OPERS History & Background

Overview

With defined benefit and health care investment assets of $99.6 billion as of Dec. 31, 2017, OPERS is the largest state pension fund in Ohio, the 12th-largest public retirement system and 15th-largest retirement system in the U.S.

One out of every 12 Ohioans relies on OPERS for retirement, disability and survivor benefits. In more than 80 years, OPERS has always made its benefit payments.

OPERS members do not pay into Social Security. Instead, OPERS replaces Social Security for our members.

Membership

OPERS serves more than 1 million members:

Nearly 3,680 public employers in Ohio are part of the OPERS system.

How OPERS Works

OPERS is governed by an unpaid governing board of 11 members responsible for the strategic direction and oversight of the System. Board members are elected by the employee groups they represent or are appointed by elected officials.

While board members are elected/appointed by various constituencies, once a board member takes office, it is their fiduciary responsibility to make decisions in the best interests of the system representing all membership, not just the group from which they were elected/appointed.

The Ohio General Assembly oversees the retirement systems through the Ohio Retirement Study Council

OPERS receives money from three main sources:

Historically two-thirds of OPERS' revenue, from which benefits are paid, is derived from investment returns. The remaining one-third of the revenue comes from employee and employer contributions.

Nearly 90 percent of OPERS retirees live in Ohio, spending the vast majority of retirement dollars on goods and services in the state. In addition, for every $1 of taxpayer contribution to OPERS, investments and employee contributions plus other sources of revenue return $3.49 into the Ohio economy.

OPERS History

Additional Facts

OPERS’ assets are comprised of two funds (12/31/16 data):

Fund Status