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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:
Important Changes: School Plan Services Rendered After TerminationWith the recent passage of LB 147 in the Unicameral there are significant changes to what voluntary and/or substitute service can be provided by a School plan member during the 180-day period after termination from employment. With the knowledge that our School plan members will have questions regarding what is now acceptable, please reference our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about LB 147's Changes to the Termination of Employment Rules. After reviewing the FAQ document, if questions still remain regarding how this will affect the voluntary and/or substitute service to provide after termination without violating reemployment rules, our Member Services area is available at (402)471-2053 or (800)245-5712, option #1.
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.
Terminating Member Information Packet (pdf)This packet provides information regarding benefit/distribution options at termination.
Required Minimum Distribution Packet (pdf)This packet provides information and warnings regarding Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs).
Application ProcessIt is the responsibility of the member to notify NPERS and apply for benefits. Members cannot take a benefit distribution until they have ceased employment (terminated) at all school districts, ESUs, and state agencies participating in the plan. Monthly (pension) benefits will not increase once a vested and terminated member reaches the age/status when they can draw an unreduced benefit. Please refer to the plan handbook for information on benefits and the application process.
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.
School Preretirement VideoThis video was created to serve as a replacement source of the information covered in NPERS School Preretirement seminars. It is designed to provide information for school plan members nearing retirement who were unable to attend an NPERS Preretirement Seminar due to the COVID-19 cancellations.
Retirement 101 VideoThis video covers the basics of the public school employees retirement plan.
Social Security VideoThis video was created to serve as a replacement source of the information covered in NPERS School Preretirement seminars. It is designed to provide general information regarding the Social Security Program.
SHIIP Welcome to Medicare VideoThe Welcome to Medicare video presentation provided by the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) of Nebraska is designed to give individuals an overview of the Medicare program and assist in retirement planning.
Estate Planning Video w/Ramzi HynekRamzi Hynek of Rembolt/Ludtke LLP reviews the fundamentals of estate planning including topics like wills, probate, powers of attorney, taxation, beneficiary designations, trusts, and much more.
Leaving Service Before Retirement Age
DeferralIf 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 participating 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 their required minimum distribution age.
For more information on retirement age and eligibility, please refer to the plan handbook (pdf).
Withdrawal (refund)If you terminate employment from the Nebraska public school system, you may withdraw your accumulated contributions and interest in a lump sum refund. You are eligible to receive a refund no earlier than four months after termination of employment. Due to processing timelines, distribution of a refund will occur no sooner than 20 business days following receipt of your completed application. Applications are processed in the order received and as soon as administratively possible. Your school must submit the Non-contributing Member and School Plan Employer - Early Retirement Inducement & Termination Certification forms to NPERS in order for you to receive a refund.
Information on Lump Sum Withdrawals/Frequently Asked Questions.
To apply for a refund; download, complete, and submit these forms to our office:
Application for Refund/Rollover Form (pdf)
School Plan Member - Early Retirement Inducement & Termination Certification Form (pdf)
If you are rolling your refund to another qualified retirement account, please complete and submit the:
Rollover to Financial Institution Form (pdf)
You should also download and review the tax information regarding refunds:
IRS Tax Information (pdf)
School Refund Application Guide
Repaying a RefundPlan 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. Refund applications must be submitted to NPERS at least 60 days prior to termination or the 5-year deadline. Please refer to the plan booklet (pdf) for additional information.
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 earned.
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 CreditActive 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 additional information.
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 SchedulesAll 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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