OPERS Board of Trustees Election

Steitz Wins OPERS Special Election for Vacant Trustee Retiree Seat
April 3, 2018

OPERS Board of Trustees Election

As a member of OPERS, you have a voice in decisions and policies affecting your retirement benefits. Every member is part of a specific group with representation on theBoard of Trustees.

The Board is ultimately responsible for all administration and management of OPERS including setting retirement system policies, approving the overall investment plan and asset allocation strategy, reviewing and approving budgets and acting as fiduciaries of the System. Individuals elected to the OPERS Board also automatically serve on the Ohio Public Employees Deferred Compensation Program Board.

Elected Representatives

The OPERS Board is comprised of 11 trustees—seven individuals are elected by the specific group each represents. The seven elected positions on the OPERS Board of Trustees are designated for election on a staggered basis, ensuring experience and organizational knowledge is stable from year to year. Three individuals with investment expertise are appointed by Ohio’s Governor, Treasurer and jointly by the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and the President of the Ohio Senate. The Director of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services also serves on the Board of Trustees by virtue of office.

2018 Board of Trustees Election

Elections for four seats on the OPERS Board will be held Aug. 21 through Sept. 28, 2018. Those elected will serve four-year terms beginning in January 2019.

The four seats up for election in 2018 include one representative for each of the following groups:

  • State Employees

    Representing approximately 48,000 employees working at a job for the State of Ohio.

  • Municipal Employees

    Representing approximately 59,000 employees working for one of Ohio’s municipalities.

  • State College or University Employees

    Representing approximately 51,000 non-teaching employees at state colleges and universities in Ohio.

  • Retiree

    One of two seats representing approximately 179,000 age and service, disability, and defined contribution (DC) plan retirees. This group includes re-employed retirees.

For OPERS members and retirees interested in running for the board

Active employee member

Any active OPERS member, with the exception of one receiving a disability benefit, is eligible for election to represent the members of their employee group on the OPERS Board of Trustees.


Any OPERS retiree receiving an age and service benefit, disability benefit, or benefits under the DC plan is eligible to represent retirees. Beneficiaries, surviving family members, or POAs are not eligible to run for election or nominate candidates by signing a petition. Beneficiaries, surviving family members and POAs are also ineligible to vote. If a person is receiving age and service payment, the candidate may only run for a retiree position, even if re-employed. A retiree must reside in the state of Ohio in order to be eligible to run for a Board position.

The Nomination Process

Nominating petition packets will be mailed to OPERS employers on Friday, June 1, 2018 for distribution to interested candidates. Packets will also be available at the OPERS office, 277 East Town Street, Columbus, Ohio and on this page. These packets contain official nominating petitions and all other necessary forms to be completed by the candidate.

Under Ohio law, a candidate seeking election to an employee member Board seat is required to obtain a minimum of 500 signatures from active members within their employee group. At least 10 different counties must be represented by a minimum of 20 signatures each. Employees signing petitions should indicate the county of their employment. A candidate seeking election to a retiree Board seat is required to obtain at least 250 signatures from OPERS retirees. At least five different counties must be represented by a minimum of 10 signatures each. Retirees signing petitions should indicate the county in which they reside. Signatures of a retiree’s spouse or beneficiary do not count toward the signatures required.

Completed nominating petitions and forms are due at the OPERS office no later than 4:30 p.m., Monday, July 30, 2018. Petitions postmarked on or before this date, but received later, are invalid. Any candidate successfully meeting the nomination criteria will be placed on an official ballot.

Every Vote Counts

Members of the OPERS Board of Trustees are elected to four-year terms. While elected by a specific group, all members of the Board of Trustees have a fiduciary duty to act SOLELY in the interest of ALL MEMBERS of the system, not just those that elected them. It’s important that you participate in the selection of a member from your group. The member elected will help guide OPERS over the next four years and ensure those fiduciary obligations are met.

2018 OPERS Board of Trustees Election Timeline


Election Timeline
All nominating petitions and required forms available JUNE 1
Completed nominating petitions and required forms due to OPERS JULY 30, 4:30 p.m. EST
Voting materials mailed to eligible members and retirees AUGUST 21
Last day to receive votes SEPTEMBER 28, 11:59 p.m. EST
Election results verified by the Secretary of State OCTOBER 1


  1. Jerry M. says:

    Attention all retirees, Ken Thomas who represents municipal employees and is chair of the opers board, did vote yes to move forward h.b. 413. Chris Mabe who represents state employees and also vice chair of the opers board, also voted yes to move forward h. b. 413. Mabe is also president of O.C.S.E.A. If these two sitting opers board members have opponents in the upcoming opers board elections, Please consider the opposition candidates for these two board seats. Also consider the fact that based on their yes votes, Thomas and Mabe are under the influence of Karen Carraher. Just Food For Thought.

  2. Marc says:

    Please run again, Charlene.

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