Insurance Trusts

Insurance Trusts

The state operates a number of insurance trusts. These operate much like private insurance companies, collecting premiums from those needing, or legally required to have, insurance and paying out claims when legally required.

The state runs several retirement systems for public employees. Most state employees are covered by the Oklahoma Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS), though there are smaller systems for law enforcement officers, wildlife employees, and judges. The state operates three large retirement systems for local employees, specifically teachers and education staff, police officers, and firefighters.

Oklahoma has made significant progress in addressing future financial difficulties with its retirement systems. The two largest systems, Teachers Retirement (OTRS) and OPERS, have seen their funded ratio – their ratio of assets to expected future costs – rise in recent year. These ratios, 66.6 and 93.6 percent respectively in 2015, have improved dramatically since 2011, up from 48 percent (OTRS) and 66 percent (OPERS).  The improved funded ratio of the retirement systems has been achieved by increasing employer and employee contributions, pushing back the retirement age for new retirees, and no longer assuming cost of living adjustments to retirement benefits. Oklahoma’s unfunded pension obligations now compare favorably to other states, although as more members retire, the state will continue to face significant decisions about how to match funding for these systems with the benefits offered to employees.

CompSource Oklahoma is a workers’ compensation insurance fund created by the state. CompSource is the largest workers’ compensation insurance provider in Oklahoma. It collected over $300 million in premiums in 2014.The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission operates Oklahoma’s unemployment compensation system. It collects revenues from the federal government (from a tax on wages and grants for employment and training) and a state employer tax. The agency uses these funds to pay benefits to unemployed people who qualify and to support employers and job-seekers through advertising, training, and other job-related activities. In 2015, the Employment Securities Commission paid unemployment insurance benefits to over 70,000 workers.

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