Calculating your Retirement Benefit

Your future retirement benefit is based on a three-part formula that considers your compensation, years of credited service and a computation factor. The formula for the majority of OPERS members who participate as state and local government employees is as follows:

Final Average Compensation x Years of Service Credit x Computation Factor

Retirement benefits for elected officials, members with hazardous duty participation and judges and justices may vary. For specific provisions, please refer to the Essential OPERS.

Final Average Compensation

This is an average of your highest three (or five) years of gross, full-time pay and longevities from the last 10 years of participating service before retirement. Any pay earned from overtime, reimbursements (travel, clothes, insurance, etc.) or tips do not count toward your final average compensation. The number of years used toward your average depend on when you began participation:

  • Before July 1, 2013: Your final average compensation includes your highest three years out of the last 10 years of participating service prior to retirement (including highest three longevity payments).
  • On or After July 1, 2013: Your final average compensation includes your highest five years out of the last 10 years of participating service prior to retirement (including highest five longevity payments).

Years of Service Credit

Your participation in OPERS begins the first of the month following your hire date. Your service credit includes the years and full months you have participated in OPERS, including any purchased service, prior service, bonus years, military service, and months of unused sick leave (six months maximum).

  • If you became a member before November 1, 2012, total service is rounded up or down to the nearest full year.
  • If you became a member on or after November 1, 2012, service credit is determined by the actual number of years and months, without rounding.

Computation Factor

The standard computation factor for most members is two percent (2%). The computation factor may be different for members who contribute at a higher percentage.

  • The contribution rate may be different for elected officials and hazardous duty employees. Refer to the applicable Essential OPERS for more information.
  • Members who elect to participate in the 2.5% Step-Up Program will have applicable full years calculated at 2.5 percent instead of two percent. See 2.5% Step-Up for more information or ask your retirement coordinator for a brochure.

Calculation Example

Sally is retiring with a final average compensation of $30,000. She has 15 years of service credit and has the standard computation factor of two percent. As you can see below, Sally’s normal, gross, maximum benefit is $750 per month.

$30,000 x 15 x 0.02 = $9,000 (or $750 per month)

By looking at the table, you can see each year of service equals two percent of the final average compensation. With Sally’s 15 years of service, her retirement benefit will replace approximately 30 percent of her final average compensation in retirement.

Total Service 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
Benefit as a % of Average Compensation 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

Benefit Estimate

If you are within two years of retirement eligibility, you can request OPERS to calculate your benefit estimate by completing a Member Request: Benefit and Service Calculations form. An OPERS analyst will use your actual salary and service records to calculate your benefit using the same processes as if you were retiring. Submitting a request does not indicate intent to retire or preselect your actual retirement date or options.

An online benefit estimator is available for members more than two years from retirement eligibility. This calculator uses your assumptions of salary and service credit to estimate a retirement benefit and was designed for members in early to mid-career to start retirement planning. Members nearing retirement are encouraged to request a benefit estimate.

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