Distributions, Loans & Hardships - Human Resources at Ohio State

Distributions, Loans & Hardships

The primary purpose of a retirement savings account is to build a financially secure future for you and your family.  In some instances, the supplemental retirement plans allow for loans and hardship distributions in times of financial necessity.

The retirement plans include provisions regarding when you can request a distribution from the plan during Ohio State employment and after separation from Ohio State service. The following information outlines the types of distribution for the Ohio State retirement plans and how distributions work.

For OPERS and STRS retirement accounts, please contact the retirement system for information on distributions.

Ohio Public Employees Retirement Plan (OPERS)

  • OPERS accounts are managed by OPERS. Contact OPERS for information on eligible distributions

State Teachers Retirement Plan (STRS)

  • STRS accounts are managed by STRS. Contact STRS for information on eligible distributions

Other Plans

Mandatory Retirement Supplemental Retirement Accounts Executive Retirement Plans
Distribution Alternative Retirement Plan 401(a) 403(b) 457(b) Retirement Continuation Plan 401(a) 415(m)
Loan1 No Yes, if permitted by the applicable funding vehicle No No No
Hardship / Unforeseeable Emergency No Yes, if permitted by the applicable funding vehicle Yes Yes No
Disability Yes Yes No Yes No
Age 59½ No Yes No No No
Age 70½ Yes, but not required Yes, but not required Yes, but not required Yes, but not required No
Qualified Domestic Relations Order Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Service Credit Purchase No Yes Yes No No

Note: These tables provide a brief description of eligible distributions and the movement of account funds under the university’s retirement plans and are subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable retirement plan. Please see the applicable retirement plan document for specific and detailed information. In the event of a conflict between the tables and a retirement plan, the terms of the retirement plan will govern.

1 To be eligible for a loan, you must have a total account balance of at least $2,000 under the plan. The minimum amount of any loan you can request is $1,000.

Ohio Public Employees Retirement Plan (OPERS)

  • OPERS accounts are managed by OPERS. Contact OPERS for information on eligible distributions

State Teachers Retirement Plan (STRS)

  • STRS accounts are managed by STRS. Contact STRS for information on eligible distributions

Other Plans

Mandatory Retirement Supplemental Retirement Accounts Executive Retirement Plans
Distribution Alternative Retirement Plan 401(a) 403(b) 457(b) Retirement Continuation Plan 401(a) 415(m)
Transfer Between Plan Providers and Investment Options Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rollover to OSU Plan Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Note: These tables provide a brief description of eligible distributions and the movement of account funds under the university’s retirement plans and are subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable retirement plan. Please see the applicable retirement plan document for specific and detailed information. In the event of a conflict between the tables and a retirement plan, the terms of the retirement plan will govern.

Ohio Public Employees Retirement Plan (OPERS)

  • OPERS accounts are managed by OPERS. Contact OPERS for information on eligible distributions

State Teachers Retirement Plan (STRS)

  • STRS accounts are managed by STRS. Contact STRS for information on eligible distributions

Other Plans

Mandatory Retirement Supplemental Retirement Accounts Executive Retirement Plans
Distribution Alternative Retirement Plan 401(a) 403(b) 457(b) Retirement Continuation Plan 401(a) 415(m)
Separation from Service Yes, based on investments selected Yes, based on investments selected Yes, based on investments selected Yes, based on investments selected Yes, based on investments selected
Loan1 No No No No No
Hardship / Unforeseeable Emergency No No No No No
Age 59½ Yes, available at age 59½; penalties will apply if a distribution occurs prior to this age Yes, available at age 59½; penalties will apply if a distribution occurs prior to this age Yes, available at age 59½; penalties will apply if a distribution occurs prior to this age Yes, available at age 59½; penalties will apply if a distribution occurs prior to this age Yes, available at age 59½; penalties will apply if a distribution occurs prior to this age
Age 70½ Yes, but not required Yes, but not required Yes, but not required Yes, but not required No
Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Note: These tables provide a brief description of eligible distributions and the movement of account funds under the university’s retirement plans and are subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable retirement plan. Please see the applicable retirement plan document for specific and detailed information. In the event of a conflict between the tables and a retirement plan, the terms of the retirement plan will govern.

1 To be eligible for a loan, you must have a total account balance of at least $2,000 under the plan. The minimum amount of any loan you can request is $1,000.

Ohio Public Employees Retirement Plan (OPERS)

  • OPERS accounts are managed by OPERS. Contact OPERS for information on eligible distributions

State Teachers Retirement Plan (STRS)

  • STRS accounts are managed by STRS. Contact STRS for information on eligible distributions

Other Plans

Mandatory Retirement Supplemental Retirement Accounts Executive Retirement Plans
Distribution Alternative Retirement Plan 401(a) 403(b) 457(b) Retirement Continuation Plan 401(a) 415(m)
Transfer Between Plan Providers and Investment Options Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rollover from OSU Plan Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Note: These tables provide a brief description of eligible distributions and the movement of account funds under the university’s retirement plans and are subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable retirement plan. Please see the applicable retirement plan document for specific and detailed information. In the event of a conflict between the tables and a retirement plan, the terms of the retirement plan will govern.

Step 1:  Complete Retirement Distribution Certificate Request
Prior to any distribution, Ohio State must certify your current Ohio State employment status and retirement program participation. We will provide a certificate to the employee after our certification is complete.

  1. Print and complete the Retirement Distribution Certificate Form.
  2. Return the completed form to OHR using one of the methods at the bottom of the form.
    • Our normal processing time is five or fewer working days.
    • When our processing is complete, we will mail the completed certificate to your home address.

Step 2:  Contact Your Provider
Your provider will have additional paperwork that you will need to complete. The Ohio State University will not complete or sign provider paperwork.

  1. Contact the providers where your 401(a) (ARP), 403(b), 457(b), RCP or 415(m) balance exists for which you wish to take a distribution.
  2. Request and complete the provider’s distribution paperwork. In the place on the paperwork where it asks for employer signature, print “see attached certificate.”
  3. Attach certificate to paperwork.

Step 3:  Submit Certificate and Paperwork to Your Provider

  1. Submit complete provider paperwork (with Ohio State certificate) to your provider.
  2. Upon receipt of the complete and required paperwork, the provider will process your request.