General FAQ

Can I access my OP&F account online?

Yes. Members can now access their account information online using the Member Self-Serve Web link. Registration is required to view your specific account information.

Can I transfer my part-time service credit and contributions from another Ohio retirement system to OP&F?

No, by Ohio law, contributions for volunteer or part-time service credit will not be accepted by OP&F even if it comes from another Ohio retirement system such as the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, Ohio State Highway Patrol Retirement System, School Employees Retirement System of Ohio, or State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio.

Can I withdraw, borrow or cash-out my contributions on deposit with OP&F?

By law, you can only request your contributions from OP&F if you terminate active service from a police or fire department. The refund will be the exact amount of your total employee contributions; less any tax withholding is applicable. You can avoid tax withholding by asking OP&F to pay all or part of the non-taxed contributions directly to another pension plan or an individual retirement account (IRA). In some cases, additional taxes are imposed as penalties for early withdrawal from qualified retirement plans.

Please contact OP&F customer service to request an Application for Withdrawal/Rollover of Accumulated Member Contributions and to verify your address if you choose to withdraw your contributions. Your withdrawal/rollover will be issued after all the proper paperwork has been processed and OP&F has received all of your contributions through your termination date.

How can I determine if my disability benefits will be affected if I accept a job?

If you are concerned that you may be accepting a position that might jeopardize your disability benefits, please send a written inquiry to OP&F at 140 East Town Street, Columbus, OH 43215, that includes your questions and the official job description on the company letterhead you are considering. An OP&F representative will be able to review the job description and provide you with recommendations.

Also, please review the Members' Guide to Disability Benefits, specifically the section that describes how a police officer and firefighter are defined. If the job you are considering is defined as a police officer or firefighter your disability benefits will be terminated.

How can I get a copy of my account summary?

Call OP&F's Customer Service at 1-888-864-8363 to verify your current mailing address and Social Security number. Once OP&F has confirmed your information, a Customer Service representative will mail you your statement of contributions. This should take 3 to 10 business days after your request is received.

How can I purchase my military service credit or have it granted?

In order to get your military time granted or purchased you will need to contact OP&F Customer Service at 1-888-864-8363 for assistance with the proper paperwork and steps you need to follow.

Please be prepared to forward OP&F your DD214 that states:

  • you were honorably discharged;
  • your date of entry; and
  • your date of discharge.

Before OP&F can calculate a cost for military service credit the proper forms will also need to be completed by members of OP&F who are considering the purchase of military service. The member must complete the Member Service Credit Purchase Certification, Military form and the Employer (where the member held his/her first full-time public position after their discharge from the military) must complete the Employer Certification of Initial Annual Salary form. It is the responsibility of the member to obtain this information from their employer and forward it to OP&F along with military documents (DD214 or Point Summary) stating the “character of service” as “honorable” or “honorable under general conditions”. Please note that these forms have been updated were revised in June 2013, and any other versions that may have been submitted are obsolete and will need to be resubmitted to OP&F.

How can I request an estimate of my service credit?

Please contact OP&F Customer Service at 1-888-864-8363 to request an estimate of your service credit. A representative will be able to answer any questions you may have at this time and will begin the process of calculating your service credit.

Due to the non-secure nature of e-mail, OP&F will not transmit e-mail that includes any specific details regarding your account or will accept any e-mail request asking for personal information such as your service credit estimate, especially since you need to verify your personal information before an estimate is calculated. So please call Customer Service directly for the most efficient and prompt response to your request.

How can I tell if I have the technical capabilities to report payroll online?

Contact OP&F Customer Service at 1-888-864-8363, Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EST, to speak to a representative who will assist you. The representative will help you determine if you have the technical capabilities and if so, give you instructions on reporting payroll online.

How do I access my DROP information online?

Visit OP&F Member Self-Serve for instructions on how to access your DROP information online.

How do I change my address on file with OP&F?

Members may now change or update mailing addresses online by using the secure Member Self-Serve Web. By logging into the secure site, members may select Member Demographics and then update their address, home and work telephone numbers as well as their email address. This will help ensure that you receive important news and information from OP&F. This feature can be beneficial for those “snowbird” members who have a different address during the winter months. You can also submit a Change of Address form by clicking here.

How do I change my federal tax withholdings?

Please complete and return to OP&F the W-4P Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments form to change the amount of your federal tax withholdings. The form is also located on the IRS Web site.

How do I change my state tax withholdings?

Please complete and return to OP&F the Withholding Certificate for Ohio State Income Tax form to change the amount of withholdings for your state taxes.

How do I designate or change my beneficiary?

Ohio laws that govern OP&F automatically designate the succession of your beneficiary. Your beneficiary is automatically your surviving spouse, children 18 years old or younger, and/or children who are students aged 18 to 22 years old.

If you do not have a spouse, children or dependent parent(s), a lump-sum cash out of your accumulated contributions will be made to your estate.

When you are within one year of retirement eligibility by having 25 years of service and are at least 48 years old, then you may designate someone other than your spouse to be the contingent dependent beneficiary of a survivor annuity. This annuity is payable only if you do not have a surviving spouse upon your death.

To ensure OP&F's records reflect your current marital status, please send a letter or fax to OP&F along with a copy of your marriage certificate or divorce decree to OP&F, 140 East Town Street, Columbus, OH 43215. There is no form to complete but please be sure to put your Social Security number and signature on the letter and include any beneficiary information.

Multiple Beneficiary Annuity
Please be aware that if your effective date of retirement is on or after Oct. 27, 2006, you can select a new Multiple Beneficiary Annuity as your plan of payment. Under this plan, you can designate up to four beneficiaries at the time of retirement, in such portions as specified at retirement.

If there is a court order issued prior to your effective date of retirement that requires you to designate a former spouse as a beneficiary, OP&F must administer your application by providing for a plan of payment in a specified amount continuing after your death to your former spouse in addition to providing for your current spouse, if applicable. This specified amount must be expressed in the court order as a percentage of your retirement allowance in order for OP&F to administer the order. OP&F will process such court orders in the order in which they are received by OP&F.

How do I enroll in DROP?

Prior to enrolling in DROP, you have the option of contacting OP&F to request a written estimate of your pension benefit that would be credited to DROP. OP&F typically generates these estimates within two to four weeks. You are not required to come to OP&F offices in Columbus to discuss your DROP benefits with an OP&F counselor; however, you are welcome to do so.

Steps to enrollment
1. Call OP&F at 888-864-8363 to request a written estimate of your pension benefit that will be credited to DROP.
2. Discuss DROP with a tax or financial planner to see if DROP is right for you.
3. If you are already eligible for a normal service retirement and would like to enroll in DROP, return a completed and notarized Election to Enroll in DROP form to OP&F. You can request a form by calling Customer Service at 888-864-8363 or downloading one from our Web site. Submit your election form to OP&F through the mail or in person at 140 East Town Street, Columbus, OH 43215. OP&F will not accept forms that are incomplete, faxed or photocopied.
4. Within 90 days of OP&F receiving your Election to Enroll in DROP form, you will receive information indicating your DROP effective date and the amount of the pension that will be credited to your DROP account each month.

In most cases, your DROP participation will take effect on the first day of the first full employer-reporting period that immediately follows OP&F's receipt of your completed Election to Enroll in DROP form. Pension payments will be applied to DROP based on your effective date and you are not permitted to specify an effective date on your election form.

How do I get an estimate of my pension from OP&F?

Call OP&F's Customer Service at 1-888-864-8363 to verify your current mailing address and Social Security number. Once OP&F has confirmed your information, a Customer Service representative will mail you your estimate. It will take approximately 3 to 5 weeks to process after your request is received.

How do I get my benefit check electronically Direct Deposited into my bank account?

Complete the Direct Deposit Application and attach a voided check or a copy of your account's deposit slip to the application. Return the completed application and necessary documentation to OP&F at 140 East Town Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

If OP&F receives your completed form and deposit slip by the 15th of the month, then your benefit will be electronically Direct Deposited the very next month.

After OP&F has completed and filed your application, your monthly benefit is automatically deposited to your designated bank account on the first business day of every month by electronic authorization.

How do I have my benefit check electronically Direct Deposited into my new account if I change bank accounts or banks?

To have your benefit checks rerouted to a different bank account via Direct Deposit, complete the Direct Deposit Application and attach a voided check or a copy of your account's deposit slip to the application. Return the completed application and necessary documentation to OP&F at 140 East Town Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

If OP&F receives your completed form and deposit slip by the 15th of the month, then your benefit will be electronically Direct Deposited into your new account the very next month. We suggest that you keep your former account open until you have verified that your benefit check is being deposited into your new account.

How do I request documentation verifying my monthly retirement income, or an award letter?

To obtain a letter from OP&F verifying your income, please call OP&F's Customer Service at 888-864-8363 to verify your current mailing address and Social Security number. Once OP&F has confirmed your information, a Customer Service representative will mail you the requested letter.

Due to the non-secure nature of e-mail, OP&F will not transmit e-mail that includes any specific details regarding your account or will accept any e-mail request asking for personal information such as verification of income. Therefore, please do not e-mail OP&F for a letter verifying your income, instead call Customer Service.

How do I transfer my OP&F service credit and contributions to another Ohio retirement system?

Once you are no longer contributing to OP&F, you may have the option to rollover your contributions to another Ohio retirement system, such as the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, Ohio State Highway Patrol Retirement System, School Employees Retirement System of Ohio, or State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, if you have established membership at that system. Contact OP&F’s Customer Service at 1-888-864-8363 to verify your mailing address and to receive a refund application to rollover your contributions to another Ohio retirement system.

How do I transfer my service credit and contributions from another Ohio retirement system to OP&F?

Write a letter to the Ohio retirement system in which you are transferring from requesting that your contributions and service credit be transferred to OP&F. Make certain to include your Social Security number and signature on the letter to the retirement system.

Subject to restrictions, you may purchase full–time service credit earned under an Ohio retirement system, such as the Cincinnati Retirement System, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, School Employees Retirement System, State Highway Patrol Retirement System, or State Teachers Retirement System.

If you joined OP&F on or after Sept. 16, 1998, and transferred or purchased service credit, you can pay the difference between the employee and employer contribution rates of OP&F and the other retirement system, plus interest, to receive full credit. Otherwise, service credit will be prorated based on the difference in the retirement systems’ contribution rates.

Please contact OP&F’s Customer Service at 1-888-864-8363 for information on the cost of transferring or purchasing service credit.

If an OP&F member has at least 15 years of service with OP&F on or before July 1 2013, their average annual salary will be calculated using the highest three years of salary. For members who have less than 15 years of service on July 1, 2013, the average annual salary is calculated using the highest five years of salary. A member's average annual salary is defined under Ohio law as being the average earnings or compensation of their final average salary, regardless of when in their career the highest years occurred. It is subject to certain statutory and administrative limitations and not all salary, earnings or compensation may be used in the calculation.

How long does it take for my DROP contributions to be posted online?

The process of posting DROP calculations online will take approximately 2 to 4 months from the time the monthly payroll is due to OP&F. Delays or errors in reporting can slow down this process. For example, if the May monthly report was due to OP&F on June 30, it would be reviewed and posted to your account by the end of July. If there were delays or errors in your employer’s reporting, they have 30 days from the initial notice to correct the reporting deficiency, then OP&F will process the corrections, approve the report, and update the payroll to the member ledgers. DROP interest is posted based on the total amount of money at the end of a month, and the interest will be retroactive back to the date when the money was received for each month.