School Pension Plan
The 1945 Legislature established the School Retirement System for Nebraska school employees. As a defined benefit plan, lifetime monthly retirement "pension" benefits are based on this formula:
|Average highest 12-month periods of compensation
||Creditable Service Years
||Formula Factor (currently 2%)
- All permanent public school employees who work at least 20 hours per week on an ongoing, regular basis, except Class V school districts (Omaha), are members of the system.
- Temporary and substitute employees not hired on an ongoing, regular basis, cannot participate.
- School Plan members contribute 9.78% of gross compensation to retirement. This is matched by the employer at 101%.
- Vesting occurs with 5 years of service credit. Members who joined the plan prior to July 1, 2016 can also vest with 1/2 a year service credit by working for a participating employer up to age 65. Unvested members are only eligible for a refund of their contributions, plus interest.
- The normal retirement age for unreduced benefits is age 65.
- A member may retire as early as age 60 and receive a reduced benefit.
- In 1998, legislation for a "Rule of 85" benefit was passed. This legislation allows a member who is at least 55 to retire with unreduced benefits when the member's age and years of service equal 85.
Member Handbook (pdf)
New Member Information Packet (pdf)
This packet gives new members a very brief overview regarding the retirement benefits offered to School employees. It also contains links to the forms that should be provided to all new members.
Pension Check Information
Pension benefits are issued on the last day of every month unless that day falls on a weekend or federal holiday. If the last day of the month is a weekend or holiday,
benefits will be issued on the prior business day. Retirees will be notified of the upcoming payment schedule via the annual NPERS Retiree Update. Members who have not received their benefit should contact our office.
Leaving Service Before Retirement Age
If you terminate employment prior to retirement age with five or more years of service credit, you may leave your account on an inactive basis. Once you are within 6 months of retirement age, you should contact NPERS to apply for your benefit.
If you terminate employment prior to earning enough service credit for vesting, you may defer the account (recommended if you plan to return to work in the system) and continue to earn interest. If you return to employment at a partipating employer, you will resume earning service credit. If you do not earn enough service credit to vest for benefits, you will only be eligible for a refund/withdrawal (see below).
Inactive members should keep their addresses up to date with NPERS. They cannot defer receipt of benefits later than April 1 following the year they reach age 70 1/2.
For more information on retirement age and eligibility, please refer to the plan handbook (pdf).
If you terminate employment from the Nebraska public school system, you may withdraw
your accumulated contributions and interest in a lump sum refund. Per statute, you are eligible to apply
for a refund no earlier than four months after termination of employment. Your school must submit a
non-contributing member form to NPERS confirming your last date of employment. If you wish to apply for a refund,
NPERS recommends you contact our office to determine whether the
non-contributing member form has been received from your last school of employment
For additional information on refunds, please see:
- Taking a refund removes your years of service credit and terminates your membership in the plan.
- Withdrawals/refunds do not include employer contributions.
- If you return to work for any employer participating in the plan within 180 days, you will be required to repay the refund.
- You are not eligible to receive a refund if you cease active work at the end of one school year and return to work during the following school year with any school district or employer participating in the Plan.
- You are not required to take a refund when ceasing employment.
Information on Lump Sum Withdrawals/Frequently Asked Questions.
To apply for a refund, download these documents:
Application for Refund/Rollover Form (pdf)
IRS Tax Information (pdf)
Repaying a Refund
Plan members who cease employment and take a refund may be eligible to restore cancelled service credit by repaying the refund.
Only members who return to plan participation are eligible to repay a refund. Members must notify
NPERS within five years of reemployment if they wish to repay a refund. Please refer to the plan booklet (pdf) for
Per statute, the cost for members who elect repayment shall include the original amount of
the refund plus the actuarial assumed rate of return which would have been
Below is a table to help you estimate the cost of a repayment of refund. Find
the factor for the year you took your refund and multiply the gross amount of the refund
by that factor. Actual cost of repayment will be determined by NPERS upon written receipt
of a request for repayment.
Repayment Factors (pdf)
Optional Service Credit
Active School plan members may increase creditable years of service by purchasing Optional Service Credit (OSC).
OSC may be purchased for Out of State service, Leave of Absences, or 12-Month Preretirement service. Please refer to the School plan booklet (pdf) for
Members who wish to purchase Out of State, Leave of Absence, or 12-month Preretirement service should contact NPERS in writing. To learn more about Out of State and the 12-month Preretirement service purchases and calculate an estimate, please visit the School Purchase of Service Estimator
School Seminar Schedules
All Preretirement Seminars for School members are held in the Spring. You will
receive registration information approximately four weeks prior to the seminar.
For more information, visit the Retirement Seminars main page.
Other School Plan Related Links
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Nebraska State Home Page