Member-Directed Plan Retiring from the Member-Directed plan

Deciding to retire is a milestone in your life that requires careful thought and planning.

There are a number of tools and resources available to help you not only plan for your retirement, but also guide you through the process of applying for retirement.

Retirement Eligibility for the Member-Directed Plan

The eligibility requirements for the Member-Directed Plan are simple – you must be at least age 55.

You are not required to reach a certain number of years in the plan.

Retirement eligibility does not mean you will have access to your retiree medical account. See the retiree medical account vesting schedule for more information.

Retirement Application for the Member-Directed Plan

To apply for retirement from the Member-Directed Plan you need to complete the Member-Directed Plan Retirement Application. You can do this yourself, or with a counselor who can walk you through each step of the application.

Your Retirement Payment Options

When you apply for retirement, you'll be asked to select your retirement payment options. These will determine how you receive your monthly retirement benefit and/or lump sum refund.

When you retire from the Member-Directed plan, you have three options:

  1. You can receive a lifetime, monthly benefit

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

    If you choose this option, you will fill out the retirement application, and 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 refund 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 refund 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 refund can either be rolled over to another company or qualified retirement account, or sent directly to you with taxes withheld.

    If you choose this option, you will fill out the retirement application and select what percentage of your account you would like annuitized and what percentage you would like refunded.

  3. You can take a full lump-sum refund

    You can take a full lump-sum refund of your account, and either have the entire account balance sent directly to you, with taxes withheld or rollover the account balance to another qualified retirement account.

    If you choose this option, you must apply for a refund through the OPERS secure online refund application, rather than filling out a retirement application.

More information

More detailed information about your retirement options can be found in the Retiring from Public Employment – Member-Directed Plan leaflet.

Retirement Planning Tools for the Member-Directed 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 planning tools and educational resources to help you.

Voya myOrangeMoney Retirement Calculator

This interactive tool can help you plan for retirement. The myOrangeMoney tool allows you to get an idea of what your retirement account will look like in the future and compare your estimated monthly income with what you think you may need in retirement.

Made for OPERS members

The myOrangeMoney tool has been tailored specifically for OPERS members. Certain factors such as annuity factors and contribution rates have been customized for your plan.

Members can even factor in other sources of income at retirement such as Social Security, Deferred Compensation or 401(k)s or IRAs.

Don't forget the cost of health care

The myOrange Money tool provides a visual idea of how much of your retirement income may be needed for health care costs based on national health care costs for the Medicare population and is based on the state of residence. These are not OPERS health care costs.

How to access the myOrangeMoney tool

You can access the myOrangeMoney tool through your OPERS online account. For more detailed instructions, watch the video below.

OPERS Education

OPERS offers educational, recorded presentations tailored to Member-Directed Plan participants.

These online presentations cover a number of topics including investment education and the Member-Directed Retiree Medical Account.

Visit the Resources page to learn more.

OPERS Counseling Sessions

A counseling session is the perfect way to learn everything you need to know prior to retirement. You'll meet with an experienced OPERS professional who can walk you through every aspect of retirement.

You can schedule a counseling session at any time from your online account or by calling 1-800-222-7377.

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.