What is OPERS? the importance of your OPERS membership

OPERS provides retirement income and benefits to Ohio public employees.

OPERS: Your Pension System

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System has been providing retirement benefits to Ohio's public employees since 1935.

What it Means to be a Member

* Assuming you reach retirement eligibility and choose an annuitized monthly payment option

How much do I contribute to OPERS?

As a member, you contribute 10% of your salary toward your retirement.

Your employer contributes an amount equal to 14% of your salary.

That means an amount equal to 24% of your total salary is being invested by OPERS.
10% your contribution
14% your employer's contribution
24% of your salary being invested for your future

These numbers may vary based on your employment type. See the FAQ page for more details.

Your Member and Employer Contributions How the funds are invested for you

Pension benefits and health care payments are funded by three sources:

Your member contributions can only go into the pension trust fund. Employer contributions can be split and used to fund both pensions and health care.

Retirement benefits are paid through our pension fund and health care payments are paid through our health care fund.

A graphic explaining how member contributions, employer contributions, and OPERS' investment returns go towards a member's retirement and healthcare

Contributions must go to the pension trust fund first. Once our pension obligations are met, contributions can be made to the health care fund.

Accessing Your Money

You can access the funds you've paid OPERS two ways:

  1. Receiving an OPERS benefit when you retire

    When you are ready to retire the money you have invested with OPERS will be available to you.

    Your retirement payment options depend upon the retirement plan you choose. You can either annuitize your account and receive lifetime payments, or you can take a lump sum and annuitize the remaining portion (if any).

  2. Refunding your account

    If you leave public employment but are not yet eligible to retire, you have the option to refund your contributions. You'll receive 100 percent of your member contributions (the 10 percent of your salary you contributed to OPERS).

    You may also be eligible for an additional amount depending on your retirement plan and years of service.

    Your refund can either be sent to you directly (with taxes withheld), or rolled over into another retirement account (with no tax consequences).

Your Contributions

As an OPERS members you will always be able to refund 100 percent of your member contributions once you leave public employment.

You Have a Choice to Make Selecting your OPERS retirement plan

As of December 31, 2021, the Combined Plan will no longer be a plan selection option for new hires. If you are interested in selecting the Combined Plan, your selection must be made no later than December 31, 2021.

New members, you have 180 days (from your start date) to select one of three retirement plans:

Unsure which plan is right for you?

We've created a short video quiz to help you decide:

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If you’re ready to make your plan selection, log in to your online account

If you still have questions, give us a call at 1-800-222-7377.

It's important to choose the right plan.

Each plan has unique features and benefits. The plan you choose will determine how your contributions are invested and how your potential retirement benefit will be calculated.

Who OPERS serves

OPERS serves more than 1 million past and present Ohio workers including state, local and municipal employees as well as state college and university employees.

OPERS Retirement Groups

OPERS members are divided into three retirement groups: Groups A, B and C.

Your retirement group is based on:

Which group am I in?

You can log into your OPERS online account anytime to view your retirement group.

Don’t have an online account? Sign up today, it only takes a few quick steps to register.