Traditional Pension Plan Retiring from the Traditional Pension 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 Traditional Pension Plan

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

Under the Traditional Pension 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
Note: Law Enforcement and Public Safety employees have a different eligibility timetable. Members employed in either Law Enforcement or Public Safety should refer to the Retiring From Public Employment - Traditional Pension Plan leaflet.

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 and meet the eligibility requirements for your full benefit amount, you will receive your full (unreduced) benefit.

When am I eligible for health care?

Pension eligibility may not mean you have access to health care coverage through OPERS when you retire. Health care is not a guaranteed benefit.

The Pension and Health Care Eligibility Guide can help you determine when you will qualify for both.

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 retirement group.

If you're considering retirement in the next several years, it's important to understand the structure of the OPERS health care program and the eligibility changes effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Eligibility for Health Care for Future Retirees Effective Jan. 1, 2022:

  1. Age 65 with a minimum of 20 years of qualifying service credit
  2. Retirees under age 65 can qualify by meeting unreduced pension eligibility per their retirement group:
    • Group A - 30 years of qualifying service credit at any age
    • Group B - 32 years of qualifying service credit at any age or 31 years
      minimum age 52
    • Group C - 32 years of qualifying service credit and minimum age 55
If you're planning to retire in the next few years and have specific questions about how these changes impact you, please call us at 1-800-222-7377.

Retirement Application for the Traditional Pension Plan

To apply for retirement from the Traditional Pension Plan you need to complete the Traditional Pension Plan Retirement Application.

You can do this yourself through your OPERS online account, 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 also be asked to select your retirement payment options. These will determine how you receive your monthly retirement benefit.

When you retire from the Traditional Pension Plan you have two options:

  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

    More detailed information about the payment plans can be found in the Retiring From Public Employment - Traditional Pension Plan leaflet.

  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, or PLOP, which allows you to initially receive a lump-sum payment along with a reduced monthly retirement benefit.

    If you choose this option you will still select a payment plan for the annuitized portion of your account (as noted above).

Retirement Planning Tools for the Traditional Pension 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.

Run pension and health care estimates from your online account

OPERS offers an online benefit estimator you can use to run estimate scenarios. Log into your online account and use the calculator pre-filled with data from OPERS’ database.

If you have law enforcement service credit, public safety service credit, joint service credit with SERS or STRS or a Division of Property Order, you will need to call us to request an estimate.

Ready to retire seminars

If you are within five years of meeting your retirement eligibility, consider attending a Ready to Retire seminar. During this seminar you’ll learn more about the retirement application process and the tools and resources available to help you with your retirement decisions.

OPERS Education

OPERS offers a variety of seminars, webinars, and recorded presentations to learn more about your retirement.

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.