Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System

This is a defined benefit plan that requires five years of contributions for Oklahoma service in public education to become vested. Vesting allows the option to have a lifetime annuity income.

As a participating member, you contribute 7% of your total compensation (salary plus benefits) on the first $25,000 earned each fiscal year: equal to $1,750 annually. SE contributes 7% of all wages and fringe benefits that exceed $25,000. Contributions are deposited to the member’s account and may be withdrawn four months after leaving the system.

The law also requires employers to contribute a percentage of applicable employee earnings. For current year contributions, see the TRS website at www.ok.gov/TRS.

All classified personnel as defined in statutes at 70 O.S., Section 17-101, which includes teachers and other certified employees of common schools, faculty and administrators in public colleges and universities, and administrative personnel of state educational boards and agencies who are employed at least half-time must join TRS. Membership is optional for all other regular employees of public educational institutions.

You must work at least six full school months to qualify for one year of membership. A school month is 20 school days of at least six hours. You will receive partial credit for employment of fewer than six months or part-time employment between four and six hours per school day. You also may purchase credit for out-of-state service, military service, service with certain Oklahoma governmental entities, and employment in Oklahoma schools before your date of membership.

A vested member can receive benefits after satisfying eligibility requirements. You are fully vested after five years of contributory Oklahoma membership service. You may retire at age 62 with unreduced benefits after completing five years of Oklahoma service.

If you joined the Teachers’ Retirement System Oklahoma (TRS) before July 1, 1992, you may retire with unreduced benefits when your age and years of creditable service total 80 (Rule of 80).

For members joining TRS after June 30, 1992, the age and years of creditable service must total 90 (Rule of 90). You may retire with reduced benefits as early as age 55 if you have at least five years of creditable Oklahoma service.

Those joining TRS after November 1, 2011, will be under the Rule of 90, however, will not be eligible to receive benefits until a minimum age of 60 is reached.

For “Rule of 80″ members, the monthly benefit is determined by multiplying the average salary of the three highest years of contributory service by 2%, times years of service, divided by 12. For “Rule of 90″ members, the benefits will be computed based on an average salary of the five highest consecutive years. However, in all cases, years of service prior to July 1, 1995, shall be calculated using an average salary no greater than $40,000.

TRS offers members five retirement plans, each providing a life benefit to the member and, after the member’s death, either a lump sum payment to the member’s designated beneficiary(ies), or continued payments to one beneficiary.

If you are a TRS retiree who had 10 years of Oklahoma contributory service at retirement and are enrolled in the state health insurance plan, TRS pays a portion of your health care insurance monthly premiums. If you have been employed full-time in the Oklahoma State System for Higher Education for not less than 10 years immediately preceding the date of retirement, and you have been a member of the TRS during that time, and have elected to receive a vested benefit under provisions permitted by TRS, SE pays the balance until you become Medicare eligible. At that time, your state health insurance plan becomes secondary to Medicare and the premium balance will be deducted from your TRS retirement check. This policy does not apply to any employee hired on or after July 1, 2009.

TRS will pay the first $100 to $105 of monthly premiums for each participating retiree (not dependents). The actual amount paid by TRS is determined by the member’s total service and average salary at retirement. Dependent and dental coverage is available if you are enrolled in the State and Education Employees Group Health and Dental Insurance Plan prior to retirement.

Learn more at the TRS website: www.ok.gov/TRS

This webpage should be used only as a guide for benefits eligible employees. Information on this and following pages is only a basic summary and does not replace any policy or benefit material. The law, policy, plan document, or contract should be used for more detailed information or more clarification as the authoritative source.