The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS)
Offers A Choice of Three Plans
Ohio State employees can choose from three plans for members hired on or after Jan. 1, 2003: the Traditional Plan, the Member-Directed Plan, and the Combined Plan.
The Traditional Plan
As a Defined Benefit Pension, the Traditional Pension Plan provides fixed monthly retirement benefits.
Your benefit is based on a formula that includes your years of service credit and your final average salary. The service credit is based on the time you were employed and making contributions to OPERS.
OPERS manages the investment of employee and employer contributions to ensure that funds are available to pay the formula benefit.
The Member-Directed Plan
The Member-Directed Plan is similar to other defined contribution plans in which you and your State employer make contributions.
Your contributions, plus a portion of your employer contributions, are deposited into your individual account within the plan. This means you direct how contributions are invested (within certain limitations) and you bear responsibility for any investment risk.
Your benefit is based on the amount contributed to your plan. However, it is affected by expenses and account gains/losses in the OPERS investment options you select, plus annuity factors such as your retirement age.
Keep in mind, a portion of your employer contributions is credited to your Retiree Medical Account which you can use for paying qualified healthcare expenses after you retire.
The Combined Plan
The combined plan consists of two parts: the Defined Benefit and the Defined Contribution. It includes components of the Traditional and Member Directed plans. Currently, it also includes disability and survivor benefits, cost-of-living adjustments after retirement, and access to healthcare coverage.
For the Defined Benefit part, OPERS manages employer contributions which are determined by a formula based on your age and years of service.
For the Defined Contribution part, you choose the investment options for your employee contribution and bear responsibility for any investment risk. Your benefit is based on the amount contributed to your plan. However, it is affected by expenses and account gains/losses in the OPERS investment options you select, plus annuity factors such as your retirement age.
Taking The Mystery Out Of State Retirement Planning
Our highly-qualified speakers bring years of experience in helping Ohio State employees maximize their retirement income. These are just a few of the strategies you’ll learn about at our seminar:
- Converting Retirement Assets Into Income
- Timing Your Social Security Benefit
- Lump-Sum Opportunities
- Keeping More Control Of Your Retirement Assets
At Pension Navigators, we’re committed to providing you with the information you need to protect and grow your retirement income. Our seminar is designed to help you take a more proactive role in planning the financially-secure retirement you deserve.
How long do I need to work before I am vested in OPERS?
Keep in mind, you are always fully vested in your own employee contributions to OPERS. There is no period of time you must work to own your employee contributions.
In general, you become vested in a portion of your employer’s contributions after five years of service. For complete details about how vesting requirements for each of the three OPERS retirement plans, go to:
What is the OPERS retirement Age?
Under the Traditional Pension Plan, the minimum age and service eligibility requirements for each retirement group is different (your retirement group is indicated on your annual statement). For a chart outlining the minimum retirement age and service eligibility requirements for each retirement group, go to:
Under the Member-Directed Plan, you are generally eligible to retire once you reach age 55. Under the Combined Plan, you must be at least age 65 to begin receiving a retirement benefit, or you must have at least 30 years of service in the plan. For complete information, go to:
Do I have to pay Federal Income Taxes on OPERS retirement benefit?
Yes. Your retirement benefit must be reported on your federal income tax return and all Federal Regulations will apply. OPERS is required by the Internal Revenue Service to calculate the taxable amount of your benefit. The taxable amount is then reported to the IRS.
The amount of federal income tax you owe will be determined by the tax laws in effect for each year you receive retirement benefit payments. The amount of tax will also depend on your filing status, number of deductions and exemptions, and other income sources you might have.
Will my OPERS retirement benefits be reduced by Social Security Benefits I receive?
No. Your OPERS benefits will not be offset (reduced) by Social Security benefits you receive. However, your Social Security benefit may be affected because you receive an OPERS pension. For complete information go to the Social Security website: