Combined Plan Retiring from the Combined Plan

Deciding to retire is a milestone requiring careful thought and planning.

You have a number of tools and resources available to help you plan for your retirement and guide you through the retirement application process.

Retirement Eligibility for the Combined Plan

Before you apply for retirement, you’ll need to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements for a benefit.

Under the Combined Plan, the minimum age and service eligibility requirements for each retirement group are as follows:

Unreduced Benefit
Group A Group B Group C
Age Service Age Service Age Service
Any 30 52 31 55 32
    Any 32    
65 5 66 5 67 5
Reduced Benefit
Group A Group B Group C
Age Service Age Service Age Service
55 25 55 25 57 25
60 5 60 5 62 5

Unreduced Benefit vs. Reduced Benefit

You’ll notice the charts above give eligibility requirements for two types of benefits – unreduced and reduced.

If you choose to retire early upon reaching the minimum requirements, your benefit will be reduced. This reflects the longer period of time you'll be receiving benefits.

However, if you work longer or wait until you are older to begin receiving a benefit, you will receive your full or "unreduced" benefit.

When am I eligible for the OPERS Health Care Program?

The best way to determine when you will qualify for both a retirement benefit and HRA deposits is to obtain a retirement benefit estimate. You can do this through your online account or by calling OPERS Member Services at 1-800-222-7377.

If you're considering retirement in the next several years, it's important to understand the structure of the OPERS Health Care Program.


Retirement Application for the Combined Plan

To apply for retirement from the Combined Plan, you need to complete the Combined Plan Retirement Application.

You can do this yourself through, or with an OPERS counselor who can walk you through each step of the application.

Your Retirement Payment Options

As a member of the Combined Plan, you effectively have two separate accounts: the defined benefit portion and the defined contribution portion.

When you apply for retirement, you'll need to select retirement payment options for each portion of your account.

These options determine how you receive your monthly retirement benefit.

Defined Benefit Portion

When you apply for retirement, you'll be asked to select your retirement payment option for the defined benefit portion of your Combined Plan. These will determine how you receive your monthly retirement benefit.

When you retire from the Combined Plan, you have two options for the defined benefit portion of your account:

  1. You can receive a lifetime, monthly benefit

    You can choose from three payment plans from which to receive your monthly benefit:

    • Single Life Plan
    • Joint Life Plan
    • Multiple Life Plan
  2. You can take a Partial Lump Sum Option Payment with a reduced monthly benefit

    You have the option of a partial lump sum option payment that allows you to initially receive a lump sum payment along with a reduced monthly retirement benefit.

Defined Contribution Portion

When you apply for retirement, you'll have three choices from which to take a distribution of the defined contribution portion of your Combined Plan. These choices will determine how you receive your monthly retirement benefit and/or lump sum refund.

When you retire from the Combined plan, you have three options for the Defined Contribution portion of your account:

  1. You can receive a lifetime, monthly benefit

    You may choose to receive a lifetime monthly benefit by annuitizing your entire account balance.

    If you choose this option, you will select one of three payment plans:

    • Single Life Plan
    • Joint Life Plan
    • Multiple Life Plan

    Your monthly benefit is a lifetime annuity that provides a guaranteed income for as long as you live, and you will receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment.

  2. You can take a partial lump sum and receive a reduced lifetime monthly benefit

    You can receive a monthly benefit by annuitizing a portion of your account and receive a lump sum of the remaining portion.

    You will need to select a payment plan for the annuitized portion of your account. (see option 1)

    The partial lump sum can either be rolled over to another eligible retirement plan or sent directly to you with taxes withheld.

    If you choose this option, you will select what percentage of your account you would like annuitized and what percentage you would like as a lump sum.

  3. You can take a full lump sum

    You can take a 100 percent lump sum distribution of your defined contribution account balance, and either have it sent directly to you with taxes withheld, or rolled over to another eligible retirement plan.

More Information

More detailed information about your retirement options can be found in the Retiring From Public Employment - Combined Plan leaflet.


Retirement Planning Tools for the Combined Plan

We are your trusted retirement partner, and we want you to be well-informed when it comes time to make the decision to retire. We provide a number of planning tools and educational resources to help you.

As a participant in the OPERS Combined Plan, your retirement benefit will consist of the defined benefit portion and the defined contribution portion.

Defined Benefit Portion

OPERS provides you with an estimate of your retirement benefit from the defined benefit portion on your Annual Statement of Estimated Benefits. These statements are generated and mailed every spring, but can always be found within your OPERS online account.

Defined Contribution Portion

Quarterly Statements

OPERS provides an estimate of your future retirement benefit from the defined contribution portion on your quarterly account statements. These estimates are generated using the assumptions described on the statements.

Voya myOrangeMoney Retirement Calculator

This is a financial wellness tool and interactive retirement savings planner. This tool can be found within your OPERS online account. Within myOrangeMoney you can find a projected monthly benefit using OPERS annuity factors. It assumes all years as full year contributions, so it is intended only as a planning tool to visualize your potential retirement income in comparison with your income replacement goal.

For more information on how to use myOrangeMoney, please see the Education Resources page.

If you are within 12 months of retirement, we recommend calling OPERS for an estimate versus relying only on the estimated benefit amounts within your quarterly account statements or myOrangeMoney. OPERS can provide a detailed annuity estimate based on current annuity factors, your retirement date, and the rate of return you expect to earn from the date of the estimate until your retirement.

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.