Planning is key to retirement decision

OPERS offers a wealth of information to help guide members

By Michael Pramik, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

June 22, 2023 – If you’re planning to retire in the near future, OPERS offers lots of information about how to get the process started and how to keep things flowing smoothly along the way.

The first consideration is to make sure you’re eligible to retire, even if you feel you’re ready. You’ll need to meet the eligibility requirements that OPERS has set in order for you to proceed. And, you’ll need to be financially secure before doing so.

OPERS can help.

First, we recommend that members take part in two educational opportunities to help you understand the retirement process:

Ready to Retire provides pension and health care information for members within five years of retirement eligibility. You’ll learn about the retirement application process, timeline details about your transition to retirement and the tools and resources available to help you with your retirement decisions. You’ll also hear about health care eligibility and coverage options for Pre-Medicare and Medicare retirees, and how the Health Reimbursement Arrangement works.

Ready to Retire is available as an in-person seminar that you can schedule through your OPERS online account or by calling 800-222-7377. It’s also available as a webinar and as a recorded presentation in two parts – one for pension and one for health care. You can access the webinar and recorded presentation from the Educational Resources page of the OPERS website.

Bridging the Gap, part of the OPERS Financial Wellness series, helps you review your current spending habits and your expected retirement income. The goal is to “bridge the gap” between how much money you’ll have in retirement and how much you’ll need. It’s accessible from the OPERS website as a live webinar and as a recorded presentation.

Second, OPERS recommends that those approaching retirement meet one-on-one with one of our counselors. You’ll learn about pension and health care eligibility, your payment plan options, whether you might be able to purchase or transfer service credit, and more. You can use your OPERS online account to schedule a 60-minute, face-to-face counseling session at the OPERS office in Columbus; a 60-minute virtual session via Zoom; or a 30-minute phone session.

Finally, OPERS has a comprehensive “Ready to Retire” website section that explains the ins and outs of retiring. Here, you’ll find separate links to the eligibility requirements – and more info – for those in the Traditional Pension Plan, Member-Directed Plan and Combined Plan.

The section also introduces more topics to consider, including tax implications, the partial lump-sum option payment, returning to work and how to keep us updated on your status after you retire. It also includes links to helpful leaflets for each of our three pension plans.

Michael Pramik

Michael Pramik is communication strategist for the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and editor of the PERSpective blog. As an experienced business journalist, he clarifies complex pension policies and helps members make smart choices to secure their retirement.

Michael Pramik

Communication Strategist

Leave a Reply

We encourage your comments on the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System’s PERSpective blog. We can’t respond to every comment. Please be aware that we review all comments before they’re posted, and we reserve the right to edit, not publish or remove any comment that in our sole discretion does not further the purpose of the blog. For further details, please see our Comments Policy.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *