Learn about your retirement options. Plan for your retirement. Act on your retirement decisions.

Acting Checklist

If you have not established access to your OPERS account online, do so now. This will be your best resource as a retiree.

Submit your retirement application online or make an appointment with an OPERS retirement counselor to apply for retirement.

  • You can apply via your Online Account by selecting Apply and Apply for Retirement from the menu bar and then click on the Apply for Retirement button.
  • You can set an appointment via your Online Account by selecting the Tools and Resources tab, then Seminars and Counseling from the menu bar.
  • Bank information must be included with your retirement application. Direct deposit is mandatory.
  • You can apply for retirement six months prior to your retirement effective date. OPERS requests that you apply at least two months in advance of your effective date.
  • Submit these documents with your retirement application if you have not already done so.
    • These documents are required to process your retirement application and can be submitted at any time during your career or during the application process. Please include your full name and at least the last four digits of your Social Security number on all documents. Please only send copies, not original documents.

Choose the date you wish to terminate employment with your public employer.

  • OPERS recommends you ask your employer how and when they wish to receive notification of your retirement. You may also want to ask your employer when their health care coverage ends and if there is a policy for any sick leave and vacation time payouts.

Fill maintenance prescriptions, if necessary.

Filling maintenance medication prescriptions may be important because you will receive your medical identification cards 10 to 14 business days after your first retirement benefit payment.

FAQ

How soon will I receive my first payment?

  • Your first payment will arrive between 30 and 45 calendar days from your retirement effective date or the date OPERS receives all paperwork, whichever is later. Your first payment may be an interim payment which is less than your original estimate. An interim payment is calculated before OPERS receives final salary and contribution information from your employer.

How soon should I apply for retirement?

  • You can apply for retirement six months prior to your retirement effective date. OPERS requests that you apply at least two months in advance of your effective date.

When will I receive my Partial Lump Sum Option Payment (PLOP)?

  • Your Partial Lump Sum Option Payment (PLOP) will be released 90 days after your first benefit payment.

Can I take a lump-sum distribution of my entire account at retirement?

  • Yes, you can refund your OPERS account, but you will forfeit your right to guaranteed lifetime income from OPERS if you are retirement eligible. Taking a refund will terminate your OPERS membership along with access to any associated benefits.

How much should I withhold from my pension payment for taxes?

  • You may elect to withhold federal and/or state of Ohio income taxes from your monthly retirement payment and you may change your state and/or federal withholding amounts at any time. If you do nothing, federal income tax will be withheld from your benefit payments using withholding rates applicable to a married individual claiming three withholding exemptions. Even if you elect not to have federal income tax withheld, you are liable for payment of federal income tax on the taxable portion of your payments.
  • The payments you receive may be subject to Ohio state income tax and you may elect to have Ohio state income tax withheld.
  • Please consult with a tax advisor regarding your specific tax situation.

When will I receive my medical coverage identification card?

  • You will receive your identification cards 10 to 14 business days after your first payment is released.

What documentation is required in order to apply for OPERS retiree health care coverage?

  • Primary documents include a Birth Certificate and a Marriage Certificate if you are electing coverage for your spouse. You are also required to provide a copy of your Medicare card, adoption decree, court order, if applicable. Please refer to the OPERS Health Care Coverage guide for a detailed listing of all required forms and documentation required throughout the enrollment process.

I have health care coverage available through my spouse's employer. Should I elect coverage through my spouse's employer or through OPERS when I retire?

  • This is an important decision because you want to pick the best coverage that suits the needs of your entire family. Please thoroughly review the premium and coverage information for both plan options before electing coverage through either plan. Remember, if you decide to elect coverage through another employer, you can defer OPERS coverage by completing the appropriate section on our application. You can then elect OPERS coverage for yourself and any eligible dependents during our annual open enrollment period.

    Even if you do not have health care coverage available through another employer or retirement plan, you may have other health care options that include coverage through the Health Care Marketplace (or 'exchanges'). To review these plan options, please access healthcare.gov.