Benefits & Wellness

Retirement Overview & Eligibility

As a public employer in the State of Ohio, Southern State Community College and its faculty and staff participate in the State of Ohio's retirement system. When an employee is hired by Southern State, they are automatically enrolled in the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS) if they are considered staff or the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) if they are considered faculty. If hired as a student worker, you are eligible for exemption from OPERS. State employees of Ohio are exempt from contributing to Social Security.

Full-time employees are eligible to opt out of OPERS and instead participate in the Alternati ve Retirement Plan (ARP). Employees eligible for the ARP must make an irrevocable decision of which plan they choose to participate in within 120 days of their hire date. If they do not indicate a decision within this 120 day period, they are automatically and irrevocably enrolled in OPERS or STRS.

Newly Hired Employees

Newly hired, full-time employees of Southern State Community College have a choice between two retirement plans; the state system (OPERS or STRS) or the Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP). You cannot be enrolled into both.

New hired employees must elect a retirement plan within 120 days of their hire date. If no election is made, they will default to the applicable state plan (OPERS or STRS).

This decision is irrevocable; once a plan is elected, the employee remains with that system throughout their employment at Southern State Community College.