OPERS and PERI; What is the difference?

OPERS is the abbreviation for the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. OPERS is the system responsible for issuing your pension check and health care benefits.

PERI is the abbreviation for the Public Employee Retirees, Incorporated. PERI is the only association that exclusively represents the needs of OPERS members. PERI fights for our best interests and protects our pension and health care benefits.

We are not the group, POP-5/Protecting Ohio Pensions.

Who may belong to and who governs PERI?

Membership in PERI is available to those who meet the following criteria:

Regular – OPERS members of either active, retired or disability status.  Your membership investment may be paid annually or in a one-time life payment based on your age.

Associate – Open to spouses of OPERS members who have active or retired status.  Spouses who are OPERS members are not eligible for Associate membership.  Memberships are annual in duration with no life membership option.  If you are a surviving spouse and are receiving benefits directly from OPERS, your membership status will be converted from Associate to Regular membership.

Allied – Limited to businesses who support the PERI mission and want to be affiliated with us.

How does PERI protect pensions and benefits?
  • The Officers of PERI work with the administrators of OPERS as one of their sounding boards for the opinions of our members.
  • Many times our members ask us to help them with problems they are having with OPERS services and to provide contact information, and we are ready to help.
  • Our Legislative Counsel constantly monitors every bill introduced in the Ohio General Assembly that could have an impact on the retirement system and your pension. Through feedback from our quarterly Newsletter, comments from our local chapters, or individually by phone or email, our board of trustees is able to determine how our members feel about these changes. When we know what the membership wants, PERI will give testimony to legislative committees and will work with individual legislators or OPERS administrators, to achieve the results we desire.
  • Our Administrator works with the OPERS senior staff and trustees on a variety of issues from federal legislation to customer service.
  • PERI’s skilled and experienced professionals keep your board of trustees informed on all legislation that pertains to the rules or regulations that would affect your pensions, pension fund investments, or health care benefits.
  • In addition, we have a highly developed Legislative Committee that keeps in constant communication with our Chapter legislative Networks so our Chapter members will have the proper information they need in order to write or call their local state Representatives and Senators.
  • With all of these resources in place, PERI is able to react quickly to insure that the view points of OPERS retirees are effectively communicated to the proper people at the proper time.
Do my PERI dues also cover membership in my local chapter?

No. Annual chapter dues are established by each chapter and are separate from annual dues to maintain your PERI membership. Local chapters will contact members regarding chapter dues. We strongly encourage all PERI members to become involved in their local chapters.