Graduate Assistant Retirement Information
This information is intended to assist you in understanding your retirement plan options at Kent State University. It is important that you review these choices carefully as your selection may have long-term impact on your financial future.
University employees do not contribute to the federal social security system and retirement benefits come from the state of Ohio retirement system(s). You contribute 10% of your salary and Kent State contributes 14% to OPERS.
As a graduate assistant, Ohio law provides you with two choices regarding retirement. You may contribute to an Ohio retirement account or you may request exemption from retirement withholding. Please review The Basics: Membership in OPERS for College Students through the OPERS website.
As a Graduate Appointee, you have the option to join or opt out of OPERS
OPERS for Administrative Assistants, Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants
- You will receive a customized link from OPERS.org within 30 days of your start date.
- International students only: you may need to enter the last four digits of your Kent ID when asked for your SSN.
- If this process is not completed within the allotted timeframe (as stated in your email from OPERS) you will automatically be enrolled in OPERS for the duration of your employment.
- Your retirement selection is irrevocable during your continuous employment as a graduate assistant at Kent State University.
STRS for Teaching Assistants (current membership with STRS)
- If you are a graduate teaching assistant and have current membership with STRS and wish to contribute to STRS, you are required to complete an STRS Member and Rehire Membership Form. If you elect to enroll in OPERS instead of STRS, you are required to complete the Ohio Public Employees Retirement Membership Form and the STRS Exemption from Contributions for Student Employees Form.
It is recommended that you keep a copy of your personal records and forms and review your first pay stub for accuracy. Please contact our Academic_Personnel@kent.edu or 330-672-8717, if there is an error with your paycheck.