Retirement

Bowling Green State University supports the efforts of all employees to plan a fulfilling secure retirement.  As part of the benefits package and total rewards, the university offers several options to assist you with meeting your financial goals.

Retirement program eligibility is based on your employment type.  The two state-mandated retirement programs are the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) and the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS).  In addition, we also provide Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) options.

Ohio law (Ohio Revised Code Section 3305.06) requires a portion of the employer contribution for an ARP member go to the state retirement system to mitigate any negative financial impact of the ARP on the state retirement system.  This portion is known as the mitigating rate.  In addition, OPERS and STRS have the authority to collect a mitigating rate from the employer contribution made on behalf of their members who elect their defined contribution or combined plan.  The mitigating rate is subject to fluctuation and may increase or decrease at any time based on current law.  Legislation signed June 30, 2015 froze the mitigating rate at its current level, and any future rate change will require further legislative action.   Only the Ohio General Assembly has the ability to reduce the impact of the mitigating rate on plan participants.  Please contact OPERS or STRS for more information regarding the mitigating rate.

All new hires or newly eligible employees must complete a Retirement Plan Selection form within the first 120 days from their date of eligibility to elect the Alternative Retirement Plan instead of STRS or OPERS.  These forms must be received in the Office of Human Resources by the 120th day or they will not be accepted.  You have 180 days from your date of eligibility to elect plan options within STRS and OPERS.  For additional information view the new employee retirement plan election form.
 

Employees of Ohio public colleges and universities do not participate in the federal Social Security system, other than contributions to Medicare.  If you are eligible for a Social Security benefit from other employment in addition to your OPERS benefit, there may be a reduction in your Social Security benefit.  Learn more about the Windfall Provision at Social Security Administration website.

There are also voluntary options for supplementing the state retirement plans.  Please see the Supplemental Retirement Plans tab for further details.

As a faculty member, you are automatically enrolled in STRS upon your hire, rehire, or job change.  Faculty who are considered full time also have the choice to elect the ARP, however part time and adjunct faculty members are not eligible.  All faculty members are eligible to participate in the supplemental retirement plans.

If you elect to participate in an ARP, an election form must be received by the Office of Human Resources no later than 120 days from, and including, the effective date of your eligible appointment.  If an ARP election form is not received timely, you will automatically be placed into STRS.  If you remain in STRS, you have 180 days from your date of hire to select a plan within STRS.

Both you and the university contribute to your retirement account.  Your contributions are made on a pre-tax basis; federal and state taxes are deferred until benefits are paid. Benefits are exempt from local and municipal taxes within Ohio, except school district income tax.  Any investment return on your account is also tax-deferred.

To learn more about the three options offered by STRS, please visit the STRS website or contact them directly at 1-888-227-7877.  To learn more about the ARP, please review the Alternative Retirement Plan Tab.

As a staff member, you are automatically enrolled in OPERS upon your hire, rehire, or job change.  Staff who are considered full time also have the choice to elect the ARP.  Staff members who are not considered full time are not eligible for the ARP.  All staff members are eligible to participate in the supplemental retirement plans.

If you elect to participate in an ARP, an election form must be received by the Office of Human Resources no later than 120 days from, and including, the effective date of your eligible appointment.  If an ARP election form is not received timely, you will automatically be placed into OPERS.  If you remain in OPERS, you have 180 days from your date of hire to select a plan within OPERS.

Both you and the university contribute to your retirement account.  Your contributions are made on a pre-tax basis; federal and state taxes are deferred until benefits are paid. Benefits are exempt from local and municipal taxes within Ohio, except school district income tax.  Any investment return on your account is also tax-deferred.

To learn more about the three options offered by OPERS, please visit the OPERS website or contact them directly at 1-800-222-7377.  To learn more about the ARP, please review the Alternative Retirement Plan Tab. 

The Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) is a defined contribution plan in which an employee and employer contribute a defined pre-tax percentage of pay.  The employee makes the investment decisions and those choices determine the amount of investment risk that the employee bears.  The account balance consists of contributions made by the employee and the employer, along with the account’s investment gains or losses.  This provides flexibility to the employee to make choices that are right for you.

If you elect to participate in an ARP, an election form must be received by the Office of Human Resources no later than 120 days from, and including, the effective date of your eligible appointment.  If an ARP election form is not received timely, you will automatically be placed into the State Retirement System.

Both your contributions and the contributions of BGSU are fully vested immediately in the ARP, however there are no defined benefits such as disability or health care.  The vested account balance would be available to the employee or beneficiary in the event of retirement, termination, disability, or death.

As a participant in the ARP at Bowling Green State University, you are entitled to change your ARP vendor anytime throughout the calendar year.  The ARP Vendor Change Form must be received by the Office of Human Resources AND you must have established an account with your new vendor prior to submitting this form.  The change will take place with the next payroll cycle based on when the ARP vendor change form is received.
 

The university currently has seven approved ARP vendors that you may select from.

Nationwide

1-419-354-1190

TIAA-CREF

1-877-209-3138

VALIC

1-216-333-8537

VOYA

1-419-725-4470

Bowling Green State University offers supplemental savings options to help employees plan for retirement.  This allows you to set aside additional money through pre-tax contributions to help reach your retirement goals.  Most employees are eligible to participate in the 403(b) and 457(b) plans.   When making your selection, remember to consider fees, surrender charges, and investment returns.

If you would like to participate in the 457 program, please contact Ohio Deferred Compensation directly at 1-877-644-6457 or view their website.  

To review the current 403(b) plan providers, please visit the participating companies list

If you would like to participate in the 403(b) program, please contact your provider of choice and complete your enrollment.   Then complete the  voluntary 403(b) supplemental retirement plan salary reduction agreement and submit it to the Office of Human Resources.  Deductions will begin with the next payroll cycle.

You may make changes to your supplemental retirement plan election at any time.  To do so, please contact your current and new selected providers to make those changes in addition to completing a new supplemental retirement plan salary reduction agreement for any 403(b) program.

Should you have any questions, please contact the Office of Human Resources at 419-372-8421.