Reciprocal Benefits are designed to allow employees who transfer between retirement systems to preserve and enhance their total retirement benefits. Upon retirement from all reciprocal retirement systems, the benefits are coordinated between OCERS and the other systems.

Reciprocity is established for members who terminate employment with an OCERS covered employer and enter a reciprocal retirement system within 180 days. Reciprocity is also established for members who terminate from an employer covered by a reciprocal agency, have their funds on deposit with that reciprocal agency, and enter OCERS within 180 days.

Please note, if you have funds on deposit in a reciprocal system after terminating from employment covered by such system, and you become an OCERS member within 180 days of termination, reciprocity will be automatically established upon reporting of the prior public service to OCERS.  When joining an OCERS-covered Employer, you will have the opportunity to “opt out” of Reciprocity when completing the Member Affidavit form with your Employer.  ​

Once reciprocity is established and has been verified, the following applies:

  •  A member who transfers to a reciprocal system cannot withdraw his or her funds while still a member of the reciprocal system.
  •  The member’s entry age, which affects the contribution rate, will be based upon the age at entry into the first system.
  •  Upon concurrent retirement from all reciprocal systems, service under all reciprocal retirement systems will count toward eligibility for retirement or survivor benefits;
  • Upon concurrent retirement from all reciprocal systems, the member will have the ability to use salary figures from any of these systems to calculate their Final Average Salary in OCERS;
  •  In connection with obtaining salary, disability retirement, service retirement, or other benefits, the member will be subject to restrictions on the amount of disability retirement benefits from OCERS, if applicable.

Please be aware that the reciprocal system you transfer to or from may have different requirements for qualification and payment of benefits than OCERS. You should become familiar with the benefits of any reciprocal agency you enter.

And please be aware that reciprocal members or members receiving monthly retirement or disability benefits from a reciprocal system or other public entity who are granted a disability retirement from OCERS may be subject to an offset of their retirement allowance.

View a list of retirement systems having reciprocity with OCERS, and a Reciprocity Guide for additional information.

 For complete details about your OCERS membership and benefit plan, consult your Summary Plan Description.