Which OPERS Retirement Plan is Best

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) offers three types of plans. Which is the best for you will depend on your circumstances and how involved you want to be in controlling how money put toward retirement and possible long-term disability is invested. Considerations to take include your age, whether you are married, whether you have children, your expected expenses after you turn 65, and if you have one or more health conditions that could force you to stop working before you reach retirement age.

The same caveats apply to participants in the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) in Columbus, Ohio, and to participants in the School Employees Retirement System. Each option must be weighed carefully. Those and other public sector employee retirement program offer complicated choices to enrollees.

As disability attorneys based in Columbus, OH, the lawyers with the Jones Law Group welcome opportunities to advise government workers, public safety personnel, and university faculty on their retirement and disability plan options. We cannot offer definitive answers here, but we will outline some basic features of the three OPERS choices.

 

OPERS Traditional Pension Plan

This is the kind of plan many people think of when they hear “government pension.” A participant’s employer makes all the contributions to the retirement and disability program, and benefits are paid out based on the participant’s years of service and the person’s age at the time he or she left public sector employment.

If you sign up for the Traditional Pension Plan, you do not need to pay attention to the stock market, 401(k)s or any of the quarterly and annual paperwork needed to management investments. You will also have the option, unique among OPERS plans, to set up an annuity.

A possible downside is that the pension is fixed at what OPERS is required to pay based on the years-of-service-and-age formula.

 

OPERS Member-Directed Plan

Singing up for the OPERS Member-Directed Plan lets you set up your own retirement fund and to control how a portion of your employer’s retirement plan contribution match is invested. You will need to designate a percentage of each paycheck to retirement.

While the Member-Directed Plan gives you the most say in where your money goes and potentially offers the largest returns on investments, it also limits your options for accessing your retirement funds. Unlike the traditional and combined plans, the Member-Directed Plan does not provide long-term disability benefits. It also does not pay a death benefit to the survivor of a plan participant.

 

OPERS Combined Plan

Columbus, Ohio, OPERS participants who opt for the Combined Plan get to control the investment of the portion of their paycheck they designate for retirement while also having their employers contribute to a traditional pension fund. At retirement, a Combined Plan participant receives fixed payments based on years of service and age at time of separation. The participants also get to draw from their own retirement account that they managed like a 401(k).

The big caution here is that Combined Plan participants can lose principal when they invest their own funds. On the other hand, OPERS guarantees payment from the traditional pension portion of the plan.

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What to Do if Your Vehicle is Repossessed

We all depend on transportation to get us to work, run errands, and more. For most of us, that means having a dependable vehicle that can get us from point A to point B. Unfortunately, vehicle repossession is a real threat for many families.

If you wake up to discover that your vehicle has been repossessed, there are some steps you should take, according to a repossession lawyer in Ohio.

Know why your vehicle was repossessed

First, you have to know why your vehicle was repossessed. The most likely reason is that you defaulted on your loan. If you do not make timely payments, if you don’t make full payments, or if you’ve stopped making payments altogether, your creditor has the right to take your vehicle and recoup the losses it has incurred.

However, there are other reasons why your vehicle might be repossessed. For example, it may be a case of not stipulating the terms of vehicle insurance on the loan contract, or not making insurance payments. If there is any confusion as to why your vehicle was repossessed, you should definitely give your creditor a call.

Understand your rights

It’s easy to feel a bit helpless if your car is repossessed. Because it has been repossessed due to a breach of contract that was caused by you, you may feel like there isn’t anything you can do, but it is important to know that you still have rights.

Although your vehicle can be repossessed, the items inside cannot. If you left something in your car, you have every right to reclaim those items. However, alterations you made to the vehicle aren’t likely to apply. If you just installed a high-quality speaker system, it will most likely have to stay with the car.

Determine the best way to get your vehicle back

You will likely want to get your vehicle back after it has been repossessed, but there are a few different ways you can go about it.

If you have the money to pay off the loan and pay the repossession fees, that is definitely the best course of action. The key is speaking with your lender and buying it before it goes to auction, otherwise you’ll have to buy your own car back when it goes up on the auction block.

If you don’t have the money to buy it back, you can try and work out new payment terms with your lender. However, if you’re struggling financially, it’s a good idea to speak with a repossession lawyer in Columbus, Ohio. In some cases, you may discover that filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best course of action. It can allow you to regain possession of your vehicle while the terms of the loan are negotiated.

What to do if you allow your car to be sold at auction

If you can’t afford to purchase your vehicle in full, if your lender refuses to alter the terms of your loan, or if chapter 13 bankruptcy isn’t an option, you may have to allow your car to be sold at auction.

However, keep in mind that you may still owe your creditor money. For example, if you had $10,000 left on your loan, but the car only sold for $7,000, then you still owe $3,000.

With so many things to consider, it’s always a good idea to enlist the help of a repossession lawyer in Ohio who can help you figure out the best course of action.

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The Do’s And Don’ts Of Hiring a Calgary Divorce Lawyer MM Law

Divorce can be a life-shattering event, and many people don’t handle it well. When the divorce proceedings follow, you want to know you will be protected by a qualified and knowledgeable Calgary divorce lawyer. The right family law firm can tirelessly advocate for you and your children while in the courtroom. Never try to represent yourself because you stand to lose a lot without the right representation, and divorce will almost always have emotional ties that can fog your judgment:



DO: ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

One of the best ways to arm yourself with excellent legal assistance is to ask friends or even ask personal property lawyers for a good recommendation. You might also look at the reviews from multiple sites as well.

DO: CHOOSE A RESPECTFUL AND SUPPORTIVE LAWYER

You should always choose a lawyer who communicates well and has an admirable work ethic. Good divorce lawyers don’t make crazy demands about child support or create an obstacle for you with child custody arrangements.

DO: CONDUCT INTERVIEWS

Divorce lawyers should be interviewed if you hope to find the right one. Almost every Calgary divorce lawyer will give you a free consultation and explain the legal proceedings.

DON’T: CHANGE LAWYERS WITHOUT A WRITTEN NOTICE

If for some reason you dislike your current lawyer, you can switch attorneys, but you first need to notify him in writing. You also might have to pay fees. The amount owed depends on the fees agreed upon.

DON’T: WITHHOLD INFORMATION OR LIE

While you might believe specific facts will hurt your case and it’s better not to bring them up, in many cases, the opposite will be true. This Is because there’s nothing more crushing than when the other spouse brings up this information, which your attorney didn’t have to make an educated decision about your case. Withholding information can cause you to get unfavorable results.

Divorce can be a devastating and traumatic experience for a lot of people. A family law firm can help you to get the most qualified legal representation for your case.

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A Comprehensive Guide to the Provisions of Compensation for Land Acquisition in Australia

Australia is a big country with six states and two territories. They are New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Victoria. (North and Australian capital. The total area of Australia is 768 million hectares with a population of 2.41 crores people.

Just like any other country, Australian government acquires land from its inhabitants for the construction of roads, cities, gas pipelines, railway tracks, etc. In exchange for the acquired land, it provides the compensation amount to the people. Today, in this article, we will talk about the provisions of compensation for land acquisition in Australia and try to understand how individuals can get a reasonable sum of the compensation amount.

The Land Administration Act 1997

As per the Land Administration Act 1997 (LAA), Australian government can acquire land for public works. The Minister for Land, the Department of Regional Development and Lands, the State and local governments, agencies with own special statutory powers and property acquisition staff monitor the process of land acquisition in Australia.

In most of the cases, the land purchasing Agency makes it mandatory for the landowner to go through the registration process and agree to a fixed price after the evaluation of the land. On the other hand, the government also uses compulsory acquisition if serious attempts at negotiation have failed, Land is urgently needed for public works and the landowner is agreed to section 168 (1) (b) of the PTA.

In order to complete a mandatory land acquisition process, the concerned agency needs Proof of negotiation, Indemnity to the Minister for Lands against any claims or costs, evidence of an owner’s consent to acquisition and a statement from the local government (section 56 of the LAA) that the land is needed for the construction of roads.

To acquire the land, A Notice of Intention to Take (NOITT) should be lodged with land gate and registered against the relevant title and must be published in newspapers. The Documents must also be served to owner, occupier, or any related parties. The notice contains the full Info about the relevant land, the interest in land, public work details, reasons why the land is suitable for acquisition, etc.

The landlord can object the acquisition of land within 60 days of registration of the NOITT. So, the landowner can ask for the return of the acquired land if the land was acquired one year ago but has not been used for the intended work or it can be sold jointly by its former owner if unused.

The power of state or local governments in land acquisition

The LAA allows the state or local governments to conduct surveys and perform feasibility surveys or to commence work for the urgent acquisition of lands. For such works, notice must be given in advance as shown in the chart:

Entry for the feasibility study 30 days (s182)
Railways, under a Special Act  7 days (s183)
Entry for the survey, inspection 48 hours (s184)
Entry for temporary occupation 7 days (s185)
Entry for the urgent beginning of the work 7 days (s186)

 

Land Acquisition Compensation

All those government agencies that acquire land from individuals are responsible for providing the compensation amount to the needy people. The state department involves in land acquisition and acts from the side of client agencies. The client agencies talk about the compensation amount for the acquired land as per the provisions of LAA.

In general cases, government agencies evaluate the base price and current market price of the land and offer the compensation amount to the people accordingly. In case of dispute, related parties can negotiate with the help of a local property lawyer and strike a mutually beneficial deal. The lawyer can help you in the survey and plan preparation, negotiation with government agencies, legal complexities and fulfill the procedural requirements of the NTA.

 

Final Words

Land acquisition in Australia is a common happening. The federal and state governments acquire land for public works. By following the above-mentioned tips, you can have a fair compensation from the government in exchange for the acquired land.

Michael Birch  is a senior Corporate & Civil lawyer at Law office of Sydney, Australia and focuses his practices in the areas of Building Construction Law, Civil Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Litigation, Domestic and Commercial Conveyancing, Probate, Mediations, Conciliations and Arbitrations. Mr Michael has extensive knowledge in real estate development, real estate finance, real estate lending, asset management, asset purchase and sales, commercial leasing, mixed-use development and planned communities, including condominium ownership.

Know Your Rights if Your Wages are Garnished

Wage garnishments are no laughing matter. They can reduce your paychecks by hundreds of dollars each month, severely compromising your ability to pay rent, stay on top of other bills, and keep food on the table.

You don’t have to accept a low quality of life just because a creditor has started garnishing your wages. There are a few things you can do, according to a Columbus wage garnishment attorney, to stop your wages from being garnished.

Take a close look at the details of your garnishment judgement

Even if you owe creditors money, it is important that every T is crossed and every I is dotted. Without adhering to the proper process, creditors can garnish your wages unfairly, stomping on your rights in the process. The trick is to take a close look at the judgement in your wage garnishment case.

Is the address on the judgement correct? Something this simple may be grounds for stopping or postponing garnishments. In addition, only up to 25 percent of your income can be garnished. If more than that is being taken from your paycheck, you have grounds to stop the process and possibly eliminate the garnishments altogether. Digging into the details of the account you have with the creditor who is garnishing your wages is a good idea as well.

Because there are a lot of details to comb through, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of a professional attorney. They know where to look and what to look for, identifying potential problems much more quickly and accurately than you can on your own.

Consider filing for bankruptcy

If there are no discrepancies in your garnishment judgement, but you’re really struggling financially, bankruptcy may be a viable option.

Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 may be able to eliminate or reduce your garnishments. With Chapter 7, any garnishments being taken from a credit card provider will be eliminated, while Chapter 13 will include garnishment payments in a repayment plan.

Unfortunately, there are payments, such as alimony and child support, that can continue to be garnished even if you have filed for bankruptcy. In addition, filing for bankruptcy won’t stop the garnishments immediately. To make sure bankruptcy is in your best interest, and if so, that it actually stops your garnishments, you should consult with a professional attorney.

Professional help from a wage garnishment lawyer is a must

The bottom line is that you still have rights, no matter what your financial situation, and you deserve to be protected from unfair or detrimental wage garnishments. Unfortunately, figuring out those rights is extremely difficult because the legal system is so complex. Every case is different, and every state does things a little differently.

If you’re putting up with wage garnishments that are severely affecting your quality of life, schedule an appointment with our Columbus wage garnishment attorney. We can dig through the details of your case, providing you with options and solutions that will help you get your life back on the right track.

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When Do You Need to Hire a Workmans Comp Attorney Macon

Being injured is never good but the experience happens to be much worse when you get hurt while trying to do your own job at the workplace. True, your employer needs to provide you with workman’s compensation when the fault had not been yours but unfortunately, there is many a slip between the cup and the lip and you might find yourself being deprived on account of performing your duty.

No worries! You can always seek out an able workmans comp attorney Macon and demand what is rightfully yours. You are entitled to claim damages by the law and no employee or insurance company can cheat you out of your legitimate claim. However, you need to think objectively and decide whether you can represent yourself successfully instead of paying a good amount as the lawyer’s fee. Rest assured, most firms operate on a contingency basis and will not charge you any fee until and unless the case is settled in your favor.

However, it becomes mandatory to hire a specialized workers compensation attorney Macon when your case happens to be complex that requires the expertise of a legal professional. Here are a few scenarios that you just cannot ignore and have to get in touch with a qualified professional. Do check…

Claim is denied – Many employers in conjunction with the insurance carrier deny the rightful claims of their employees in the hope that the employees would be too intimidated to appeal. Do not make this mistake therefore and contact an attorney ASAP.

Insufficient Benefits – The amount that had been settled for you to receive happens to be inadequate. It does not cover your expenses or the amount you lost in wages while you were being treated for your injuries.  Do not be prepared to accept an unfair settlement though. Get an expert to help you with it and appeal for a better settlement that will do you justice.

Discrimination – Filing a worker’s comp claim is your right and you are entitled to the compensation as per the law of the country. Do not allow yourself to be subject to discriminatory practices afterwards though. Assert your rights and appeal for justice by contacting a quality lawyer if you find your employer has sacked you or reduced your wages and absolved you from the responsibilities that you had handled earlier.

Your attorney will not only represent you in court but will also be able to collect the evidence on your behalf. Drawing up a settlement is also the forte of lawyers as is representing you at trials or negotiating with the insurer.

This article is written by Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson, L.L.P. Team. Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson, LLP, has been representing people with legal needs for over 50 years. Our law firm uses the vast resources available and we have the experience needed to handle successfully a wide range of complex legal issues

Contact the best divorce lawyer in Boynton Beach

Marriage disputes are now a rising factor in the United States. While most people try to solve the disputes by negotiating, sometimes the disputes become serious in nature. And when it does, the matter reaches the court. That’s where all the complicated factors of a marriage dispute come in. The whole divorce filing procedure is complicated, and the parties filing for a divorce must have a sound knowledge of the Florida divorce policies. But not all people are well aware of the state laws. Fortunately, there are professional lawyers to help people who want a legal assistance. Divorce lawyer Boynton Beach offers their services to the people who require an understanding of the entire divorce filing procedure. DIVORCE MEDIATION: FEW FACTS ONE NEEDS TO KNOW

 

Why do you need a divorce attorney?

Divorce is the ultimate difficult step people consider when they give up on their marriage lives. And this is the phase when people fail to make right decisions. The divorce period causes mental stresses, and people fail to get over the trauma. With a divorce lawyer Boynton Beach, however, people would feel safe to work with. The lawyers offer legal as well as emotional assistance to their clients. They not only make sure that their client successfully files for a divorce; they also ensure that their clients get the assets/ property post-marriage. The attorneys keep themselves updated with the Florida divorce policies. Hence, if you want assistance in case of a marriage dispute, the lawyers’ knowledge and experience would prove to be the most beneficial factor for you.

 

Benefits

Getting a divorce is a complicated process. The person filing for a divorce needs to complete legal paper works and visit the court for frequent hearings. Besides, the divorce is not just about the official breakup between two people. Certain factors such as child custody, child care, alimony, property distribution and division between the responsible parties, and etc. matters while getting a divorce. Here, having a divorce attorney could help the person put forward his claims in the court and get his/ her share of property legally. Besides, the lawyer ensures spousal assistance post-judgment period.

 

Conclusion

While you can file a divorce on your own, it is always recommended that you have a divorce lawyer Boynton Beach as your legal assistant. Having a lawyer fastens the court hearing procedures. Besides, the lawyer prevents you from committing mistakes which might lead to the loss of property, assets, or child custody to your partner.

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Infographics: 1st DUI vs 2nd DUI – What Are The Consequences

1st DUI vs 2nd DUI - What Are The Consequences

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Drawbacks to Getting Your License Suspended

Losing your license is more than an inconvenience. Being unable to drive legally can make it impossible to keep a job or meet all your personal and family obligations.

Unfortunately, Ohio courts and statutes recognize more than 30 reasons to suspend a driver’s license. The punishment can apply to everything from leaving the scene of an accident, letting your auto insurance policy expire, failing to pay child support, getting convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI), which is what state officials call driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and much more. AVOID AN OVI CONVICTION ON YOUR RECORD

The drawbacks to getting your license suspended fall into four broad categories:

 

Limited to No Driving Privileges

Depending on many different factors ranging from the charge and defendant’s history to the quality of the defense or plea deal, an Ohio driver’s license suspension may be partial or total. A partial suspension grants the driver restricted driving privileges, which are usually limited to trips to and from work, medical appointments, and court dates or meetings with a lawyer.

A total suspension usually precedes the reinstatement of restricted driving privileges. For an OVI conviction, the period of total suspension can last anywhere from 15 days to more than a year. While under total or “hard” suspension, a driver is not allowed to drive at all without risking rearrest, jail time, and a new or lengthier suspension. Violating the restrictions on when and where you can drive with a partially suspended license also risks those new and enhanced penalties.

Surrendering your CDL

Suspensions related to criminal charges or convictions usually apply to both your own driver’s license and any commercial driving licenses you hold. This is always true for drunk or drugged driving suspensions.

Under Ohio law, getting a CDL suspended means you cannot legally drive a commercial vehicle until the term of suspension expires and the CDL is fully reinstated. In other words, getting a CDL suspended often means losing a job that requires driving a truck, bus, or taxi. The lesson? Hiring an experienced Columbus, OH, DUI attorney to fight an OVI charge is a must if you drive for a living.

 

Increased Risk for Future Suspensions

Suffering through one Ohio driver’s license suspension greatly increases your chances for losing your license again. This is especially true if the suspension comes as part of a sentence for driving under the influence.

Not only do periods of total suspension tend to last longer for people under penalty for driving while drunk or stoned, mandated penalties for second and subsequent OVI convictions include automatic suspensions. The longer a total suspension remains in effect, the more likely you will be to have an absolute need to drive somewhere to respond to an emergency. A dedicated Columbus OVI license suspension can negotiate with prosecutors to minimize the harshest sanctions.

 

Reinstatement Hassles and Expenses

Once a suspension expires, you must jump through several hoops and pay fees to get your license reinstated. You must present the Bureau of Motor Vehicles proof that you have completed your sentence or paid off the debts that cost you your license. If you went through a lack of insurance suspension, you will also need to present a certificate of insurability called an SR-22. On top of that, the BMV will demand a special reinstatement fee and may require you take portions of the CDL test.

Then, when you get your license back, it will carry whatever points your offense merits. For instance, an OVI conviction brings a six-point penalty. Rack up 12 points on a reinstated license, and it will get suspended again.

Hiring an experienced Columbus DUI attorney to fight an OVI charge is a must if you drive for a living.

Offenses That Can Be Expunged in Ohio

Expunging a criminal record in Ohio means placing it off limits to the public. Law enforcement and court officials can gain access to some expunged records under certain circumstances, but the information will not be available to employers, banks, apartment owners, and others conducting background checks for work-related, financial, or contractual reasons.

Most types offenses can be expunged provided the person convicted on the charge has fully completed and satisfied all the terms of his or her sentence. The only two types of criminal convictions that cannot be expunged are those involving violence and those related to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Also, traffic violations are generally exempt from expungement because actions like speeding and failure to yield are not considered crimes in and of themselves under Ohio law. WHAT CHARGES CAN BE EXPUNGED FROM MY RECORD IN OHIO? 

Current laws in Ohio allow individuals to petition for the expungement of one nonviolent felony, two nonviolent misdemeanors, or one felony and one misdemeanor. Nonviolent criminal offenses include larceny/theft, fraud, white collar crimes, drug possession, drug trafficking, solicitation/importuning, and burglary. Listing each criminal offense that falls into the nonviolent category would be impossible without reproducing much of the Ohio Revised Code. A simpler way to understand if you may have a chance of getting your criminal record expunged is to ask yourself if you were convicted of one of the following DUI-related or violent crimes:

  • Assault, including sexual assault
  • Domestic violence
  • Homicide
  • Kidnapping/false imprisonment
  • Murder
  • Operating a vehicle while intoxicated
  • Physical control (e.g., intoxicated while in the driver’s seat of a parked car)
  • Robbery

If you can answer no, then you may be eligible for expungement. The other minimum criteria that must be met in order to have your Ohio criminal record expunged are

 

  • Release from jail
  • Finished parole
  • Paid all restitution
  • Waited at least one year after completing all terms of your sentence
  • Failed the correct forms with the appropriate court
  • Paid the expungement petition filing fee

Consulting with an experienced expungement lawyer in Columbus, Ohio, before starting to apply for having your criminal record sealed is strongly recommended. Filing an incomplete application form or directing it to the wrong jurisdiction can result in an automatic denial. And you may be given a second chance to petition for expungement.

A knowledgeable Columbus expungement attorney will also be able to provide advice on what information to include with the expungement petition to convince the prosecutor and judge who review the application that you have paid your debt to society in full, kept your post-conviction record clean, and earned the opportunity to leave your past behind you as you apply for new jobs, loans, and educational opportunities.

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