Budget & Tax
Curtis Shelton | June 26, 2018
State pension benefits revealed
OCPA has expanded its data tools to include information on state retirement systems and total government finances. One of the new tools examines the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS), which was created in 1964 to provide benefits to state employees. Users can view retirees’ yearly benefits, total contributions, and years of service.
An analysis of the top recipients shows that the average yearly benefit of the 100 highest earners is $116,692. The highest pension in this system is $176,775 a year. Of the top 100, the average duration of service is 30 years and the average total employee contribution is $137,329. Because these pensions are based on a person’s final salary, top earners were mostly in leadership positions and had longer years of service. The average yearly benefit for all retirees in OPERS is $17,648 with an average total contribution of $16,272 and 21.3 years of service.
The data tool also uses the CDC Periodic Life Table which allows OCPA to calculate the future potential benefits remaining for each beneficiary. The average potential benefit of the top 100 earners was $1,899,112 per person while the average potential of all beneficiaries is $277,861 per person.
Policy Research Fellow
Curtis Shelton currently serves as a policy research fellow for OCPA with a focus on fiscal policy. Curtis graduated Oklahoma State University in 2016 with a Bachelors of Arts in Finance. Previously, he served as a summer intern at OCPA and spent time as a staff accountant for Sutherland Global Services.