State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio

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Membership

1. Who is considered an STRS Ohio member?

 

Ohio law defines STRS Ohio membership in Section 3307.01 of the Revised Code (R.C.). Generally, membership is required for:

  • Any person paid from public funds and employed in the public schools under any type of contract described in section 3311.77 or 3319.08 R.C., in a position for which the person is required to have a license issued pursuant to Sections 3319.22 to 3319.31, R.C.
  • Any person employed as a teacher or faculty member in a community school or a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) school pursuant to Chapter 3314 or 3326, R.C.
  • Any other teacher or faculty member employed in any school, college, university, institution or other agency wholly controlled and managed, or supported in whole or in part, by the state or any of its subdivisions.
  • The educational employees of ODE.

Positions that are covered by STRS Ohio include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Adult education instructors
  • Athletic directors and coaches (who hold a valid teaching license)
  • Community school directors and academic administrators
  • Counselors
  • Faculty members
  • Interpreters for the hearing impaired
  • Occupational and physical therapists
  • Occupational and physical therapy assistants
  • Orientation and mobility specialists
  • Principals and academic administrators
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Superintendents
  • Teachers and substitute teachers
  • Teachers employed to work in parochial or private schools using auxiliary funds
  • Tutors

Membership is not required for any person employed by a community school operator who was withholding and paying Social Security taxes for persons employed in the school as teachers on or before Feb. 1, 2016, unless the person had contributing service with an Ohio community school within the last year.

STRS Ohio has the authority to make membership determinations as set forth by Chapter 3307, R.C.

If you are unsure whether or not an employee should be a member of STRS Ohio, please contact your employer education coordinator for a determination. Please note, you may be asked to provide a job description for further review.

2. What is the employer’s responsibility when hiring a new employee or a reemployed retiree?

 

Employers must notify STRS Ohio of a newly hired teacher or reemployed retiree within 10 business days of the teacher’s first date on payroll using one of the following methods:

In addition, the Social Security Protection Act requires state and local government employers, hiring for jobs not covered under Social Security, to notify new hires about how public employment will affect Social Security benefits. Therefore, employers must also submit a signed SSA-1945 (Statement Concerning Your Employment in a Job Not Covered by Social Security) form by mail, fax or secure file upload.

3. What happens if we fail to notify STRS Ohio of new hires?

 

If an employee is included on a payroll report but STRS Ohio has not received a new hire notification, STRS Ohio will send you a Delinquent Notifications Report requesting information about the new employee.

STRS Ohio needs this information to:

4. How is the “first date on payroll” defined?

 

First date on payroll is the first date the teacher worked. For example:

  • A full-time teacher is hired by the board in May, but does not begin work until the following Aug. 21. The employer must notify STRS Ohio of the teacher’s hire no later than Aug. 31.
  • A substitute teacher is hired by the board in September, but does not get called in to work until the following Feb. 15. The employer must notify STRS Ohio of the teacher’s hire by Feb. 25.

5. I understand that the new hire notifications are required because new members have retirement plan options at STRS Ohio. Do employers have to track the elections made by new members?

 

No. STRS Ohio will handle mailing, follow-up and receipt of election forms directly with members who have the right to elect the Defined Contribution Plan or the Combined Plan.

6. If we hire a substitute teacher without a teaching license, does that teacher have to contribute to STRS Ohio?

 

Yes. STRS Ohio membership includes any individual employed with public funds in a position for which a teaching license is required. Teaching licenses, including temporary teaching licenses, are issued pursuant to Sections 3319.22 through 3319.31, R.C.

State Board of Education Rule 3301-23-44 (D)(1) permits a school to employ a qualified individual with a four-year degree as a short-term substitute teacher for up to five days in a given classroom. Section 3319.301, R.C., allows a school to employ a qualified individual who is not licensed, but who holds a permit under the section, to teach classes for up to 12 hours per week. Any individual teaching under either of these rules is required to make STRS Ohio contributions on the teaching duties.

7. Why am I receiving the Delinquent Notifications Report when I have already submitted a new hire for this employee?

 

There are two possibilities for why you are still receiving the report. 1) Check the SSN that was reported. See if the number that was reported on the new hire notification agrees with the SSN listed on the payroll report, or 2) The member is a substitute teacher who has not worked at the school for more than one year.

8. If we hire someone that does have a teaching license but the position they are in doesn’t require one, would they qualify for STRS Ohio membership?

 

Any school employee in a position where a valid teaching license is required would be eligible for STRS Ohio membership. The determining factor is whether the position requires a license and not the individual. The only exception to this rule would be coaches and athletic directors. For coaches and athletic directors, if the person has a valid teaching license, then STRS Ohio membership is required.

9. We recently hired a third party contractor to provide pupil services, such as occupational and physical therapy to children in our school buildings. Do we have to contribute to STRS Ohio for these individuals?

 

Hiring a teacher or administrator as a third-party contractor or through a temporary agency does not necessarily relieve the obligation for member and employer contributions on earnings.

If the mode and manner of teaching duties performed by a third-party contractor are controlled by the STRS Ohio employer, then STRS Ohio considers the individual to be a member and requires contributions to be remitted. In all cases of doubt, the Retirement Board shall determine whether a person is a teacher for STRS Ohio purposes.

To request a formal determination for a contracted service provider, submit a completed Determination of STRS Ohio Membership for Contracted Services form to [email protected]. For more information see the Contracted Services Membership Determination fact sheet.

10. How do I determine membership for an uncommon position that I can't find on the general positions list?

 

Anytime you are unsure if a position should be reported to STRS Ohio, please forward a copy of the job description to [email protected].

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