Benefits

When Can I Retire

Members participating in the Member-Directed Plan are eligible to retire once they reach age 55.

Distribution Options

Members applying for retirement from the Member-Directed Plan can either elect an annuity based on their entire account balance or a partial annuity with the remaining account balance rolled over or distributed as a lump sum. Please note: Members who wish to receive a distribution of their entire account balance need to apply for a refund of their account balance instead of applying for retirement.

Retiree Medical Account

For members participating in the Member-Directed Plan, a portion of employer contributions are credited to a Retiree Medical Account (RMA). Amounts contributed to the RMA may be used at separation of service for the payment of qualified health, dental and vision care expenses. Learn more about the RMA.

Refunds

Upon leaving all public employment in Ohio, you may apply for, and receive, a lump sum account refund. As a member participating in the Member-Directed Plan, you may receive your employee contributions and any investment earnings (or losses) on those contributions.

Depending on the number of years you have attained in the Plan, you may also receive a portion of your employer's contributions, plus any investment earnings (or losses), based on the following vesting schedule:

Attained Years of Participation * Percentage Vested
Less than 1 year 0%
1 year 20%
2 years 40%
3 years 60%
4 years 80%
5 years 100%

*Attained Year of Participation

A year of participation is defined as 12 contributing months of participation in the Plan.

Disability Benefits

OPERS members who participate in the Member-Directed Plan are not eligible for disability benefits through OPERS. Under the Member-Directed Plan, the vested portion of your individual account would be available through a refund after your OPERS-covered employment is terminated.

If disability protection is an important benefit, you may want to explore the possibilities of securing this additional benefit from another source other than OPERS. Your employer may offer group disability protection. If they do not, you may consider an outside source, namely an insurance agent or agency, to provide this additional benefit.

Survivor Benefits

Survivors of OPERS members who participate in the Member-Directed Plan are not eligible for survivor benefits through OPERS. Under the Member-Directed Plan, the vested portion of your individual account would be available to your survivors through a refund.

If survivor protection is an important benefit, you may want to explore the possibilities of securing this additional benefit from another source other than OPERS. Your employer may offer life insurance protection. If they do not, you may consider an outside source, namely an insurance agent or agency, to provide this additional benefit.