As an active member, you participate in OPERS by contributing a certain portion of your salary to the plan each month. Likewise, your employer contributes a larger portion on your behalf. The member and employer contributions are invested by the Plan, under the direction of the Board of Trustees. When you meet eligibility requirements, you can begin receiving a monthly lifetime retirement benefit based on a formula involving your compensation, years of credited service and a computation factor.

Preparing for retirement starts with those first contributions, and you have partners to help you along the way to a secure and lasting retirement. Begin by reviewing the information we have provided on this website to learn more about contributions, service credit and your future benefit. OPERS, along with your employer’s Retirement Coordinator, can help you understand your benefits to get the most out of your plan. Your Retirement Coordinator can provide you with forms and assistance on completing them. Your partners at OPERS are ready to help with any questions you may have.

Leaving Employment

When you leave employment with a participating employer, you will need to make a decision about your OPERS benefit. There are four actions you can choose depending on your years of credited service.

  • Retire: If you have met certain eligibility requirements, you may be able to start receiving your monthly lifetime benefit.
  • Vest: If you have at least eight years of credited service, you may be able to vest and receive a future retirement benefit once you reach eligibility requirements.
  • Withdraw: Choosing to withdraw your share of accumulated contributions cancels out all service credit. You will no longer be considered an OPERS member and will not receive a future lifetime benefit.
  • Leave your contribution in the Plan: Even if you do not have enough service to retire or vest, you can leave your contributions in the OPERS Plan. Should you return to work with a participating employer, you will pick-up where you left off. Your participation in OPERS will begin with your first day of re-employment. If you never return to covered employment, you may take a withdrawal anytime in the future.
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