Pension and Health Care Eligibility GuideHow to qualify for your retirement benefit and access to health care coverage

This information pertains to members in the Traditional Pension Plan and Combined Plan only.

As an OPERS member, your retirement security is our mission. But it’s not always clear when members qualify both for their pension benefit and access to health care coverage through OPERS. This guide will help.

Congressional building icon Ohio law states that OPERS must pay eligible members a retirement benefit. Ohio law does not require OPERS to provide health care coverage.
Medications icon OPERS 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 group.
Checklist icon You must be eligible for and receiving a retirement benefit before you can have access to health care coverage through OPERS.

Your Situation

What type of position do you work in?

The information in this guide applies to all OPERS-covered positions except law enforcement and public safety. If you’re working in a law enforcement or public safety position, please see the Law Enforcement/Public Safety Officers leaflet on our website.

What retirement group are you in?

All OPERS members are in one of three retirement groups: Group A, Group B or Group C. Your group determines when you are eligible to retire and how your retirement benefit will be calculated. Your group also affects when you will be eligible for health care coverage through OPERS.

Eligibility Requirements

  Pension Eligibility Am I eligible for Health Care?
Pension Benefit* Minimum Age Years of Service Credit**  
Group A Unreduced ANY 30 YES
65 5 NO - You need 20 years of qualifying service
Reduced 55 25 NO - You can age in at 60
60 5 NO - You need 20 years of qualifying service
Group B Unreduced ANY 32 YES
52 31 YES
66 5 NO - You need 20 years of qualifying service
Reduced 55 25 NO - You can age in at 60
60 5 NO - You need 20 years of qualifying service
Group C Unreduced 55 32 YES
67 5 NO - You need 20 years of qualifying service
Reduced 57 25 NO - You can age in at 60
62 5 NO - You need 20 years of qualifying service
*The unreduced benefit is your full benefit. You may retire early with a reduced benefit.
**Members must have at least 60 months of contributing service, while earning the minimum required salary, to earn an OPERS pension.

Qualifying service credit

Only the following types of service credit qualify for health care eligibility:

The minimum monthly salary required to earn service credit for health care coverage is $1,000, which is more than the requirement for pensions.

Aging into health care coverage

If you’re not eligible for health care coverage when you retire because you don’t meet the age requirement for health care, you can begin receiving a retirement benefit and then “age into” health care eligibility later.

If you have questions about when you will be eligible to retire with access to health care, call OPERS Member Services at 1-800-222-7377.

This document reflects information as of the date listed herein. There is no promise, guarantee, contract or vested right to access health care coverage. The OPERS Board of Trustees has the discretion to modify or terminate the health care program at any time.