K–12 Educators

Plan Descriptions

As a new STRS Ohio member, you have 180 days from your first day of paid service to choose one of three retirement plans previewed below. If STRS Ohio does not receive your selection form within 180 days, you will automatically join the Defined Benefit Plan and remain in this plan as long as you are an STRS Ohio member. If you choose the Defined Contribution or Combined Plan, you will have the option of reselecting an STRS Ohio retirement plan before completing your fifth year of membership. You can then choose to remain in the same plan or transfer to one of the other two plans. At that time, your selection will be permanent.

The materials contained in this section are a summary and are not intended to provide total information about STRS Ohio benefits. STRS Ohio reserves the right to make subsequent changes without prior notification. Information provided is based on current rates, factors and laws, all of which are subject to change. Coverage under the STRS Ohio Health Care Program is not guaranteed. STRS Ohio may change or discontinue all or part of the program for all or a class of eligible benefit recipients and covered dependents at any time. Premiums, copayments/coinsurance, deductibles and all other charges or fees paid by an enrollee may change from year to year.

No one plan is right for everyone. You may want to consult with a financial planner or an STRS Ohio benefits counselor before selecting a plan that is right for you.

STRS Ohio has contracted with Nationwide Retirement Solutions (NRS) as administrative service provider for the defined contribution aspects of the STRS Ohio benefits. NRS has a successful history of providing quality service and is committed to achieving the highest quality standards in service for STRS Ohio members.

Select the appropriate link below to learn more about STRS Ohio’s retirement plan options.

Choosing a Retirement Plan

Choosing a retirement plan option is an important decision. No two individuals are alike. After you review each plan’s features, consider what is most important to you — now and in retirement.

How Much Time Do I Have to Decide?

As a new member, you have 180 days from your first day of paid service to select an STRS Ohio retirement plan.

New members who choose the Defined Contribution Plan or Combined Plan have an additional decision to make during their fifth year of membership. You can choose to remain in the same plan or transfer to another STRS Ohio plan. These new members hired between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, will receive reselection materials and will be asked to make a final decision by June 1, 2022.

To Retain Your Right to Choose

You must keep your STRS Ohio membership information — especially your mailing address — current. You may revise this information by calling an STRS Ohio member service representative toll-free at 888‑227‑7877.

How do I Inform STRS About my Plan Choice?

To make your selection, complete and return the Retirement Plan Selection Form found in your selection packet.

What if I Have Credit in OPERS or SERS?

If you select the Defined Contribution or Combined Plan, you may affect your future benefits from the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) or the School Employees Retirement System (SERS). Please call STRS Ohio toll-free at 888‑227‑7877 for more information.

What Happens if I Don’t Select a Plan?

Ohio law stipulates that members who do not select a plan within the 180 days will automatically be placed in the STRS Ohio Defined Benefit Plan. If you choose or are placed in the Defined Benefit Plan, you will remain in it for your lifetime.

How do I Make a Choice?

To answer this question, let’s consider the cases of three STRS Ohio members who need to choose a retirement plan. All have the common issue of retirement planning facing them. Yet, because they are at varying stages of their working lives, they may prioritize their benefit needs differently. As you review their cases, remember your situation is unique and you should consider your options carefully.

You may wish to take advantage of the services available to help you make your decision (see “STRS Ohio Services” below) or consult with a financial planner or tax adviser concerning your retirement planning needs.

Jason, 24-year-old with his first teaching assignment

Jason is making this decision with:

  • Uncertainty about teaching in Ohio his entire career
  • Limited investment experience
  • Recognition that he needs to establish a long-term retirement plan
  • A desire for flexibility and choice

Plan portability and little need for other benefits are key issues for Jason; the STRS Ohio Defined Contribution Plan may be his best choice. In this plan, your retirement income is based on the performance of investment choices you select, the amount of contributions deposited to your account and annuity rates at the time of retirement.

You will have the opportunity to reevaluate your selection and choose another STRS Ohio plan or stay in your current plan in your fifth year of membership.

Kasey, 30-year-old single mother with two children

Kasey is making this decision with:

  • An interest in future benefits for her family
  • No investment experience
  • A busy lifestyle with little time to follow future investment issues and trends
  • Little desire to manage financial issues beyond her family’s monthly budget

For Kasey, the STRS Ohio Defined Benefit Plan may be the best choice. STRS Ohio is nationally recognized for providing financially secure, comprehensive benefits for members while teaching and during retirement.

If you choose the Defined Benefit Plan at this time, you will remain in it throughout your teaching career. There are no additional opportunities to choose another STRS Ohio plan at a later date.

Andrea, 50-year-old successful entrepreneur who sold her business and is starting a second career as an educator

Andrea is making this decision with:

  • Confident experience as an investment decision-maker
  • Long-term experience with 401(k) plans, and expectations to manage retirement assets
  • Concerns about “other benefit” issues
  • 25 years of adult experiences, including dealing with personal finances

Andrea may find the STRS Ohio Combined Plan is the best choice. This plan allows you to direct your investment choices, while providing benefits during teaching and retirement.

You will have the opportunity to reevaluate your selection and choose another STRS Ohio plan or stay in your current plan in your fifth year of membership.

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility

Who is eligible to choose a retirement plan option?

Educators who are new members to STRS Ohio on or after July 1, 2001, are eligible to select a plan.

Instead of participating in the Defined Benefit, Defined Contribution or Combined Plan offered by STRS Ohio, can I choose another retirement plan?

No. Ohio public educators participate in one of these STRS Ohio retirement plans. However, you may elect to participate in other voluntary plans, such as a 403(b), IRA (individual retirement account) or a 457(b) governmental plan, to supplement STRS Ohio’s retirement program.

What are 403(b) plans, IRAs and 457(b) plans?

These terms describe different types of optional, individual investment accounts that may be offered by your employer. They are separate from your STRS Ohio retirement plan and can supplement the retirement income you will receive from STRS Ohio. Each of these accounts may have different plan characteristics — such as maximum annual contribution limits, withdrawal limitations, etc. You may want to consult a financial adviser to determine if one of these plans is right for you.

Will additional contributions to these voluntary plans be affected by selecting the Defined Contribution or Combined Plan?

No. Contribution limits to 403(b), IRAs and 457(b) plans are based on your taxable income. Contributions to the Defined Contribution or Combined Plan are made at the same rate as the Defined Benefit Plan; therefore, your taxable income is not affected.

Investment Options

What investment options are available in the Defined Contribution and Combined Plans?

Members are offered the following investment options:

What information is available to help me decide which investment options are best for me?

STRS Ohio has contracted with Nationwide Retirement Solutions (NRS) to provide help in administering the defined contribution aspects of the STRS Ohio retirement plan options. NRS retirement specialists can discuss your investment choices with you by phone. Just call toll-free 866‑332‑3342, Monday–Thursday, 8:30 a.m.–8 p.m. and Friday, 8:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m. to talk with an NRS representative. Additional investment information from NRS can also be accessed online. You may also want to consult with a financial planner or adviser concerning your retirement planning needs.

Finally, be sure to review the Investment Options Guide included in your selection packet. Answering a short questionnaire in the guide will help you determine your investment profile based on time horizon and risk tolerance. You can then develop your investment strategy. Click here for a PDF version of the questionnaire.

Are there fees for the STRS Ohio Defined Contribution and Combined Plans, and how are they charged?

Yes. Members who participate in the Defined Contribution or Combined Plan are charged asset management fees, except with the STRS Total Guaranteed Return Choice. The Investment Options Guide lists the fee for each investment option.

In addition, a quarterly account fee of $10 is charged. This fee is taken proportionately from the member’s account balance on the last business day of the quarter.

Finally, members whose account balance is less than $5,000, and who are inactive for more than 120 consecutive days, are charged a $10 per month maintenance fee. “Inactive” is defined as not having any member or employer contributions applied to an account. Members are not charged the quarterly account fee if this low balance fee was charged during the quarter.

When are contributions deposited to my defined contribution account?

Employers will send contributions directly to STRS Ohio after each payroll. STRS Ohio will deposit contributions within five business days of receipt.

How can I keep track of investments in the defined contribution account?

STRS Ohio will send you quarterly statements that detail all activity in your account for the quarter — deposits, investment allocations, investment performance, etc. You can also use the STRS Ohio/NRS website or an interactive voice response system to access your account balance and to make changes to your investment portfolio — 24 hours per day, seven days a week. If you prefer to talk to a Nationwide Retirement Solutions customer service representative, you can reach one by calling toll-free 866‑332‑3342, Monday–Thursday, 8:30 a.m.–8 p.m. and Friday, 8:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m.

If I select the Defined Contribution or Combined Plan, are there any restrictions on moving money from one investment option to another? How do I make changes to my account?

If you pick the STRS Total Guaranteed Return Choice, you allocate 100% of all payroll contributions for the year to this option and keep them there for five years — in return for a guaranteed interest rate.

With the other investment choices, you may change your allocations through the website, through an interactive voice response system or with a Nationwide Retirement Solutions customer service representative. You are permitted 20 trade events each calendar year. A trade event is defined as any trade or combination of trades occurring on a given valuation day. NRS also provides these additional safeguards to protect STRS Ohio from illegal late-day trading and improper market-timing trading.

  • If six or more trade events occur in one calendar quarter, NRS will notify the participant by U.S. mail that he or she has been identified as engaging in potentially harmful trading practices.
  • Following this notification, if more than 11 trade events occur in two consecutive calendar quarters, NRS will require the participant to submit all future trade requests in paper form only via regular U.S. mail for the remainder of the calendar year.
  • If 20 trade events occur in a calendar year, NRS will require the participant to submit all future trade requests in paper form via U.S. mail for the remainder of the calendar year.

If you select the Defined Contribution or Combined Plan, you will receive detailed instructions on how to access account information and make changes. A confirmation of all changes will be mailed to you within two days of your transaction.

STRS Ohio Service Credit

What is “service credit”?

Service credit is the number of years earned through contributing service or purchased under STRS Ohio’s plan provisions. Service credit is one of the factors used to determine the amount of the monthly service retirement benefit in the Defined Benefit and Combined Plans and is calculated by your employer according to the rules established by the State Teachers Retirement Board.

If you choose the Defined Benefit or Combined Plan, you will receive an Annual Statement of Account each October that provides you with an estimated value for your survivor, disability and service retirement benefits, depending on the years of service you have accumulated. It also reports calculated earnings, deposits and years of service credit, as well as the value of your account should you terminate teaching and decide to withdraw it.

Is service credit applicable in the Defined Contribution or Combined Plan options?

In the Defined Contribution Plan, member contributions, employer contributions and the performance of investment choices you select determine retirement plan benefits. Service credit is not a factor in your retirement benefit.

In the Combined Plan, service credit is used in a calculation to determine the defined benefit portion of the account. Currently, you must have five years of service credit and be at least 60 years old to receive service retirement benefits from the defined benefit portion of the Combined Plan.

I currently have contributions and service credit with the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) or the School Employees Retirement System (SERS). How will my choice affect my accounts with those systems?

Nonconcurrent service with OPERS or SERS can be combined with an STRS Ohio Defined Benefit Plan account to provide for an earlier retirement or a larger benefit. These accounts cannot be combined with STRS Ohio Defined Contribution or Combined Plan accounts. To receive a benefit from an OPERS or SERS account, you must qualify independently with those systems. If you have credit with OPERS or SERS, call STRS Ohio toll-free at 888‑227‑7877 before enrolling in the STRS Ohio Defined Contribution or Combined Plan.

Portability

What do you mean by “portability” of my account?

The term “portability” refers to your ability to move your retirement funds if you leave public teaching in Ohio. Once you have completed one year of teaching, the Defined Contribution Plan offers the greatest flexibility. Below is an outline of the amount you will receive under each plan if you withdraw your account:

Defined Benefit Plan Participants

If you leave public teaching in Ohio, you can withdraw your account. The withdrawal amount consists of your contributions plus an additional amount payable under Section 3307.563 of the Revised Code. The additional amount payable is based on years of qualifying service credit* and the rates of interest established by the Retirement Board. Interest rates are subject to change. For current interest rates click here and see the Account Withdrawal section or contact STRS Ohio toll-free at 888‑227‑7877.

  • With 5.00 or more years of qualifying service credit, interest at a rate no greater than 6% compounded annually will be paid on your teaching contributions and an additional amount equal to 50% of the sum of your member contributions, plus interest, will also be paid.
  • With at least 3.00 years but less than 5.00 years of qualifying service credit, interest at a rate no greater than 6% compounded annually will be paid on your teaching contributions.
  • With less than 3.00 years of qualifying service credit, interest at a rate no greater than 4% compounded annually will be paid on your teaching contributions.

Interest for all years withdrawn begins to accrue in the fiscal year following deposit. For example, interest on 2017–2018 contributions would begin accruing July 2018 and be payable August 2018 or later. No interest is payable if a member withdraws his or her account in July and contributed to STRS Ohio for only the year just ended. Interest stops accruing the month before account withdrawal.

*Qualifying service credit includes earned credit with STRS Ohio, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) or School Employees Retirement System (SERS); restoration of withdrawn credit with STRS Ohio, OPERS or SERS; interrupted teaching due to military service; and transferred credit from Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund, Highway Patrol Retirement System or Cincinnati Retirement System.

Defined Contribution Plan Participants

If you leave public teaching in Ohio, you can withdraw the value of your account. Account withdrawal amounts consist of member contributions plus any gains or losses on those contributions. Withdrawal amounts will also include the employer portion of the account (consisting of the employer contributions plus any gains or losses), according to the following vesting schedule:

  • If your membership began before July 1, 2013, you are 100% vested in the employer portion of the account after one year of membership.
  • If your membership began on or after July 1, 2013, you are vested in 20% of the employer portion of the account for each full year of membership.

Your withdrawal amount might be affected by fees and early withdrawal penalties.

Combined Plan Participants

If you leave public teaching in Ohio before age 50, a withdrawal must include both the defined benefit and defined contribution portions of your account. At age 50 or later, you may withdraw or annuitize the defined contribution portion and leave the defined benefit portion to fund a service retirement benefit at age 60 with at least 5.00 years of service credit. You may withdraw the defined benefit portion only if you are also withdrawing the defined contribution portion.

For the defined contribution portion of the account, the withdrawal amount consists of member contributions deposited to the account plus any gains or losses on those contributions.

The withdrawal amount may be affected by low balance fees or early withdrawal penalties.

For the defined benefit portion of the account, members with 5.00 or more years of service credit are eligible for the greater of: (1) the present value of the future benefits, or (2) the member's total contributions to the defined benefit portion of the account.

The defined benefit portion of the account consists of the member's total contributions to the defined benefit portion of the account if the member withdraws before accumulating 5.00 years of service credit.

Rollovers

Can I roll over my balance in the Defined Contribution or Combined Plan to an IRA, an eligible employer plan or another qualified plan?

Yes. Upon separation of service or retirement, you have the ability to roll over your balance to a traditional IRA, an eligible employer plan or another qualified plan that will accept your rollover. At age 50, you may also just roll over the defined contribution portion of the Combined Plan and leave the defined benefit portion to fund a service retirement at age 60.

Can I roll over funds from an IRA or another qualified plan to my defined contribution account?

Yes. If you permanently choose the Defined Contribution or Combined Plan after your fourth anniversary, you will be able to roll over funds from a qualified account.

Additional Benefit Information

Can you describe the health care coverage that is offered under the STRS Ohio Defined Benefit and Combined Plans?

Currently, STRS Ohio retirees and eligible dependents have access to health care coverage* under the Defined Benefit or Combined Plan if they have at least 15 years of service credit. Beginning Aug. 1, 2023, new retirees will need 20 years of service for eligibility. This coverage includes hospitalization, physician fees and prescriptions, as well as dental and vision coverage. Premiums and copayments depend on the coverage you select and your years of service credit. Eligibility for health care coverage is established by the Retirement Board and is subject to change.

*The STRS Ohio Health Care Program is not guaranteed. STRS Ohio may change or discontinue all or part of the program for all or a class of eligible benefit recipients and covered dependents at any time.

Can you describe the survivor and disability protection that is offered under the STRS Ohio Defined Benefit and Combined Plans?

Survivor Benefits

Once eligibility conditions are met, monthly benefits are paid to qualified survivors if you die before service retirement. Annual benefits range from 25% to 60% of final average salary. Access to health care coverage,* including dental and vision coverage, is also available.

Disability Benefits

Once eligibility conditions are met, you may apply for monthly disability benefits if you become disabled while employed or within one year following your last date of STRS Ohio-covered service. Annual benefits range from 45% to 60% of your final average salary. Access to health care coverage,* including dental and vision coverage, is also available.

*The STRS Ohio Health Care Program is not guaranteed. STRS Ohio may change or discontinue all or part of the program for all or a class of eligible benefit recipients and covered dependents at any time.

Do Social Security windfall and offset provisions affect me if I choose the Defined Contribution or Combined Plan?

All three STRS Ohio retirement plan options are treated equally and all are subject to the Social Security windfall and offset provisions.

What benefits do I retain if I take a leave from teaching?

If you take a leave from teaching, you could retain some benefits, depending on your years of service and the retirement plan selection you make. If you withdraw your account when you stop teaching, you lose eligibility for these benefits.

Once eligibility requirements are met under the Defined Benefit or Combined Plan, you qualify for survivor benefits. This survivor protection may continue for up to 27 months following your last contributing service.

Once eligibility requirements are met, you may qualify for disability benefits. Eligibility continues for one year following your last contributing service. Also, with five years of service under the Defined Benefit or Combined Plan, you qualify for a retirement benefit at age 60.

Making a Choice

Questions to consider when selecting a retirement plan

  • Will you stay in Ohio or move out of state during your career?
  • How long will you teach?
  • How old will you be when you want to start receiving a retirement benefit?
  • How confident are you in making investment decisions?
  • What type of retirement plan and benefits does your spouse have?
  • Do you have access to other sources of retirement income?
  • How will you provide for disability and survivor protection during your working career?

When does my 180-day selection period begin?

The selection period begins on your first day of paid service — in other words, your first day of work for your employer, regardless of when you signed your contract.

What happens to my contributions before I make my retirement plan selection?

You will contribute to the Defined Benefit Plan until you return your Retirement Plan Selection Form. Once we receive your selection form, the account for the plan you choose will be set up within 14 days. If you select the Defined Contribution or Combined Plan, your contributions prior to your selection will be credited to your new account.

After I select my retirement plan option, can my selection be changed?

Your flexibility to change plans depends on the plan you select. If you choose the Defined Benefit Plan, your choice is final and permanent. If you choose the Defined Contribution or Combined Plan, you will have a one-time option to remain in the same plan or transfer to another STRS Ohio plan before completing your fifth year of membership. Information will be mailed to you before the fifth anniversary of your first day of paid service. At that time, the retirement plan option you select will be final.

If I choose the Defined Contribution or Combined Plan now, can I switch plans at any time during the initial five-year period?

No. If you select the Defined Contribution or Combined Plan, you will have a one-time opportunity to change plans. This will take place in June following the fourth anniversary of your first day of paid service. There is no provision in the law that allows you to switch plans at any other time, even in the case of a life-changing event (e.g., marriage, divorce, death of a spouse, etc.).

If I select the Defined Contribution Plan, then switch to the Combined Plan at the five-year point, how much of my account transfers to the defined contribution portion of the Combined Plan?

Your contributions and the earnings on those contributions go into the defined contribution portion of the Combined Plan. The employer contributions and the earnings on those contributions fund the defined benefit portion of the Combined Plan. You will receive service credit as if you had always been in the Combined Plan. Depending on the amount of credit, you could be immediately vested for survivor and disability benefits.

If I select the Combined Plan, then switch to the Defined Contribution Plan at the five-year point, how much of my account transfers to the new plan?

You will take your account withdrawal value to the Defined Contribution Plan as of July 1 of the switch year. This would include the entire defined contribution account balance and the present value of future benefits you earned in the defined benefit portion of your account. If your service credit is less than 5.00 years, the defined benefit portion of the account consists of the member’s total contributions to the defined benefit portion of the account. If you have 5.00 or more years of service credit, you are eligible for the greater of: (1) the present value of the future benefits, or (2) the member’s total contributions to the defined benefit portion of the account.

If I select the Defined Contribution or Combined Plan now and switch to the Defined Benefit Plan following my fourth anniversary, how will my account be affected?

STRS Ohio will create a Defined Benefit Plan account for you as if you had elected that plan originally. The Defined Contribution or Combined Plan accounts — and any accompanying gains or losses — are absorbed by the Defined Benefit Plan.

What happens if I do not make a selection?

Members who do not complete a selection form will participate in the STRS Ohio Defined Benefit Plan, and will forfeit any option to switch plans following their fourth anniversary — as outlined previously.

Can I select a new plan again if I change employers?

If you select the Defined Contribution or Combined Plan during your first 180 days of employment, you cannot switch plans until the one-time option in your fifth year of membership (as outlined previously). Once you make your final selection in your fifth year of membership, you cannot switch plans.

Note: If you terminate employment and withdraw your account after your initial selection is made, but before making your permanent choice in your fifth year of membership, you will be eligible to make a new selection if you resume your teaching career. However, members who choose or are placed in the Defined Benefit Plan remain in it as long as they teach in Ohio.

If I leave teaching and withdraw my account, can I restore the service credit if I return to teaching?

You will be able to restore service credit in the Defined Benefit Plan account; however, restoration of service credit is not permitted for Combined Plan accounts.

General Plan Information

Can my account balance in the Defined Contribution Plan be offered as collateral when seeking loans? Can I borrow against this account?

No. Your account balance in any plan is not a liquid asset and cannot be considered as collateral when applying for a loan. Also, members are not eligible to withdraw funds while employed.

If I select the Defined Contribution Plan, will I have access to STRS Ohio health care coverage at retirement?

No. STRS Ohio health care is not available to members who retire under the Defined Contribution Plan.

Is more information about my plan options available?

Extensive information is available on this site. You can also call the Member Services Center toll-free at 888‑227‑7877. Member service representatives are available Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Investment Choices Net Asset Values

STRS Ohio will post the net asset value (NAV) as well as the month-to-date (MTD), quarter-to-date (QTD) and fiscal year-to-date (FYTD), July 1 through June 30, returns for all of the investment choices available in the Defined Contribution and Combined Plans each business day. To learn more about each investment choice, click on its name. You can also click here to view the current STRS Ohio Investment Performance Report for these options.

NAVs posted are for 02-16-18

Investment Choice NAV MTD Return QTD Return FYTD Return
STRS Large-Cap Core Choice 31.2499 -3.15% 1.45% 11.09%
STRS REIT Index Choice (Real Estate) 44.0717 -5.19% -9.16% -7.00%
STRS Money Market Choice, 7-day effective annual yield: 1.42% 1.0000 0.07% 0.18% 0.68%
STRS MSCI World ex USA Index Choice (International) 28.4494 -3.66% 0.81% 10.87%
STRS Russell 1000 Index Choice 38.1338 -3.02% 2.30% 13.86%
STRS Russell 2000 Index Choice 40.7505 -1.94% 0.62% 9.82%
STRS Russell Midcap Index Choice 17.4575 -2.81% 0.84% 10.62%
STRS Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Universal Bond Index Choice 20.9792 -0.97% -1.96% -0.63%
STRS Total Guaranteed Return Choice 2018* 11.8584 0.16% 0.50% 2.36%
STRS Total Guaranteed Return Choice 2019* 11.6310 0.18% 0.56% 2.67%
STRS Total Guaranteed Return Choice 2020* 11.1573 0.18% 0.56% 2.66%
STRS Total Guaranteed Return Choice 2021* 10.7020 0.18% 0.56% 2.67%
STRS Total Guaranteed Return Choice 2022 10.2662 0.18% 0.56% 2.66%
STRS Target Choice 2020 13.6067 -2.29% -0.47% 5.57%
STRS Target Choice 2025 14.0177 -2.48% -0.17% 6.69%
STRS Target Choice 2030 14.4115 -2.65% 0.10% 7.68%
STRS Target Choice 2035 14.8120 -2.82% 0.37% 8.68%
STRS Target Choice 2040 15.1419 -2.99% 0.63% 9.67%
STRS Target Choice 2045 15.2345 -3.06% 0.74% 10.07%
STRS Target Choice 2050 15.2345 -3.06% 0.74% 10.07%

*These options are closed to new investments.

Available Services

STRS Ohio recognizes the importance of the decision you are making. That’s why we offer several services to help you make the decision that will best meet your goals for retirement.

Informational Materials

Your retirement plan selection packet and this website contain information to help you consider which retirement plan best meets your needs. It is important for you to review the items in this packet — including the Retirement Plan Comparison Chart.

Member Services Center

By calling STRS Ohio toll-free at 888‑227‑7877, you’ll have access to professionals who can answer your questions about each plan. The Member Services Center can be reached Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Website

The STRS Ohio website is considered one of the best available among public pension plans. One of its features is a Personal Account Information section. With the use of a password issued only to you, you can access your individual account throughout your career.

Additional Services

If you enroll in the Defined Benefit Plan, you will receive a statement each fall that will show your account value, service credit and other information. Quarterly statements will be issued to members choosing the Defined Contribution Plan. Members in the Combined Plan also will receive a quarterly statement for the defined contribution portion of their account, plus an annual statement for the defined benefit portion.

STRS Ohio provides educational seminars and workshops to help you plan for a financially secure future — at all stages of your career. These are offered throughout the state. In addition, STRS Ohio periodically publishes newsletters and provides an email news service to keep you informed about plan changes, legislative initiatives and other events of interest.

For Investment Assistance

STRS Ohio has contracted with Nationwide Retirement Solutions (NRS) in administering the defined contribution aspects of the STRS Ohio retirement plan options. NRS retirement specialists can discuss your investment choices with you by phone. Just call toll-free 866‑332‑3342, Monday–Thursday, 8:30 a.m.–8 p.m. and Friday, 8:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m., to talk with an NRS representative.

If you choose the Defined Contribution Plan or Combined Plan, you may use an interactive voice response system or the STRS Ohio website to access account information using a personal password. NRS customer service representatives will also be able to assist you. You will be able to:

  • Change how your contributions are allocated,
  • Move existing funds among the various investment choices, and
  • Access performance information about each investment choice.

Online Resources

If you would like further details to assist you with your retirement plan selection, view a video presentation that outlines your retirement plan options.