Oklahoma teachers who have accumulated at least 7 years of service and reach retirement age qualify for a pension. This pension is a valuable resource that can provide financial security for the life of a teacher, but it is not free.
The amount of your teacher pension will be determined by a formula based on your age and years of service. You may need to attend a teacher retirement seminar or contact a representative from OTRS to learn more about your pension and plan for retirement.
Age at Retirement
Oklahoma teachers are eligible to retire when their age plus years of service equal 90 or more (Rule of 90). However, if you choose to retire before that time, you will receive a permanent actuarial reduction in your benefit.
One of the most important benefits that Oklahoma teachers receive is a comprehensive package of health and retirement options. These benefits help Oklahoma teachers prepare for a variety of outcomes in life, whether they decide to go back to school or retire to a more flexible lifestyle.
The teacher retirement formula in Oklahoma is based on final salary and years of service, and it is designed to give teachers the greatest benefits possible to those who stay with the system for the longest period of time. This makes it the best system in the state for ensuring that those who have worked the most are able to retire with the largest pensions.
Years of Service
Educators don’t just show up to the classroom and start teaching; they plan lessons, create fun activities, and prepare their students for life after school. They understand that preparation is key to a successful career and a better future for their students.
Having a pension is one of the main ways that teachers can afford to retire and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. However, teachers need to meet certain conditions before they can qualify for a pension.
Oklahoma’s teacher retirement formula is based on the years of service a teacher has and the final average salary. For example, a teacher who has 25 years of service and a final average salary of $70,000 will receive an annual pension benefit worth 50 percent of their final average salary.
Oklahoma’s teacher retirement system is administered by the Teachers’ Retirement System of Oklahoma (TRS). TRS was created by an act of the state legislature in 1943. Today, more than 600 local school districts, career technology schools, public colleges and universities are enrolled as members of the system.
Final Average Salary
Teachers who work for the state of Oklahoma are eligible to receive a pension. This pension wealth is derived from a formula that takes into consideration an educator’s years of service, age at retirement, and final average salary.
While teachers are often focused on the classroom, they also take time to plan for their future. With that in mind, it is important for educators to understand how Oklahoma’s teacher pension system works so they can make informed decisions about their future.
Currently, Oklahoma teachers make an average of $31,519 per year. However, they are able to receive higher wages in some cities, especially Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
90 Points Rule
If a teacher joined TRS after June 30, 1992, they can begin to receive full retirement benefits when their age and years of service equal 90 points. Alternatively, they can choose to receive reduced retirement benefits when they are 55 and have 10 years of participating service.
In Oklahoma, teacher pensions are not portable, so if an educator leaves the teaching profession or moves across state lines, their retirement benefits will be worth less than if they remained in one system for their entire career. This is why teachers should carefully consider their retirement plans and how they interact with the teacher retirement formula in Oklahoma.
Earlier this session, OPEA members made a difference by contacting their House members to stop HB 1003 (McDaniel), which would move new government workers to a 401(k)-type plan and reform the teacher retirement formula to reflect the norms for Oklahoma’s private sector. This reform would lower unfunded liabilities in the six pension plans and put taxpayers ahead of government workers in the future.