MEMBERS

OPSRP Interactive Example Statement


How should I read my member annual statement?

Check out the interactive example statement above. If you download and view the PDF in Adobe Acrobat, you can move your mouse around the example and find helpful information associated with the sections highlighted (in green boxes) on the sample statement.

Your annual statement will provide three key points of information that are important for you to check: your date of birth, years of service, and Individual Account Program (IAP) information.

Read an article in the April 2020 Perspectives newsletter if you want to know why these three key points are so important.




You are an OPSRP member if you were first hired by a PERS-participating employer after August 28, 2003.​

OPSRP has two parts: your pension and your Individual Account Program (IAP).

Watch a video that explains the two parts to your future retirement.

Your OPSRP pension is primarily funded by your employer and can provide a lifetime monthly benefit at retirement for eligible employees. Because your pension is a defined benefit, this portion of your retirement does not have an account balance. Instead, PERS uses some simple math to determine the pension you will be paid as a retiree.

To calculate your monthly pension benefit at retirement, PERS uses your salary, how long you worked for a PERS-participating employer(s), and a percentage set by the Oregon Legislature. See more about this calculation under the heading “How is my retirement benefit calculated?” below.

Your IAP, however, does have an account balance. You, or your employer on your behalf, make a 6% contribution* based on your salary to your IAP. That account balance grows over time, based on the investment returns of your IAP Target-Date Fund.

At retirement, you can choose to receive your IAP balance in a lump sum; in equal installments spread over 5, 10, 15 or 20 years; or in installments over your expected lifetime.

*Note: Starting July 1, 2020, if you are currently employed and make more than $2,500 a month, a portion of your 6% contributions will be redirected to a new Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA), which will be used to pay for part of your future pension benefit. As an OPSRP member, 0.75% of your 6% contributions will go into your EPSA. The remaining 5.25% will go to your existing IAP account.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

While OPSRP has two parts — your pension and your Individual Account Program (IAP) — your IAP is the only account-based benefit in your retirement plan. 

What “account-based” means is that contributions are deposited into an account and invested for you, over time, to help build a pot of money for your retirement. Those contributions are 6%* of your salary and may be made by you, or your employer on your behalf.

When you retire, the distribution you receive from your IAP will be based on your total account balance. You will not receive more than this balance, whether you choose to take it in a lump sum or installments. 

Factors that affect the balance you have include: 

  • Changes in your salary while you are working. For example, as your salary increases over time, so too will the amount of your contributions.  

  • Investment returns, based on your IAP Target-Date Fund. 

Meanwhile, the pension portion of your retirement is what’s called a “defined benefit.” That means the money you will receive from your pension is not set by the balance of an individual account but rather is defined by other means. At PERS, it is determined by a mathematical formula established by law. The formula uses your salary, how long you worked for a PERS-participating employer(s), and a percentage set by the Oregon Legislature. See how the calculation works under the heading “How is my retirement benefit calculated?” below.

Because your pension is “defined” in this way, it is correct that your statement only shows a balance for your IAP account and not one for your pension component.

*Note: Starting July 1, 2020, if you are currently employed and make more than $2,500 a month, a portion of your 6% contributions will be redirected to a new Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA), which will be used to pay for part of your future pension benefit. As an OPSRP member, 0.75% of your 6% contributions will go into your EPSA. The remaining 5.25% will go to your existing IAP account.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Vested status applies to the pension portion of your OPSRP retirement and means that you cannot lose your right to your pension benefit unless you withdraw from the overall OPSRP program.​

One action that may trigger withdrawal from the OPSRP program and forfeiture of your pension would be withdrawal of your Individual Account Program (IAP) balance.

For more information about withdrawing your IAP and what forfeiture means, see the “I no longer work for a PERS-participating employer. Can I withdraw my money?” section below.

You can become vested in your OPSRP pension in one of two ways, whichever comes first: 

1. You will need to work in a qualifying position for a PERS-participating employer for at least 600 hours per year for five years. The years do not have to be consecutive, but there cannot be a gap in qualifying employment of more than five years. 

or 

2. You are working in a qualifying position for a PERS-participating employer at any time on or after reaching normal retirement age. For general service, that is age 65. For police and firefighter service, it is age 60. 

Meanwhile, in your IAP, you become vested as soon as contributions to your IAP account begin. Contributions typically start six months after your hire date.​​

To receive a pension benefit, you must first be vested (see the “How do I become vested?” section above) in the OPSRP Pension Program and eligible to retire. Your pension is a defined benefit (see the “What is the Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan (OPSRP)?” section above) and will provide you with a monthly income for your lifetime in retirement.

To determine what that monthly income will be, PERS uses a formula, with a percentage that varies depending on your service type:

General service:

1.5% × years of total retirement credit × final average salary

Police and firefighters:

1.8% × years of total retirement credit × final average salary

Ultimately, the formula will result in an amount that makes up only a portion of your final average salary at retirement. The more time you work and accrue retirement credit in a qualifying position, the higher that portion will be. For example:

  • 30 years of retirement credit = 45% of final average salary payable as lifetime pension

  • 20 years of retirement credit = 30% of final average salary payable as lifetime pension

  • 10 years of retirement credit = 15% of final average salary payable as lifetime pension


Notes and definitions:

  • Your retirement credit is the amount of time (months and years) you have worked in a PERS-qualifying position. One month of retirement credit is earned for each major fraction of a month worked.

  • A “qualifying position” is one in which you work 600 or more hours in a calendar year for a PERS-participating employer(s). Hours worked with different participating employers are combined to determine if the 600-hour standard has been met for a given year. Under certain circumstances, if you are not employed for the full calendar year, you may earn retirement credit for a partial year with fewer than 600 hours of employment.

  • Your final average salary is the greater of these amounts:

    • The average gross monthly salary that results from the three consecutive years in which you earned your highest total salaries from one or more PERS-participating employers, even if one of those years was less than a full calendar year.
    • 1/36 of the total salary you received from one or more PERS-participating employers in the last 36 months of active membership.

You have a couple of options for getting pension benefit estimates:

1. At any time, you can generate your own estimate through Online Member Services (OMS). When you are viewing your “Account Summary” page, click on the “Benefit Estimate” link in the list on the left. Click on “Create New Benefit Estimate” and follow the steps from there.

The online benefit estimator will use the most recent data supplied by your employer(s) to create an estimate for any future retirement date. You can generate multiple benefit estimates with different retirement dates to help you determine if you are on track to meet your retirement goals.

2. When you are within 24 months of the earliest date on which you’re eligible to retire, you can request a PERS benefit estimate by submitting an OPSRP Estimate Request form. (Note: PERS processes benefit estimate requests in retirement-date order, with the earliest retirement dates first. Estimate processing time may vary from member to member, as each account is different, so we are unable to tell you exactly when your estimate will be completed.)


Note: Benefit estimates are just that — estimates. They are not a guarantee of benefits.

To get an estimate for your Individual Account Program (IAP), you can use the IAP Disbursement Forecaster to estimate your IAP distribution at retirement.

Yes — starting September 2020, nonretired members will be able to voluntarily make an election, once per year, into which IAP Target-Date Fund they want their funds invested.

Any eligible choice made by September 30, 2020, will go into effect January 1, 2021. If you make a choice, remember this is for calendar year 2021, which means you will see annual investment returns on your 2021 statement, sent in spring 2022. You continue to be invested in your age-based IAP TDF for calendar year 2020.

More details and information on how to change your TDF for 2021 will be added to PERS’ IAP Target-Date Funds webpage in August 2020 and sent out via GovDelivery.

Fill out an IAP Pre-Retirement Designation of Beneficiary form to name someone to receive your benefits should you die before withdrawing your account or retiring. New beneficiary designations supersede all past selections.

If you have questions about the beneficiary, or beneficiaries, you have on file for your IAP, contact Member Services.

Before retirement

By law, beneficiary options for your OPSRP pension are limited. If you die before retirement, PERS will only pay a death benefit to your spouse, your former spouse under a court order (such as a divorce decree), or to any other person required to be treated like a spouse for the purpose of retirement benefits. No other beneficiary types can be chosen before retirement.

If you are single and die before retirement, no pension benefits will be paid to anyone; you do not have a preretirement beneficiary option.  

For more information, see the “Pension Death Benefits before Retirement” entry in our Quick Answers guide for OPSRP, under “D.” 

When you apply for retirement

At the time you file your PERS retirement application, you can choose anyone — but only one person — as your beneficiary, if you would like a pension option to be paid for your lifetime and for a beneficiary’s lifetime. More information on the options are available in the Pre-Retirement Guide

Yes for your Individual Account Program (IAP), if you meet certain conditions. However, due to Senate Bill 1049, if you withdraw your IAP, this means you will completely cancel your membership in the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System, including forfeiting your right to a pension benefit earned as of your effective withdrawal date.

More details are available on the Senate Bill 1049 Changes: Withdrawals Effective July 1, 2020 webpage.


Individual Account Program

You can withdraw your IAP account balance if:

  • It has been one calendar month since you stopped working for your last PERS-participating employer and you have not worked for any other PERS-participating employer since. This includes substitute, temporary, and on-call positions.


To request a withdrawal, you must submit a completed Member Account Withdrawal Application form.

The decision to leave money in or withdraw money from your IAP account when you are no longer working for a PERS-participating employer is yours to make. PERS staff cannot advise you

Keep in mind that while you were working in a qualifying position, your IAP account received an annual contribution of 6% of your salary (whether paid by you or your employer). 

Once you stopped working, no additional contributions were made to your account. The balance that remains in your IAP account will continue to be credited with annual earnings or losses, depending on investment returns. To learn about how your IAP is invested, visit Oregon.gov/IAP.


OPSRP Pension Program

Withdrawing your IAP balance means you will completely cancel your membership in the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System, including forfeiting your right to a pension benefit earned as of your effective withdrawal date.

More details are available on the Senate Bill 1049 Changes: Withdrawals Effective July 1, 2020 webpage.


Keep in mind that:

  • If you withdraw, you lose any vesting and retirement credit you had earned up to the point of withdrawal. You will have no rights to a PERS pension benefit in retirement based on of this pre-withdrawal history. 
  • If you later return to work in a PERS-qualifying position, you will start over in the pension program, which will require another six-month waiting period to re-establish membership. You will also start over in terms of vesting (see “How do I become vested?” above).
  • If you withdraw before age 59½, you may be subject to an additional income tax penalty.


If, however, you opt not to withdraw your accounts and are vested, you will be eligible for a lifetime monthly pension benefit at retirement and distribution of your IAP.

For more information, go to PERS’ Withdrawal/Inactive Member Information webpage.​

You annual statement may lack IAP information for various reasons, including:

  • You previously withdrew your IAP balance, but could not cash out your OPSRP pension because it was valued at $5,000 or more (before Senate Bill 1049 removed this option). You will continue to get statements because you remain eligible to receive a pension benefit at retirement unless you decide to withdraw again. However, you no longer have any balance in your IAP.
  • You did not become a PERS member in time for your first IAP contributions to post to your account and be reflected in the current statement. Your OPSRP membership starts on the first day of the month after you finish your six-month waiting period. So if your membership started on or after December 1 of the preceding year, the annual statement you get in May would not include your first contributions. Those initial contributions will be reflected in next year’s statement.

Talk to PERS

Member Services can answer your questions about PERS retirement benefits from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 888-320-7377 or email PERS.Member.Services@state.or.us. You also can use PERS’ Submit a Question form online. 

Education sessions 

PERS also offers group education workshops that cover membership, benefits, and retirement information. These workshops are for members at any stage in their careers and are held around the state. Expanded workshops that include financial planning information also are available. 

To learn more, go to PERS’ OPSRP Education Presentations webpage. 

Your employer also can request a group session to go over PERS benefits by contacting Member Services or the Employer Service Center.
 

Retirement application help 

When you are within 90 days of your PERS retirement date, you can attend a Retirement Application Assistance Session (RAAS). This 45-minute, one-on-one appointment with a PERS staff member provides an opportunity to have your retirement application reviewed and notarized at no cost. The staff member will answer any questions you have about the retirement process. Be advised that PERS staff cannot advise or counsel you about your decision to retire nor which benefit distribution options to choose.
 

News and announcements

Sign up to receive email or text alerts through GovDelivery. You can choose the topics you wish to receive updates on, including member news and information, education workshops, Oregon Savings Growth Plan, and PERS Health Insurance.

​​

​​

Go back to the main Member Annual Statement FAQ page.​​​

***

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), PERS will provide PDF documents on this page in an alternate format upon request. To request a document in an alternate format, call 888-320-7377 (toll free) or TTY 503-603-7766.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​