Member-Directed Plan Retiring from the Member-Directed Plan

Deciding to retire is a milestone in your life that requires careful thought and planning.

There are tools and resources available to help you not only plan for your retirement, but also guide you through the process of applying for retirement.


Your account balance remains subject to daily gains and losses associated with the specific investment options you have chosen until your balance is liquidated. If you would like to make a change to your investment options(s) between now and the time your account balance is liquidated, please visit and log into your online account or call OPERS to manage your defined contribution account.

OPERS cannot guarantee the date when your investment account balance will be liquidated. While OPERS and the retirement system’s third-party administrator for the Member-Directed Plan follow standard procedures to process retirement/refund distribution, unforeseen circumstances can occur that cause delays in processing.

Retirement Eligibility for the Member-Directed Plan

The eligibility requirements for the Member-Directed Plan are simple – you must be at least age 55.

You are not required to reach a certain number of years in the plan.

At retirement you’ll have access to the vested portion of your retiree medical account. See the retiree medical account vesting schedule for more information.

Retirement Application for the Member-Directed Plan

To apply for retirement from the Member-Directed Plan, you need to complete the Member-Directed Plan Retirement Application. You can do this yourself, or with an OPERS counselor who can walk you through each step of the application.

Your Retirement Payment Options

When you apply for retirement, you'll be asked to select your retirement payment options. These will determine how you receive your monthly retirement benefit and/or lump sum refund.

When you retire from the Member-Directed plan, you have two options:

  1. You can receive a lifetime, monthly benefit

    You may choose to receive a lifetime monthly benefit by annuitizing your entire vested account balance.

    If you choose this option, you will select one of three payment plans:

    • Single Life Plan
    • Joint Life Plan
    • Multiple Life Plan

    Your monthly benefit is a lifetime annuity that provides a guaranteed income for as long as you live, and you will receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment.

  2. You can take a partial lump sum and receive a reduced lifetime monthly benefit

    You can receive a monthly benefit by annuitizing a portion of your account and receive a lump sum of the remaining portion.

    You will need to select a payment plan for the annuitized portion of your account. (see option 1)

    The partial lump sum can either be rolled over to another eligible retirement plan or sent directly to you with taxes withheld.

    If you choose this option, you will select what percentage of your account you would like annuitized and what percentage you would like as a lump sum.

    Note:  If you would like to take a 100 percent lump sum distribution of your account – and either have the balance sent directly to you with taxes withheld or rolled over to another eligible retirement plan – you must apply for a refund through your online account rather than filling out a retirement application.

More information

More detailed information about your retirement options can be found in the Retiring from Public Employment – Member-Directed Plan leaflet.

Retirement Planning Tools for the Member-Directed Plan

We are your trusted retirement partner, and we want you to be well-informed when it comes time to make the decision to retire. We provide planning tools and educational resources to help you.

Quarterly Statements

An estimate of your future retirement benefit is provided within your quarterly account statements. These estimates are generated using the assumptions described on the statements.

Voya myOrangeMoney Retirement Calculator

This interactive tool can help you plan for retirement. The myOrangeMoney tool allows you to get an idea of what your retirement account will look like in the future and compare your estimated monthly income with what you think you may need in retirement.

For more information on how to use myOrangeMoney, please see the Education Resources page.

If you are within 12 months of retirement, we recommend calling OPERS for an estimate versus relying only on the estimated benefit amounts within your quarterly account statements or myOrangeMoney. OPERS can provide a detailed annuity estimate based on current annuity factors, your retirement date, and the rate of return you expect to earn from the date of the estimate until your retirement.

Your account value in the Member-Directed Plan or the defined contribution portion of your Combined Plan is not a guaranteed amount. It is dependent on the performance of the investment options you select.