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

The information about age and service retirement provided in this section is for members in the OPERS Traditional Pension and Combined Plans who are eligible to retire on or before Jan. 7, 2018 (Group A).

Members participating in the Member-Directed Plan can learn about their retirement on the Educational Opportunities for The Member-Directed Plan page.

Learning Checklist

Establish access to your OPERS account online. This is where you will run retirement and health care estimates, keep your information current with OPERS, and submit your retirement application.

Attend a live webinar or in-person seminar designed specifically to provide members nearing retirement with valuable information about OPERS pensions and retiree health care coverage.

  • If you're in the Traditional Plan, attend the Ready to Retire Pension presentation. You will learn about important changes that impact your retirement, how to calculate your monthly retirement payment, important decisions, and how to apply for retirement.
  • Attend the Ready to Retire Health Care presentation. The seminar provides important information about health care changes, eligibility for health care coverage, how to estimate your monthly premium, and a general overview of health care coverage.
  • Members can also take part in an in-person education fair.

Save more for retirement. Your OPERS retirement benefit will provide guaranteed lifetime income; however, you may need more depending on how you wish to live during retirement.

Present information on any legal actions that might impact your retirement. If you are subject to a court order or Division of Property Order pertaining to your retirement it is your responsibility to submit copies to OPERS.

  • You must have an approved DPO retained by OPERS before an estimate can be prepared which includes the amount to be paid to an alternate payee/ex-spouse. OPERS requires 60 days from receiving the DPO to review.

    OPERS will neither advise nor be able to answer any questions about how to complete your DPO. You may wish to refer your attorney to the Division of Property Order (DPO) form.

    Please include your full name and at least the last four digits of your Social Security Number on all documents.

Determine whether you have service credit that can be purchased or service credit in another Ohio retirement system.

As a general guideline, service credit may be purchased for public employment for which you did not make OPERS contributions. For example, if you were in the military or refunded an OPERS account you may be eligible to purchase service credit. There are several types of service credit.
  • Consult the Service Credit and Contributing Months publication to verify whether you have purchasable service credit.
  • If you are interested in purchasing service credit please run an estimate on your Online Account. After logging in to your account click on the Tools and Resources tab, then click Service Purchase.
  • If you have service credit in another Ohio retirement system, contact OPERS to request a retirement estimate showing service credit from both systems.

For more information on all of the items included on this checklist, please read Retiring From Public Employment - The Traditional Pension Plan.

FAQs

When 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.

How soon should I make an appointment to speak with an OPERS retirement counselor?

OPERS recommends you meet with a retirement counselor when you are within six months to one year of retirement. You can set the appointment through your Online Account by selecting Tools and Resources, then Seminars and Counseling from the menu bar in your Online Account

What is a Partial Lump Sum Option Payment?

  • A Partial Lump Sum Option Payment (PLOP) is a one-time lump-sum distribution which is only offered at retirement. It allows retirees to receive a lump sum benefit payment along with a reduced monthly retirement payment.
  • As a lump-sum distribution, the PLOP is fully taxable, unless it is rolled over to a qualified plan or IRA and may be subject to court orders, such as division of property orders and support withholding orders.

Can I change my plan of payment after I am retired?

Yes, but only in the event of a death, divorce or marriage.

How can I learn more about OPERS retiree health care coverage?

The Health Care Documents page has many OPERS health care publications, including the OPERS Health Care Coverage Guide and complete plan descriptions for each of our plans.

Will I have to meet a new deductible when I retire?

Yes. Your coverage through the OPERS retiree health care plan is completely different from your employer health care plan. The OPERS retiree plan is based on the calendar year and starts over annually on Jan. 1. For example, if you have met your deductible on your employer plan and you retire effective Aug. 1, you will need to meet a new deductible and out-of-pocket maximum for that calendar year. You’ll then be required to meet a new deductible and out-of-pocket maximum beginning Jan. 1 of the following year.