Combined Plan Features of the Combined 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.
Jump to section:
How Your Benefit is Determined in the Combined Plan
You benefit is the total of the defined benefit and defined contribution portion of your Combined Plan.
The amount you'll receive from your defined benefit is determined by a formula. The formula is based on your retirement group and includes your years of service and your final average salary.
Defined Benefit Calculation Formulas
Groups A & BFor members in Groups A and B, the retirement benefit calculated under the Combined Plan consists of an annual lifetime allowance equal to 1 percent of final average salary, multiplied by the first 30 years of service plus 1.25 percent of final average salary for each year, or partial year for service credit over 30.
Group CFor members in Group C, the retirement benefit calculated under the Combined Plan consists of an annual lifetime allowance equal to 1 percent of final average salary, multiplied by the first 35 years of service plus 1.25 percent of final average salary for each year, or partial year for service credit over 35.
Your eventual defined contribution benefit (should you choose to annuitize) 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.
Defined Contribution Calculation Formula
Disability Benefits for the Combined Plan
As a participant in the Combined Plan, disability benefits may be available to you should you become mentally or physically incapable of performing the duties of your last position of public employment.
OPERS has two disability programs, the Original Plan and the Revised Plan, and enrollment is either plan is based on when you became an OPERS member. Members hired prior to July 29, 1992 are in the Original Plan, unless the member chose coverage under the Revised Plan. Members hired after July 29, 1992 are only covered by the Revised Plan.
Disability Benefits Leaflet
The Disability Benefits leaflet provides valuable information regarding disability benefits.
Disability Benefits Application Packet
The Disability Benefit Application Packet can help you learn more about how to apply for disability benefits and which forms you need to complete. You can order a copy of this packet or view it online.
OPERS established the Rehabilitative Services Program to help our members on disability return to wellness and seek employment.
The Rehabilitative Services Program has two tracks: clinical designed to improve your health and vocational to help you in your self-directed job search.
More Information on Rehabilitative Services
- Disability Benefits Leaflet - Rehabilitative Services Section
- Rehabilitative Services Informational Sheet
- Rehabilitative Services FAQ
Survivor Benefits for the Combined Plan
Under the Traditional Pension Plan, your loved ones may qualify to receive survivor benefits should you pass away before you retire or while you're receiving a disability benefit. You must have at least 18 months of full-time service at time of death for your survivors to qualify for benefits.
Depending on who you designate as your beneficiary, your survivors will receive either a lump sum refund or monthly benefits. This is why it is important to designate a beneficiary(ies) and keep this information up-to-date throughout your career.
Payment Options for Survivors
Your beneficiaries may choose to receive a lump sum refund of your account instead of monthly payments. However, if you are survived by a child or children qualified to receive monthly benefits, only monthly benefits can be paid. If your beneficiaries do not qualify for monthly benefits, a lump sum refund of your account will be divided equally among them.
If your survivors meet certain qualifications, they may receive a monthly benefit that is a percentage of your final average salary.
A death benefit is a one time, lump sum payment. This benefit is based on your years of service and is paid to one of the following in order.
- Your designated beneficiary
- Your spouse
- Your children
- Your parents
- The person responsible for your burial expenses
- Your estate
Upon your death, your beneficiaries should notify OPERS by calling 1-800-222 PERS (7377). They will be asked to provide a copy of your death certificate and complete the necessary forms to process the benefits.
More information about the survivor benefit payments can be found in the Survivor Benefits leaflet.
If you need further assistance in understanding any of the benefit information provided, please contact OPERS at 1-800-222-PERS (7377).
Health Care in the Combined Plan
Although not a guaranteed benefit, OPERS currently offers health care coverage to retirees 60 or older with at least 20 years of qualifying service, and to all retirees with 30-32 years of qualifying service (depending on their retirement group). The Pension and Health Care Eligibility Guide can help you determine when and if you will qualify.
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.