STRS Ohio | Annual Reporting FAQs

State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio

Page Description

Annual Reporting

1. What is the annual report?

 

The annual report is an electronic report that lists all member contributions on compensation earned by active members and reemployed retirees during the fiscal year, as well as service credit earned by active members.

2. When is the annual report due and how will I know if it was received?

 

Each year, the annual report is due to STRS Ohio in early August. Specific instructions for completing the annual reporting process will be available on the employer website in June. No extensions will be granted to the deadline. Employers are asked to anticipate and address issues that could cause problems, such as changing payroll systems or the absence of key personnel.

To check the submission status of your report, please log in to ESS and select "Employer Reports" in the banner menu at the top of the home page. On the Employer Reports screen, select "Annual" in the Report Source column. If "Submitted" or "Complete" appear in the Report Status column, STRS Ohio has received your report. (Reports listed in "Initial" status have not yet been submitted using ESS.) If you cannot find the annual report in your list of work reports, contact [email protected] to be granted access.

3. What information is included in the annual report?

 

The annual report must include the following information about each member:

  • Name
  • Social Security number
  • Member type (active member or reemployed retiree)
  • Taxed contributions
  • Tax-deferred contributions
  • Service credit
  • Accrued contributions

4. What is the current member contribution rate on compensation?

 

The member contribution rate is 14% for compensation earned during the 2017–2018 fiscal year. This means all contributions — taxed, tax-deferred and accrued — must be reported at the 14% rate.

5. How do I calculate total contributions for each member?

 

To calculate total contributions for each member, multiply the total amount of compensation earned during the fiscal year by the contribution rate in effect at the time the money was earned.

Example: A teacher with a nine-month contract is paid $42,000 over 12 months for work performed September through June. Total contributions due to STRS Ohio for the fiscal year are $5,880 ($42,000 x 14% = $5,880).

6. What are accrued contributions?

 

Accrued contributions are contributions on compensation that is earned by June 30 of the fiscal year but not paid until July or August of the next fiscal year. Sometimes employers refer to accrued contributions as "summer stretch pay" or "advance." Keep in mind, other types of payments made in July and August that are earned in the prior fiscal year, such as a late time card or a TIF payment, can also be accrued.

7. How are accrued contributions calculated?

 

To calculate accrued contributions, determine the amount of compensation that was earned by June 30 but not paid until after July 1. Then multiply this amount by the contribution rate in effect at the time the money was earned.

Example: A teacher has a contract for $45,000 for nine months of work from September to June. Her work is completed by mid-June, but she is paid over 12 months. By the end of June, she has been paid $37,500, and the remaining $7,500 will be paid to her during July and August. Total accrued contributions for this teacher for the fiscal year are $1,050 ($7,500 x 14% = $1,050).

8. Should accrued contributions be included in the total contributions for each member in the annual report?

 

Yes. Accrued contributions are part of the total contributions for each member. They are also listed separately to allow STRS Ohio to balance annual report figures to payrolls during the fiscal year.

9. How is service credit reported in the annual report?

 

Employers should refer to the Administrative Code Rule 3307:1-2-01 and the Service Credit Decision Tree when calculating service credit. STRS Ohio also has a service credit calculator on the employer website which is available to assist you. The service credit earned for a full year should be reported as 1.00 for full credit. For partial credit, it should be reported as a percentage of full credit (e.g., 0.27, 0.62, 0.75).

For members on sabbatical or a partially paid leave, the compensation paid divided by annual contract should be used to determine the service credit earned. Example: $20,000 paid ÷ $50,000 contract = .40 of a year of service credit.

You must report service credit for each active member. Although reemployed retirees do not earn service credit, you must still report service credit as zero (0.00) for reemployed retirees — do not leave this field blank.

10. Can I include contributions on earnings without including service credit?

 

No. Service credit must be reported for each active member if contributions are greater than zero. Although reemployed retirees do not earn service credit, you must still report service credit as zero (0.00) — do not leave this field blank.

11. Can I report negative contribution amounts for a member in the annual report?

 

No. Negative contribution amounts or adjustments for a prior fiscal year cannot be included in the annual report. If an employee did not earn compensation during the fiscal year, report contributions as zero. If an employee worked a portion of the year before discontinuing employment, report contributions on compensation earned while he or she was employed.

12. How do I submit my annual report?

 

You can submit your annual report electronically via secure file upload or online entry in ESS. Use only one method to submit your report.

13. How do I change the method I use to submit my annual report?

 

To change the submission method of your annual report, call STRS Ohio toll-free at 888‑535‑4050 or send an email to Employer Reporting.

14. I just discovered my annual report is incorrect. How do I make corrections?

 

The answer is based on whether or not you have submitted your report.

If you have not submitted your report:

Check to see if the problem can be corrected through your payroll system or Information Technology Center (ITC).

If the problem can be corrected, correct your annual report as needed before submitting it to STRS Ohio.

If the problem cannot be corrected, submit a written explanation via letter or email detailing the corrections for each member affected. All corrections must include:

  • Member name and Social Security number;
  • Contribution amounts reported in your annual report (total and accrued);
  • Corrected contribution amount and difference;
  • Service credit reported in your annual report (if applicable); and
  • Corrected service credit (if applicable).

If you have submitted your report:

You can submit corrections via letter or email. All corrections must include:

  • Member name and Social Security number;
  • Contribution amounts reported in your annual report (total and accrued);
  • Corrected contribution amount and difference;
  • Service credit reported in your annual report (if applicable); and
  • Corrected service credit (if applicable).

STRS Ohio can provide a list of current contributions and service credit upon request.

Corrections processed outside of payroll require additional contributions. These corrections cannot be processed until STRS Ohio receives the contributions. Contributions for a prior fiscal year may be assessed interest.

If your entire report is incorrect, please contact STRS Ohio regarding resubmission.

When in doubt, call the Employer Reporting Department toll-free at 888‑535‑4050.

15. Should I retain the capability to reproduce my annual report?

 

Yes. In the event STRS Ohio does not receive your report or technical problems arise, you will be asked to resubmit it.

16. Will I receive confirmation of the amounts reported in the annual report?

 

Yes. STRS Ohio will send employers an Employer Detail Listing that includes all members and contributions reported, including any changes that were requested or necessary to balance your report. Employer Detail Listings are usually mailed in December each year. A copy is also available in the Documents section of ESS.

17. I received notice that I need to complete an accrued verification report. Why did I receive this and how do I complete the report?

 

If accrued contribution amounts reported in the annual report do not match those marked as accrued on payroll reports, you will be asked to verify accrued contributions by completing an accrued verification report in ESS. This online report will list the total amount of accrued contributions reported through payroll, as well as the total accrued contribution amount reported in the annual report. To complete this report, click on the drop-down menu in the Accrued Indicator field to select the report that shows the correct amount of accrued contributions (either "Annual" or "Payroll"). If neither amount is correct, select "Neither" and indicate the correct amount of accrued contributions in the "Notes" field for that particular member. For step-by-step instructions, please refer to the online tutorial or ESS Instructions on our website.

18. Why am I asked to verify service credit after I submit the annual report?

 

Occasionally service credit reported in the annual report appears inconsistent with the contributions reported. When this occurs, STRS Ohio asks you to verify service credit by submitting a service credit verification report. If you are asked to submit this report, you must provide the number of days, hours or full-time equivalent by semester for each member listed in the report. Reports can be submitted on our website in ESS. By completing this report, you will eliminate requests for service credit verification when members retire. For step-by-step instructions on how to properly complete a service credit verification report, please refer to the online tutorial or the ESS Instructions on our website.

19. Why do employers need to submit both payroll reports and an annual report?

 

For STRS Ohio to properly pay benefits for all members, we need to know the amount of compensation and service credit each member earns during the fiscal year. Payroll report information is based on paid compensation during the pay period. However, a member's retirement benefit is based on compensation earned, not paid, during the fiscal year. STRS Ohio currently uses the annual report as a tool for balancing paid compensation to earned compensation. The annual report also provides earned service credit. Therefore, annual reports are necessary to give us the extra information we need.

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