Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • 1. What are ORS office hours?

     

    You can call us between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information on how to reach us, click on Contact Us on the top navigation bar.
     

  • 2. When will my pension payment arrive?

    Pension payments are delivered on the 25th of each month. To learn more, click Your Pension Payments under After Retirement on the left navigation bar.

  • 3. What is the difference between the Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution plans?

    The Defined Benefit plan covers state employees hired before March 31, 1997, whereas those first hired after that date are in the 401(k) Defined Contribution plan. To learn more, click on the Defined Benefit Plan Home on the top navigation bar.

  • 4. When can I retire?

     Generally, Defined Benefit plan members can retire at age 55 with 30 years of service, or age 60 with 10 years of service. Some plan members have different eligibility rules. The left navigation button Defined Benefit Plan Overview has more details on pension eligibility.

  • 5. How much will I get?

     The pension formula multiplies your final average salary times the pension multiplier times your years of service. You can find the pension formula under the Defined Benefit Plan Overview on the left navigation bar. You can also click on the Benefit Estimator button and plug in scenarios to give you an idea of how much you can get and when.  

  • 6. What does "buying time" mean?

    You can purchase service credit, or buy time, to increase your pension. To decide if buying time is beneficial to you, click on Service Credit - Earning and Purchasing on the left navigation bar.

  • 7. Can I get a refund or borrow from my account?

    You can't borrow from your personal contribution account. If you terminate employment you may ask for a refund of your personal contributions, but you would jeopardize your pension rights. Learn more about this under Adding to Your Service Credit under the Defined Benefit Plan Overview button on the left navigation bar. 

  • 8. What does my survivor need to do when I die?

    First, and most important, your survivor should contact ORS right away. ORS will then ask for some very specific information as well as a certified copy of the death certificate. We will then review your records to determine what, if anything, is payable. What happens next will depend on your member status at the time of your death.

    If you die while an active member.
    If you die as a deferred member.
    If you die after leaving employment and before being vested.
    If you die after you retire.

  • 9. I am ending my employment with the state. Can I get a benefit?

    If you're not yet old enough for a pension when you terminate, you may be eligible for a deferred retirement provided you're vested with ten years of service. To learn more, click Membership under Defined Benefit Plan Overview on the left navigation bar.