Retirees can qualify for federal stimulus

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Retirees can qualify for federal stimulus

OPERS offers tips to make sure you receive your rebate payment

By Matt Overturf, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

April 1, 2020 – The U.S. Congress recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), a stimulus package in response to the ongoing public health crisis. We want to bring your attention to a provision in the bill that directly benefits OPERS retirees.

OPERS, in concert with our partners in Washington, strongly advocated to ensure that retirees who receive a pension based on earnings from non-Social Security-covered employment are eligible for and can easily access this rebate.

Under the act, individual OPERS retirees may qualify for a federal rebate of up to $1,200.

Generally, individuals will need to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return in order to be granted a rebate check. However, the IRS has suggested that it will likely release a separate form for non-filers so they will be able to take advantage of this program.

According to the federal government, those who have direct deposit information on file with the IRS could receive their rebate in as little as three weeks. In addition, the IRS is working on a web-based system for those who don’t have direct deposit information on file with the IRS. This system will allow information to be uploaded, and the rebate will be received more quickly than waiting to receive a paper check in the mail

It is important to be aware of potential scams during this time. For more information, check out this recent OPERS blog.

If you have not filed a 2019 tax return, you can still do so to ensure that you receive your rebate as quickly as possible.

Please remember that the deadline to file a tax return for 2019 has been extended to July 15, 2020. If you usually do not file a tax return and choose to file now, OPERS provides a Benefit Recipient Tax Guide where you can find information on filing your taxes as an OPERS retiree. Your 1099R is available in your online account. If you need additional assistance, please consult a tax preparer.

For more information on the CARES Act, read a summary of the provisions.