Ready to Retire > Countdown to Retirement

Apply for retirement

Prepare for retirement by using miAccount. A pension estimate - your most important pension planning tool - can be run from miAccount using the very numbers your employer reports to ORS. Log in and run your estimate today!


2 - 5 years to retirement
Checkmark Log in to miAccount and review your service credit totals for accuracy, and consider whether any credit for refunded service, military service credit, or other service credit is available.
Checkmark Name a beneficiary in miAccount.
Checkmark Use the Estimate Pension function in miAccount to estimate your retirement pension and explore the various payment options.
Checkmark Get an estimate of your retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration website based on your planned retirement effective date.
Checkmark Attend a preretirement information meeting.
Checkmark Check out the Tutorials, Webinars, and Seminars section on our website.
Checkmark Review your current living expenses and project what these will be at retirement. Will your income from all sources cover your projected expenses?
Checkmark Anticipate new or recurring expenses (car, home repairs, healthcare costs), and perhaps take care of some of these before you retire.
Checkmark Evaluate your other investments. When will these funds be available? What are the withdrawal options: lump sum or recurring payments? If you're in the Defined Contribution (DC) plan or have the Personal Healthcare Fund, Voya Financial® can provide you with payout options and tax information.
Checkmark Consider your tax situation. How much will you be required to pay in income taxes? Are there any special tax breaks on retirement income where you live?
Checkmark Time your retirement to fit your goals. Consider these items:
  • The time from your last paycheck to your first retirement check.
  • The date of your first postretirement increase.
  • If you participate in a flexible benefits payment program, consider how your date of retirement will affect this account.
Checkmark Begin studying the pension payment options available.
18 months to retirement
Checkmark Research medical insurance for your family and verify your postretirement eligibility. 
Checkmark Will you need individual disability coverage or Long Term Care Insurance? Ask your insurance provider if there is an offset provision for other income received.
Checkmark Evaluate your life insurance needs in comparison to your coverage and consider any conversion rights. 
Checkmark Review your estate plan and make sure your will, trust, and powers of attorney are up-to-date. Understand how your assets pass to others under state law.
Checkmark If you're purchasing service credit, plan it so your purchase will be paid in full while you are still an active (working) member of the retirement system.
12 months to retirement
Checkmark Get another estimate from the Social Security Administration website.
Checkmark Review our website to be aware of any updates or changes to retirement information.
Checkmark Check the ORS website for the most current version of Retirement Readiness: A Two-Year Countdown or request a copy from ORS.
6 months to retirement
Checkmark Review your personal account details using miAccount.
Checkmark Read through the health, dental, prescription drug, and vision plan information to learn what benefits are available to you and your dependents in retirement.
Checkmark If you have any questions after you've reviewed our materials, ask an ORS representative by using the secure Message Board in miAccount.
Checkmark If you divorced while an active or deferred member and the court ordered a portion of your pension be paid to an alternate payee, you must have an eligible domestic relations order (EDRO) on file with ORS before your retirement effective date. You can download a fillable Eligible Domestic Relations Orders: Background and Instructions (R0911X). This publication will help you create an accurate and complete EDRO that can be administered under the retirement statute. It is the preferred document to file with ORS.
Checkmark If you plan to work after you retire, make sure you understand how postretirement earnings affect your pension and social security benefits.
Checkmark Gather any proofs and supporting documents needed to apply as described in the How to Apply section. Do not mail in original documents because they will not be returned.
3 months to retirement
Checkmark Carefully review the pension payment options. Decide which fits your needs and that of your family before you sign the papers.  
Checkmark Review the health insurance plans offered and decide on a plan.
Checkmark Notify your personnel office of your intention to retire.
Checkmark Verify all service credit purchases are paid before terminating employment.
Checkmark Apply for retirement online with miAccount. Mail in your insurance enrollment, photocopies of your proofs of age, and any other required proofs. Do not mail in original documents because they will not be returned.
Retired at last!
Checkmark ORS will send After You Retire: What Every Pension Recipient Should Know along with your award letter. It explains what happens next and things that you should report.
Checkmark Watch for your pension payments on the 25th of each month.
Checkmark Enjoy reading Connections, a semiannual newsletter we send to our retirees so we stay connected.