The Revised Code authorizes the purchase of credit for some absences and leaves. Purchases are allowed if the member was:
Members can purchase up to two years for each period of approved leave or absence.
The procedure varies depending on when the leave occurred. There are two types of leaves, both of which require different processing by the employer.
Current fiscal year absence or leave: This interest-free purchase must be made within the same fiscal year that the absence or leave occurred. No application is required to purchase this leave. Please note: Payment must be received by June 30 of the same fiscal year the leave occurred. There are two options for payment on a current absence or leave:
Option 1 — The member returns from an unpaid absence or leave and wishes to purchase the leave through remaining payrolls, if available.
Option 2 — The member is on an unpaid absence or leave and wishes to pay for the leave in a lump sum.
Past absence or leave: This purchase can be made at any time after the end of the fiscal year in which the absence or leave ended. The member will pay interest on both the member and employer contributions. A Certification of Past Period of Absence form is required. This form is available for the member to complete and submit online or by mail. (The member may contact STRS Ohio to request the form by mail.) The employer must certify the dates of absence or leave and contract salary, and return the form to STRS Ohio. STRS Ohio will calculate the member’s cost to purchase credit. The employer is billed for employer contributions once member payment is received.
Employers are responsible for calculating contributions due for a current fiscal year absence or leave.
The cost is based on the amount of earnings the member would have earned had they worked. If the member worked a portion of the year, the cost is based on the earnings the member would have earned less their actual earnings multiplied by the contribution rate for the year the leave occurred. STRS Ohio has a Current Leave of Absence Cost calculator available to assist you.
No, past absences or leaves are not eligible for purchase via payroll deduction.
Yes, any time an employer grants a leave of absence they are incurring a future liability. In this situation, the employer who granted the leave would be liable for the employer contributions.
Yes, this would be considered a past leave of absence and interest will be charged.
A leave that is purchased in the same fiscal year it occurs will not be charged interest. No interest will be charged if documentation and payment for this leave are received by STRS Ohio no later than June 30 of the same fiscal year.