National Association of State Retirement Administrators

Oklahoma

Major public retirement systems in Oklahoma include the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) and the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System (OTRS).

OPERS administers pension and other benefits to state employees, elected officials, hazardous duty employees and employees of participating county and local governments.

OTRS administers pension and other benefits to public school teachers and other certified employees of public school districts, community colleges, and other educational institutions in Oklahoma.

Authorizing Statutes

State Employees

590:10-1-1. establishes the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System.

590:1-1-1. System purpose and authority (a) This agency, known as the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System, was established to provide: (1) an orderly means whereby employees, of participating employers, who are eligible as set by statute, may transfer to inactive service without undue hardship and without prejudice; (2) for said employees to accumulate reserves adequate to provide for themselves and their dependents; (3) to effectively and efficiently administer the programs necessary to attain these goals for public employees; (4) to effectively and efficiently administer the programs necessary to attain these goals for Justices and Judges; and (5) to effectively and efficiently administer the Defined Contribution Plans for state employees. (b) The System shall be vested with the powers and duties specified in Title 74 O.S. Sections 901 to 935 and Title 20 O.S. Sections 1101 to 1112 and such other powers as may be necessary to enable it, its officers, employees, and agents to carry out fully and effectively the purpose and intent of said retirement laws.

Educational Employees

70 O.S., § 17-102. establishes the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System

70 O.S., § 17-102. Establishment of System A retirement system is hereby established and placed under the management of the Board of Trustees for the purpose of providing retirement allowances and other benefits under the provisions of this act for teachers of the State of Oklahoma. The Board of Trustees shall have the power and privileges of a corporation and shall be known as the “Board of Trustees of the Teachers’ Retirement System of Oklahoma”, and by such name all of its business shall be transacted, all of its funds invested, and all of its cash and securities and other property held in trust for the purpose for which received.

70 O.S. § 17-106 establishes the Board of Trustees, which consists of

  • The State Superintendent of Public Instruction, ex officio;

  • The Director of State Finance, ex officio;

  • The Director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, ex officio, or his or her designee;

  • One member appointed by the Governor whose initial term of office shall expire on January 14, 1991. The members thereafter appointed by the Governor shall serve a term of office of four (4) years which is coterminous with the term of office of the office of the appointing authority;

  • Two members shall be appointed by the Governor of the State of Oklahoma and approved by the Senate. The two members shall be: 1. a representative of a school of higher education in Oklahoma whose term of office shall initially be one (1) year, and 2. a member of the System of the nonclassified optional personnel status whose initial term of office shall be two (2) years. After the said initial terms of office the terms of said members shall be four (4) years.

Board Composition

Plan

Board Size

Appointed

Elected

Plan Members

Ex Officio

OPERS

13

8

0

3

5

Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System

13

11

0

6

2

Contributions

Per the U.S. Census, in FY 2014, employer contributions to Oklahoma state and local government pension plans were 4.25 percent of all state and local government direct general spending.

Constitutional Protections

Taylor v.State Education Employees Group Insurance Plan, 897 P.2d 275 (Ok. 1995); Op. Atty. Gen. No. 96-21 (recognizing that failure to fund existing unfunded actuarial accrued liability in a public retirement system, in addition to constituting an impairment of pension rights, would violate the contract clause, unless the State can demonstrate that the contractual obligation arose under statute and the impairment was reasonable and necessary to serve an important public purpose). (OK CONST., Article X, §15) Source: Robert Klausner, Esq., State Constitutional Protections for Public Sector Retirement Benefits

Flag of Oklahoma (April 21, 1925, standardized April 21, 2006)

Population (2016) 3,923,561

Oklahoma public pension statistics, per U.S. Census Bureau as of FY 2016 ($ in 000s)

Assets

$30,058,380

Active Members

158,936

Annuitants

115,574

Benefits Paid

$2,317,742

Employee Contributions

$446,465

Employer Contributions

$1,353,815

Systems

21

More Data

Other Resources