Timing is key in knowing when to retire

Info on OPERS website can help guide members in their decision-making

By Michael Pramik, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

June 6, 2024 – If you’re nearing retirement, firmly in the middle of your career, or perhaps just starting out in public service, you’ve likely at least considered what it’s going to be like to retire. But when can you retire from OPERS? And what will be the best time to do so?

The answers to those questions are personal, and they depend on various factors.

You might be mentally prepared to retire, but you first need to meet eligibility requirements that OPERS has set in order for you to take that step. And, you’ll need to be financially secure before doing so.

In the Traditional or Combined plan, it’s possible to retire from OPERS on either an unreduced or a reduced pension. Unreduced means you’ve met the minimum age and service credit requirements to earn the full pension benefit formula.

You can retire earlier on a reduced pension, but the amount of your pension could be significantly reduced vs. the unreduced amount.

In the Member-Directed Plan, you need to meet the age requirement of 55, and your retirement benefit will be based on your account value.

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. It also introduces various topics to consider, including tax implications, returning to work and how to keep us updated on your status after you retire.

If you’re uncertain if you will have enough to live on in retirement look for the question “Have I saved enough?” It will take you to useful Financial Wellness tools designed to help you build a more-secure retirement as your career progresses. They include a wealth of valuable information, including webinars and recorded presentations.

Refer to our recent blog on OPERS’ financial wellness tools for more information.

We advise all members considering retirement to speak with an OPERS counselor before you make a final decision. You can make that appointment through your online account.

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

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