2014 IRS Compensation and Contribution Limits
limit, the threshold established by IRC section 401(a)(17), is the
amount beyond which no further retirement contributions may be deducted from an
employee’s earnable salary for a given year. This limit applies to all OPERS
members, regardless of their retirement plan enrollment.
· For employees or elected officials establishing OPERS membership on or after Jan. 1, 1994, the compensation limit for 2014 increases to $260,000. The limit for 2013 is $255,000.
· For employees or elected officials establishing OPERS membership prior to Jan. 1, 1994, the compensation limit for 2014 increases to $385,000. This limit is applied regardless of whether there has been a break in service or an account refund for previous service. The limit for 2013 is $380,000.
· The contribution limit, the threshold established by IRC section 415(c)(1)(A), is the maximum amount an employee may contribute to a defined contribution plan. The IRS defines the OPERS Member Directed Plan as a qualified defined contribution plan.
· The contribution limit to a defined contribution plan for 2014 increases to the lesser of 100 percent of an employee’s compensation or $52,000. The limit for 2013 is $51,000.
· Employee and employer contributions, additional deposits paid by the employee to OPERS, and service purchases are all included when applying the contribution limit.
· Certain contributions to the OPERS Traditional Pension Plan or Combined Plan may also be subject to this limit. These include mandatory contributions that are not picked up by the employer, Additional Annuity program contributions, and voluntary deposits to the Combined Plan.
What employers need to do
Why this is important
Changes to the Employer Manual
Whom to contact for more information
Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP)
Full-time classified employees, unclassified employees and faculty members are eligible to enroll in an Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) instead of the state retirement system that applies to their employment. This election must be made within the first 120 days of employment in a full-time position and the election is irrevocable. Under the ARP, the employee would establish an account with one of available insurance companies approved by the Ohio Department of Insurance. Contributions which would be made to the state retirement system are deposited into the employee's ARP account instead (less any allocation for unfunded liabilities in the state system, if applicable).
The ARP is intended to give the employees more portability and control of retirement investments. However, all retirement benefits will be dependent on the available account balance that has accumulated from investments within the individual ARP account.
All ARP eligible employees will receive an information packet designed to assist them in making an informed choice.
Tax Deferred Annuity Program (403(b) Plan)
Tax deferred annuities as provided in §403(b) the Internal Revenue Code are available through payroll deduction providing employees with the opportunity to invest in a fixed annuity, a variable annuity, a combination of both or in mutual funds. The University does not contribute to this program. Employees must establish an account with an approved 403 (b) vendor and submit a Salary Reduction Agreement to the Benefits Office in order to enroll in a plan. A list of the annuity companies authorized for payroll deduction and the Salary Reduction Agreement form are available on this site. For calendar year annual contributions to a §403(b) plan click HERE. NOTE: The contribution limits for future years will be announced by the IRS during the fourth quarter of the previous year.
Contact the Benefits Office at 330-672-3107 for more information.
Deferred Compensation Program (457 Plan)
Deferred compensation programs as provided in §457 the Internal Revenue Code are available, permitting employees to have portion of their pay contributed on a tax deferred basis via payroll deduction. These programs are known as "457 plans" because they are authorized under §457 of the Internal Revenue Code. A list of the companies authorized for payroll deduction and the Salary Reduction Agreement form are available on this site. Employees wishing to establish a 457 account with one of the insurance companies on the list should complete an application with the company and submit a Salary Reduction Agreement to the Benefits Office. The Ohio Public Employees Deferred Compensation Plan, not
Contact the Benefits Office at 330-672-3107 for more information.