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Retirement Process

Step 1 - Retirement Application (515-117-19)

You should contact your Retirement Coordinator at least 90 days before your planned retirement date. The coordinator will assist you in completing a Retirement Application. This is the document used to select your retirement date and option

OPERS retirement dates are always the first day of a given month. Your completed application must be received in the OPERS office in Oklahoma City at least 60 days before your retirement date (see Dates and Deadlines). Exceptions to the 60-day requirement can be granted only through a formal waiver granted by the OPERS Executive Director. Good cause, such as health problems or unforeseeable emergency, must be shown before the Executive Director will grant a waiver.

NOTE: It may be the case you are eligible for either early or normal retirement at the time your employment terminates. OPERS requires notice of your intention to retire at least 60 days prior to your retirement date. In some cases, you do not have 60 days before your employment ends in which to notify OPERS. In such cases, you have two choices.

  1. You may seek to have the Executive Director waive the 60-day notice requirement; or,
  2. You may, at the time your employment terminates, elect a vested benefit and then give notice to OPERS of your intention to retire.

Step 2 - Acknowledgement and Paperwork

After receiving the Retirement Application, OPERS will send you an acknowledgment letter along with a Direct Deposit form for you to complete and return. If documents such as a driver's license (proof of birth), divorce decree, marriage license, etc. are needed for processing of your application for retirement, they will be requested at that time. You must respond as quickly as possible to any requests for information or documents to avoid any unplanned delay to your retirement. Failure to provide the necessary documents could postpone your effective retirement date and/or your receipt of benefits.


Step 3 - Preliminary Benefit Statement

A Preliminary Benefit Statement will be mailed to you prior to your effective retirement date. This letter will provide the following:

  • An accounting of your total service credit in OPERS;
  • An estimate of your gross monthly benefit amount;
  • The date of your first payment from OPERS representing your first two months of retirement benefits (see Important Notice below);
  • A memo regarding returning to work after retirement; and,
  • A description of your federal and state income tax liabilities.

The Preliminary Benefit Statement may be adjusted if any corrections are needed or if any errors are detected during the final audit of benefits. You will be notified as soon as possible if an adjustment is necessary.


Step 4 - Final Letter and Benefits

At the end of the second month of the retirement process, you will receive a final retirement letter at the time the first two retirement benefit payments are made. This letter will provide:

  • A final statement of benefits, including your gross benefit amount, withholding for insurance, federal and state income tax, and net benefit amount.
  • A statement of total taxable and non-taxable contributions you have paid into OPERS.

Important Notices:

Benefit payments for the first two months are made on the last working day of the second month of retirement. Thereafter, payment will be made on the last working day of each month.

The type of benefit payment may not be changed on or after the effective date of retirement. If you have chosen to retire under a retirement option, neither your option nor your joint-annuitant may be changed on or after your retirement date, except those who retire from OPERS under Option A or Option B may change their benefit option to the Maximum benefit (no survivor option, no reduction in benefits) upon the death of the member's selected joint- annuitant.

For more information, check out our Retirement Options.

 Last Revised - July 29, 2019

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