Employment After Retirement
STRS Ohio retirees may choose to be reemployed after retirement. This section provides information about the rules associated with reemployment and your service retirement benefit. If you are considering any type of reemployment after retirement, please review STRS Ohio’s Employment After Retirement brochure carefully. It explains restrictions on reemployment, potential benefits forfeited, primary and secondary employment, and the reemployment benefit, as well as important information about health care eligibility during employment after retirement.
Ohio law may require public notice if you are returning to a position with the employer from which you retired; please contact your employer for details.
One-Day Break in Service
To be eligible for service retirement, there must be a minimum one-day break in service between the last day of employment as an active member and the first day of employment as a reemployed retiree. This one day must be the last workday of the month before the service retirement date or the first workday of the retirement month. The one-day break must be a normal workday and cannot be a Saturday, Sunday or holiday.
- For example, if your service retirement date is July 1 and:
— Your last paid workday is between June 1 and June 29, the first day you can return to work to be eligible to retire will be July 1 (as long as June 30 is a normal workday).
— Your last paid workday is June 30, the first day you can return to work to be eligible to retire will be July 2 (as long as July 1 is a normal workday).
Be aware that working anytime during the first two months of retirement may cause you to lose retirement benefits. See below for additional details.
Returning to Ohio Public Employment
Employment in a public position in Ohio is restricted during the first two months following retirement. If you are employed by only one Ohio public employer at the time of retirement, you must wait two months after your retirement date to return to public employment. Public employment during the first two months will result in the loss of one or two months of retirement benefits.
You cannot continue in the same position held at the time of retirement as a nonpaid volunteer during the first two months of retirement. If you are reemployed within the first two months of retirement or continue in the same position as a volunteer, you will be in violation of the two-month waiting period and will forfeit monthly benefits for any month in which you are in violation. If you volunteer, you may never be paid for the services rendered during the volunteer period. Simply deferring payment until later will not eliminate the violation. For more information, contact our Member Services Center toll-free at 888‑227‑7877.
If you are employed at the time of retirement by more than one employer covered by STRS Ohio, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) or School Employees Retirement System (SERS), you may retire with the highest paying (primary) employer and continue to work with one or all of the lower paying (secondary) employers with no waiting period. You must have held the secondary position for at least 12 consecutive months prior to retirement to be eligible to continue working with the secondary employer with no waiting period. For example, if your retirement date is July 1, 2023, you must be working in your secondary position in July 2022 and continue to work in each of the next 12 months into July 2023.
A secondary employer is defined as any STRS Ohio, OPERS or SERS employer with which you earned less compensation than you earned with your highest paying employer (in that fiscal year or in the previous 12-month period) and you are continuing employment with that employer in the first month of retirement.
To be eligible to continue to work with a secondary employer with no waiting period or penalties, you must have worked and earned compensation from that employer for each of the 12 months before and in the month of retirement to avoid a forfeiture of benefits. If you are a Defined Benefit Plan member and your secondary employer is covered by OPERS or SERS, then you must also combine that account with your STRS Ohio account at retirement to avoid a forfeiture of benefits. You may have more than one secondary employer. The “one-day break in service” referenced above does not apply to employment with a secondary employer.
Members continuing public employment after retirement and their employers both contribute to the applicable Ohio public retirement system. These contributions fund a benefit that you may collect as a lump-sum payment the first of the month following your last day of service or 12 months after the payment of a previous reemployed retiree benefit payment, whichever is later. Before benefits are payable, you must terminate employment.
Interest begins to accrue in the fiscal year following deposit. For example, interest on 2022–2023 contributions would begin accruing July 2023 and would be payable August 2023 or later. No interest is payable if a member withdraws his or her account in July and contributed for only the year just ended. Interest is calculated only for the time contributions were on deposit and terminates at age 65, your last day of service or 12 months after payment of a prior benefit, whichever is later.
If you elect a benefit before age 65, you will receive your contributions and interest on your contributions. This benefit is paid as a lump sum. If you are a reemployed retiree, click here to view a printable version of the Application for Lump-Sum Payment form or apply for benefits online.
If you elect a benefit at age 65 or after, you will receive your contributions and interest on your contributions, and possibly a matching amount and interest depending on when the work was performed.
- Interest is calculated at 6.5% through June 1982; 7.75% from July 1982 through June 30, 1994; 6.0% from July 1, 1994, through June 30, 1999; 5.0% from July 1, 1999, through June 30, 2012; and 4.0% beginning July 1, 2012. Interest rates are subject to change.
- Member contributions made before July 1, 2005, are matched at 100%.
- Member contributions made July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2013, are matched at 50%.
- Member contributions made July 1, 2013, and after are not matched.
You may elect to receive the benefit as a lump-sum payment or a monthly annuity, provided the monthly annuity is $25 or greater. (The matching amount and interest rates are subject to change.) If you are a reemployed retiree, click here to view a printable version of the Application for Monthly Annuity or Lump-Sum Payment form or apply for benefits online.
Lump-sum payments can be:
- Paid directly to you, or
- Rolled over to a qualified plan.
For additional information regarding your reemployed annuity and taxes, please see the STRS Ohio’s Employment After Retirement brochure. STRS Ohio cannot provide tax advice.
Upon your death, survivors receive a lump-sum payment of any unpaid funds. Individuals continuing employment after retirement are not eligible for any other benefits.
Impact on Health Care
Coverage under the STRS Ohio Health Care Program* is limited for individuals not eligible for Medicare who are employed in a public or private position. Employed retirees are eligible for only secondary health care coverage through STRS Ohio’s Basic Plan if they:
- Are eligible for medical and prescription drug coverage through their employer, or
- Hold a position for which other similarly situated employees are eligible for medical and prescription drug coverage at the same cost as full-time employees.
Note: The determination of similarly situated employee is based on position and employment status (part time/full time), not retirement status.
The rule applies to all employed enrollees who are not eligible for Medicare, regardless of hire date or type of employment.
STRS Ohio requires enrollees not eligible for Medicare to verify their employment status and access to employer health care coverage. If you are employed and not eligible for Medicare, it is your responsibility to provide verification through your Online Personal Account.
More information, including examples of employment positions and how they affect eligibility for primary health care coverage through STRS Ohio, is available in STRS Ohio’s Employment After Retirement brochure.
*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. Currently, members must have at least 15 years of service credit (or 20 years of service credit for retirement on or after Aug. 1, 2023) to qualify for access to the STRS Ohio Health Care Program (medical/prescription, dental, vision).