|Guide to OGS (Other Governmental Service)|
This is an informational guide only. All benefits are paid only in accordance with the terms of the Water and Power Employees' Retirement Plan. If there are any conflicts, real or apparent, between this guide and the Plan, the terms of the Plan will prevail. Therefore, before taking any action which will affect your future welfare, we advise you to consult the Retirement Plan Office for the specific terms of the Plan in any situation.
Other Governmental Service (OGS) allows Water and Power Employees' Retirement Plan (Plan) members to purchase eligible prior governmental service credit including military service. OGS was negotiated by Department management and the unions and is similar to the program that is in place for Los Angeles City employees.
This Page Describes
In order to purchase OGS you must be a contributing member of the Plan and must have at least six (6) months of continuous full-time eligible prior governmental service.
You will not qualify for an OGS purchase if you are eligible for a retirement benefit with another governmental agency and/or retirement system.
If you are currently eligible for benefits from another governmental agency and/or retirement system and have left your contributions on deposit, do not withdraw them at this time. (see How much will OGS cost me? below)
For all types of OGS, the OGS must be full-time, paid, and at least six (6) continuous months. It must have been with a governmental agency, such as:
The following types of services do not qualify for purchase under OGS:
No. You may purchase any number of whole months from within the period of your eligible service as long as you buy at least six (6) months of service credit.
You must round down to the nearest whole month. Example: If you have 8-1/2 months of eligible service, you will be able to purchase 8 months. If you have 5 months and 28 days of OGS, it will be rounded down to 5 months. You will not be eligible to purchase this time because it is less than 6 months.
For most of our members, the following formula will give an estimate of the cost of OGS.
* Employees who were hired before 12/01/1983 should use the % for your entry age when you became a Plan member.
The formula applies whether or not contributions were made to another governmental agency and/or retirement system for the period you wish to purchase. The formula also applies to Plan members who withdrew contributions after terminating from their previous governmental agency and/or retirement system.
The actual cost of OGS will be based on your monthly salary as of the date your lump sum payment or signed contract to pay is received by the Retirement Office. Any retroactive adjustments to your monthly salary will affect the cost. Monthly salary includes base salary and most "add ons." Monthly salary does not include over-time and other types of payments that you do not get paid when you are on vacation.
For those members who made contributions to another governmental agency and/or retirement system, but did not withdraw the contributions, the funds still on deposit with the other agency may be used to purchase OGS. That is why it is very important that you do not withdraw any contributions you may have on deposit with another government retirement plan. The Retirement Office will work with you to make sure that you are able to take advantage of this alternative way of buying OGS if it is beneficial to you.
The value of purchasing OGS is the additional service credit that will be added to your years of Department service. If you purchase OGS, your retirement benefit will increase.
Service credit is one of the factors used to calculate your retirement allowance. The more service credit you have, the larger your retirement allowance when you retire.
To estimate how much larger your retirement allowance would be if you purchase your OGS, multiply your current monthly salary by the retirement factor of 2.1% (0.021) and by the number of years of OGS to be purchased.
In this example, the cost of OGS is $7,200 and the additional retirement allowance is $210 per month. The payback period would be about 35 months, or just under three years ($7,200 divided by $210 = 34+ months).
Although the purchase of OGS increases your retirement benefit, it does not increase your actual employment with the Department or your seniority status.
The Retirement Office has a form called "Certification of Other Governmental Service." These forms are available as shown below.
If you had more than one OGS employer, or tour of duty in the military, or period of unpaid maternity leave, you must submit an OGS Certification Form and documentation, if needed, for each occurrence.
The Certification Form has two sections. You will complete Section I.
Section II does not have to be completed if you are purchasing military service. In all other cases, Section II of the OGS form must be completed by your former governmental employer's personnel department and/or retirement system. You are responsible for mailing the form to your previous governmental employer and/or retirement system and instructing them to return it to the:Water and Power Employees' Retirement Plan
111 N. Hope Street, Room 357
Los Angeles, CA 90051
Section II - This section does not apply to military service.
After your service is confirmed and verified, you will receive, along with the yellow copy of the Certification Form, a letter that will explain the next step in the process and indicate methods of payment. If necessary, the Retirement Office will contact you to set up an appointment to discuss your contract.
For military service, please submit the original or a certified copy of your DD214 (your discharge document). If you leave either of these documents with the Retirement Office, we will place them in your file. If you need the DD214 returned to you, we will make a copy and note that we saw the original or certified copy and place the copy in your file. Fill out Section I of "Certification of Other Governmental Service" and bring it along with your DD214 form to Room 357. If you do not have your DD214, you can pick up a form to request it from the Retirement Office in Room 357 or you can write to:National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132
You may also contact:Veterans Administration
11000 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA
We will accept certified copies of your DD214. Certified copies must be stamped and certified by either a Federal, State, or County Court Recorder or by the Veterans Administration. The stamp states that the information on the document is true and correct. It must be signed and dated by authorized personnel.
If you decide to buy OGS, you may pay by:
If you became a member of the Retirement Plan before July 1, 1990, please be advised that if you take advantage of OGS or any other new benefit, part of your benefits could be subject to limits set by the IRS. If you became a member of the Retirement Plan on or after July 1, 1990, your benefits are already subject to those IRS Limits.
These IRS benefit limits are based on your age when you retire. For example, as of January 1, 1998, a person retiring at age 55 would have a retirement benefit limit of $77,044 per year. This limit gradually increases as the age at retirement increases. At a retirement age of 62, the limit is $130,000 per year, which is the maximum benefit under current IRS limits. The Retirement Office staff provides more information to those members whose benefits could be subject to IRS limits. The Retirement Board has adopted amendments to the Plan so that any benefits that exceed the IRS limits will be paid to you out of Department contributions made after you retire.
Please also note that Federal tax laws that went into effect on January 1, 1998, changed the contribution limits that previously applied to payments made to buy OGS.
Your OGS contributions will be in already-taxed dollars. Therefore, your OGS contributions will not be taxed again when you retire or withdraw your money.
Yes. All the contributions you make toward retirement earn interest each month. that includes contributions to buy OGS. The current interest rate is 8%, the same rate that the Retirement Plan expects to earn on its investments over the long term. The 8% rate has been on effect since July 1, 1983.
Under the terms of the Retirement Plan, the Department will pay into the Plan 110% of the amount you pay to buy OGS if you make a lump sum payment. If instead of making a lump sum payment, you enter into a contract to buy OGS, the Department will not make "matching" contributions until you pay off your contract. If you terminate Department employment and withdraw your contributions, you will not receive the money in the Department "matching" account. If you terminate Department employment and leave your contributions in the Plan, you may qualify for a vested right allowance. If you qualify, the calculation of the monthly amount you receive will be based on all of your contributions plus interest and all of the contributions in the Department "matching" account plus interest.
Your OGS contributions are the same as other retirement contributions. If you terminate Department employment, your contributions will continue to earn interest until you choose to withdraw them or until you retire.
If you die before retirement, your OGS contributions and interest will be paid to your designated beneficiary (or beneficiaries).
All of your contributions, including OGS contributions, are held in trust for your benefit. Your contributions cannot be used by the Department or the City to pay their debts. The City Attorney has made it clear that employee contributions and all the other assets of the Retirement Plan cannot be touched by the Department's creditors nor can they be transferred back to the Department. They can only be used to pay benefits to our members.
|Although this document discusses the Plan in some detail, if there are any conflicts, real or apparent, between this document and the City Charter or the Plan, the terms of the Charter and the Plan will at all times be the final authority. Therefore before relying on provisions described in this document or taking any action which will affect your future welfare, you and your beneficiaries are urged to consult the Retirement Plan Office for the specific terms of the Plan in any situation.|