Member-Directed Plan

The Member-Directed Plan is a defined contribution plan where you direct how your contributions are invested. You bear sole responsibility for the investment risk, similar to the way a 401(k) works.

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

The Member-Directed Plan

The Member-Directed Plan is best for those who are knowledgeable, want to direct their own investments and can accept risk.

New Members

You have 180 days to choose a plan. To select the Member-Directed Plan, visit the How to Select Your Plan page.

Key Aspects of the Member-Directed Plan

You direct your investments

One of the most important features of the Member-Directed Plan is the flexibility you have to make investment decisions suitable for your individual needs. You select where your member and employer contributions are invested from a group of funds monitored by OPERS investment professionals.

Retiree Medical Account

A portion of your employer contributions are credited to a retiree medical account.

This account can be used to pay for qualified health, dental and vision care expenses, including premiums for health insurance coverage.

You can begin to use vested funds from this account when you leave OPERS-covered employment, or when you retire.

Retiree Medical Account

The Member-Directed Retiree Medical Account provides you and your dependents with funds to use on qualified medical expenses.

Additional Things to Keep in Mind in the Member-Directed Plan

Unlike a defined benefit plan, your final account value in the Member-Directed Plan is not a guaranteed amount.

Your account value is dependent on:

Managing your Account

If you participate in the Member-Directed plan, you choose the investments in your retirement plan.

You can select a Target Date Fund or build your own portfolio using the OPERS core funds. Both the Target Date Funds and the core funds are monitored by OPERS investment professionals.

OPERS also offers a mutual fund-only Self-Directed Brokerage Account through Charles Schwab's Personal Choice Retirement Account®.

Retiring from the Member-Directed Plan

Once you've made the decision to retire, there are a few things to know about the retirement application process.

Refunding your account

If you leave your OPERS-covered job you have two options: keep your account with OPERS (if you think you may return to public service), or refund of your member contributions (plus any investment earnings or losses on those contributions).

Depending on the number of years you have attained in the Member-Directed Plan, you may also receive a portion of your employer's contributions, plus any investment earnings or losses.


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.