Combined Plan Managing your Investment Account
One of the most important features of the Combined Plan is the flexibility you have to make investment decisions suitable for your individual needs.
Since you are directing your investments and accepting the risk, be prepared to take an active role.
This means carefully considering all your investment options, developing an investment strategy and maintaining your account.
Your Investment Options
You can choose from OPERS' six stock index funds, 10 target date funds, a Self-Directed Brokerage Account or any combination of all three.
Target Date Funds
OPERS offers 10 target date funds. They are a one-stop investment option for your long-term retirement planning.
- Managed by OPERS investment experts
- As your target-date (and retirement) approaches, the investments get more conservative. This helps to prevent market fluctuations from affecting your account.
- If you work past your target date fund, it will have reached maturity and convert into the Target Payout Fund. (Members can reallocate this money to another fund)
Stock Index Funds
OPERS offers six funds ranging from lower-risk, income-oriented options to higher-risk, growth-oriented options. Each fund invests in a different asset class.
- Managed by OPERS investment experts
- Offer you the chance to invest in sections of the market
- These funds may offer increased potential risk/reward
Self-Directed Brokerage Account
Members in the Combined plan with an established account have the option to choose a mutual fund-only Self-Directed Brokerage Account, through Charles Schwab's Personal Choice Retirement Account® (PCRA). This account provides members with the ability to choose mutual funds outside of the core OPERS investment options.
In order to participate in the OPERS Self-Directed Brokerage Account, the following requirements must be met:
- You must be an OPERS Combined or Member-Directed plan participant
- Your Individual Account balance must be a minimum of $5,000 before the self-directed brokerage account can be established
- A maximum of 50% of your Individual Account balance can be invested in the self-directed brokerage account
Enroll in the Self-Directed Brokerage Account
If your account meets the criteria above, you're eligible to enroll in the Charles Schwab PCRA.
You'll need two codes to sign up (see sidebar).Enroll in the Charles Schwab PCRA
More information on the self-directed brokerage account
Choosing Your Investments
The following steps will help you gain a basic understanding of investing so you can choose the right investment options for you.
Step 1 - Do your research
Directing your OPERS individual account requires knowledge of basic investing.
Before choosing your investments, we encourage you to refer to the following documents.
Investment Options Disclosures
The Investment Options Disclosures document provides an overview of each fund, including the fund's objective, strategy and asset class.
Morningstar Fund Profiles
The quarterly Morningstar Profiles (published by Morningstar, Inc.) offer important facts about an investment on a single page, in a format familiar to many investors. They rank each fund's volatility, risk, return and overall performance.
Returns and Expense Ratios
OPERS releases investment summaries each month. These summaries list both the returns and expense ratios of each of the funds.
The OPERS Investment Policy document defines key roles and responsibilities in the management and oversight of the defined contribution plans.
Step 2 - Develop your investment strategy
Balance risk and reward
All investments have potential risks and rewards.
- Reward is measured by your investment's total return and reflects how much your investment grows over time.
- Risk is measured by the fluctuations of your investment's total returns and reflects the possibility that your investment may not grow as expected, or even may decline in value.
Diversification is a way of managing risk by selecting a variety of funds with different asset classes.
By spreading your money among different investments, you may reduce the impact of any one investment and lower your risk.
Invest for the long-term
Time plays an important role in investing because it can reduce your risk. Over time, the highs and lows associated with any type of investment should balance out.
Reviewing Your Account
Check out your quarterly statement. Review the total returns for the OPERS Investment Options and make sure the information on your statement is correct (especially if you made any account transactions during the three-month period).
Your quarterly OPERS News also contains updates and information pertaining to your plan.
Review your asset allocation and consider rebalancing to maintain your ideal asset allocation mix. The OPERS Rebalancing Feature makes this easy to do.
Changing Your Investments
Making changes to your investments is easy and can be done through your online account.
Once you are logged in to your Online Account:
- Click View Your Combined Plan Account
- Select Manage Investments under the "Account" menu
- You then need to do two things with your account if you currently have pre-mixed portfolios.
- Click Change Elections to change where your future contributions are allocated
- Then, choose Fund Transfer link, which will enable you to move money currently in the pre-mixed portfolios out of them and into a Target Date Fund(s) or stock index fund(s).
You may also make changes over the phone by calling the OPERS Help Line at 1-866-673-7748.
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.