Colleges & Universities

Service Credit

Service credit helps determine a member’s eligibility for retirement and the amount of the member’s monthly retirement benefit.

Members currently qualify for lifetime benefits after meeting one of the following eligibility requirements (assuming the STRS Ohio account is not withdrawn):

Age Years of Service Credit
Any age 30
55 25*
60 5*

*If a member retires with less than 30.0 years of service credit and before age 65, there is an actuarial reduction in the benefit. Full benefits are paid when the member has 30.0 years of service credit or at age 65.

The eligibility guidelines for service retirement will change effective Aug. 1, 2015.

Service Credit Years
Service credit is calculated by the employer and reported to STRS Ohio as of June 30 each year. All service credit reported is subject to audit before a member’s retirement.

  • Contributing service credit — Earned Ohio public school service on which STRS Ohio receives both employee and employer contributions.
  • Noncontributing service credit — Service purchased with STRS Ohio on which there are no corresponding employer contributions.

Note: Even if a member has multiple employers, a member cannot earn more than one year of service credit during a one-year period.

College & University Full-Time Service After September 1, 1971
If a member was under a contract for full-time regular service, two thirds of two full academic semesters constitute one year of service credit.

If a member is on a 12-month administrative contract for full-time regular service, 120 or more days of contributing service constitute one year of service credit as of September 1, 1971.

College & University Part-Time Service
If a member’s service is on a part-time basis, one of the following calculations is used:

  • Service under a 12-month administrative contract is determined by the number of days divided by 180, or
  • Percent-based salaried service is determined by the percent of full-time employment.

    For example, two semesters on a 50% load equals 0.5 years service credit. If such employment exceeds 66% averaged over two semesters during the year, the member will receive a full year of service credit unless the salary was reduced for partial pay granted during a professional leave of absence. A professional leave of absence with partial pay provides only a partial year of retirement credit. Members should review their STRS Ohio annual statement. If a full year of credit for partial contributions was recorded in error, contact STRS Ohio immediately at 1-888-227-7877 to correct the service credit and to find out how to complete full contributions.

Certain past employment may be purchased as Ohio-valued service credit and used to determine retirement eligibility.

Use the online service credit calculator.

For more information on calculating service credit, please see the Earned Service Credit for College and University Educators Fact Sheet.

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