Member-Directed Plan Features of the Member-Directed Plan

Whether you’re just starting your career or you’ve been enjoying it for a while, OPERS is here to help you understand the benefits and services available to you.

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How Your Benefit is Determined in the Member-Directed Plan

Your eventual benefit is based on the amount you contributed and is affected by expenses and account gains and losses in the OPERS investment options you select, as well as annuity factors, such as your retirement age.

Calculation Formula

The calculation formula for members in the member-directed plan who choose to a monthly benefit is their final account value, multiplied by an annuity factor.

Final Account ValueEmployee + Employer Contributions, with any investments gains/losses
Annuity FactorOPERS actuaries determine annuity factors by applying underlying interest rate and mortality assumptions to a standard annuity formula.

Retiree Medical Account for the Member-Directed Plan

Under the Member-Directed Plan, a portion of employer contributions is credited to a retiree medical account, administered by an outside vendor.

Unlike your individual account, OPERS manages and directs the investment of your retiree medical account.

Upon taking a distribution, your retiree medical account may be used for the payment of qualified health care expenses such as insurance premiums, deductibles, out-of-pocket copays, medical services – even the amounts you pay for transportation to receive medical care. They can also include limited amounts paid for any qualified long-term care insurance contract.

You may use your retiree medical account to pay health care expenses for your qualified dependents as defined by the Internal Revenue Service.

How your retiree medical account is funded

A portion of the contributions made by your employer is credited to your retiree medical account. The amount credited equals 4 percent of your earnable salary.

The interest rate of your retiree medical account is tied to the annual investment return of OPERS’ pension assets. If investment returns are greater than zero, the interest rate credited to the retiree medical account will be 4 percent; if returns are zero or negative, the interest rate will be zero.

Retiree medical account vesting schedule

The amount in your retiree medical account you are entitled to use toward qualified health care expenses is based on your years of participation in the Member-Directed Plan and your date of hire or plan change effective date.

Retiree Medical Account Vesting Schedule (for members hired prior to July 1, 2015)
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%
* A year of participation is defined as 12 contributing months of participation in the plan.
Retiree Medical Account Vesting Schedule (for members hired after July 1, 2015)
Years of Participation* Percentage Vested
0-5 0%
6 Years 10%
7 Years 20%
8 Years 30%
9 Years 40%
10 Years 50%
11 Years 60%
12 Years 70%
13 Years 80%
14 Years 90%
15 Years 100%

Submitting a claim to your retiree medical account

Submitting claims is easy. You simply complete the claim form and attach an itemized bill that includes a description of the services performed and an Explanation of Benefits from your insurer (if applicable).

If approved, you will receive a distribution from your retiree medical account, either with a check or with electronic funds transfer (EFT). Payments are not sent directly to medical providers.

For your protection, OPERS requires all retiree medical account claims reimbursement requests from OPERS retiree medical account participants be processed through direct deposit to your designated bank account.

Surviving Family Members or Beneficiaries in the Member-Directed Plan

The Member-Directed Plan does not offer survivor benefits. However, upon your death, the vested portion of your individual account balance will be paid to your beneficiaries in a one-time, lump-sum payment.

Retiree Medical Account Funds

In addition, the vested balance of your retiree medical account can be used by your eligible dependents to pay for qualified medical expenses.

Upon receiving the notification of a member's death, a packet will be mailed to your eligible dependents containing the relevant retiree medical account information.

If an eligible dependent does not submit claims for reimbursement within two years of the death of the benefit recipient the retiree medical account account will be forfeited.

Once the account has been forfeited, it cannot be reinstated.

Your account value in the Member-Directed Plan or the defined contribution portion of your Combined Plan is not a guaranteed amount. It is dependent on the performance of the investment options you select.