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State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio

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STRS Ohio Update for Reporting Employers

STRS Ohio Employer News

Posted: November 2016

Reemployed Retiree Certification Process Added to ESS

To comply with IRS regulations, STRS Ohio is required annually to identify members who have reached the age of 70-1/2 and are not actively employed in an STRS Ohio-covered position. As required by law, members meeting these criteria must withdrawal their accounts or begin receiving a required minimum distribution (RMD) as part of a monthly annuity.

Employers may receive a request before the end of the year to complete reemployed retiree certification reports to confirm those identified individuals are no longer working. STRS Ohio needs your assistance in providing final contributions and pay date information. In the past, these reports have always been mailed to employers. (See sample of last year's report below.)

In an effort to reduce paper and complete the process in a timely and efficient manner, employers will be asked to complete this certification online in ESS. To assist you, STRS Ohio provides a tutorial that can be found in the Education & Training section of the website. Step-by-step instructions including screenshots are also available in the ESS Instructions.

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Reporting Requirements

Posted: November 2016

Submit SSA-1945 Forms Easily via Secure File Upload

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. One of the required forms that must be submitted to STRS Ohio after hiring an individual is a Statement Concerning Your Employment in a Job Not Covered by Social Security, also known as an SSA-1945 form. Employers can submit this form to STRS Ohio by scanning and uploading the form to our website via secure file upload, mail or fax. View the SSA-1945 forms upload instructions.

Understand the Process for Purchasing Service Credit Through Payroll Deduction Plans

Members may purchase service credit for certain types of service to increase retirement income or enable the member to retire sooner. Pursuant to Section 3307.70 of the Revised Code, members may make the purchase through a payroll deduction plan through their employer for some types of purchasable service credit. Employers can offer an after-tax plan, a tax-deferred plan or both. Regardless of the plan, it is important employers understand the process that must be followed when offering either plan for purchasing service credit.

After-Tax Payroll Deduction Plan
  • The member can choose the initial amount of payroll deduction as long as it is greater than or equal to the minimum amount listed on the Application to Purchase Credit Through Payroll Deduction.
  • The amount of the deduction may be changed or stopped by the member upon written notice to the employer. In the event of a change, the monthly amount deducted cannot be less than the applicable minimum.
  • If a member chooses to terminate the deduction before the entire amount of credit is purchased, the member will receive credit for the percentage of credit actually purchased. (Employment termination will also discontinue the purchase.)
  • To continue the purchase after terminating the deduction, whether voluntarily or by employment termination, a new cost statement and application are required before resuming deductions.
  • A member participating in an after-tax plan can choose to convert to a tax-deferred plan at the time of adoption by the employer. However, the member must contact STRS Ohio for a new cost statement.
Tax-Deferred Payroll Deduction Plan
  • The member can choose the initial amount of payroll deduction as long as it is greater than or equal to the minimum amount listed on the Application to Purchase Credit Through Payroll Deduction.
  • A tax-deferred payroll deduction plan is irrevocable. This means payroll deductions must continue at the agreed upon amount until the purchase is complete or employment is terminated.
  • The monthly payment amount cannot be stopped or changed, even in the event of unforeseen circumstances or financial hardship.
  • Once a tax-deferred payroll deduction plan is started, the plan cannot be converted to an after-tax plan.
  • Extra payments may not be submitted to STRS Ohio if a member is enrolled in the tax-deferred plan.
  • Overpayments on tax-deferred payroll deductions will be returned to the employer for proper tax accounting.
General Employer Responsibilities
  • The member will provide you with a copy of the Application to Purchase Credit Through Payroll Deduction. Please certify Part B of the application and return it to STRS Ohio no later than the date of the first scheduled payment.
  • If deductions are not started by the date indicated on the Application to Purchase Credit Through Payroll Deduction, the member must contact STRS Ohio for a new cost statement.
  • Payroll deduction payments are due to STRS Ohio no later than the 15th of the following month.
  • Employers must also submit the purchase service credit report at the same time as payment. This report, listing all members purchasing service credit and expected deductions, can be completed in ESS (if registered to receive it electronically) or via mail.
  • If the employer is purchasing credit for a member, the employer should send the check to STRS Ohio with a letter certifying how the money is to be treated for tax purposes. A receipt for the purchase will be issued approximately 10 business days after receiving the lump-sum payment, letter from the employer and signed cost statement.
  • Be sure to contact STRS Ohio within three months of the final payment month to confirm final payment amount.

If you have any questions about payroll deduction plans, please contact the STRS Ohio Employer Reporting Department toll-free at 888‑535‑4050 or send an email to [email protected].

Employer Education

Posted: November 2016

Upcoming Education Opportunities

STRS Ohio offers group education workshops, hands-on training, tutorials and webinars to help you meet STRS Ohio reporting requirements. You will receive a registration email on Nov. 14 for the Preparing for Midyear Retirements webinar on Dec. 6 and 15. The 2017 Education Opportunities are shown below. You will receive an email from STRS Ohio Employer Education when registration for each event is available. Click here for a PDF version of the 2017 Education Opportunities.

Workshops
Higher Education Essentials

This is a comprehensive workshop for new college and university personnel. Topics include membership, compensation, alternative retirement plan reporting, payroll reporting, service credit calculation, annual reporting, retirement reporting, account withdrawal, purchasing leaves of absence and reemployed retiree information. Registration begins Feb. 13.

  • April 5 — Columbus
Reporting Basics (Part 1)

This K–12 workshop focuses on fall reporting processes including membership, compensation, employer pickup, payroll reporting and purchasing leaves of absence. It is recommended for new personnel or those needing a refresher. Registration begins July 10.

  • Sept. 6 — Southwest
  • Sept. 7 — Northwest
  • Sept. 19 — Northeast
  • Sept. 20 — East
  • Sept. 27 — Columbus
Training
Deposit and Service Report Help Sessions

These individualized help sessions are for personnel experiencing difficulty completing retirement reports. Each registered participant will receive 45 minutes of individualized instruction with an STRS Ohio education coordinator or employer advisor. To participate, employers must have members retiring between April and August. Registration begins April 3.

  • May 3 — Lima
  • May 4 — Canton
  • May 10 — Columbus
ESS Training

This training offers personalized assistance to help you navigate our Employer Self Service (ESS) online reporting system. Participants review in-depth ESS instructions for most functions and complete hands-on practice exercises online during class. These half-day sessions are held at STRS Ohio.

Registration begins Jan. 30

  • March 14
  • March 16
  • March 22

Registration begins Oct. 9

  • Nov. 1
  • Nov. 7
  • Nov. 9
Live Webinars
Calculating Service Credit Using Days

Registration begins May 1.

  • May 16
  • May 18
Annual Reporting Troubleshooting

Registration begins May 1.

  • June 13
  • June 15
  • June 21
Post Annual Reporting Process

Registration begins Aug. 7.

  • Aug. 24
  • Aug. 29

Have a Question? Ask an Employer Advisor

Posted: November 2016

Q: We plan to pay our district’s teaching and administrative staff a bonus based on our state report card results. Do we need to submit contributions on the bonus to STRS Ohio? If so, is there anything important we need to know as we process this payment?

Yes, contributions should be remitted on a state report card bonus. The important thing to remember is that your staff has earned this bonus as a result of work performed in the previous school year. This means the contributions are on earnings for the 2015–2016 fiscal year even though you may not be paying the bonus until the fall of the next fiscal year (2016–2017). As a result, contributions must be withheld at the 13% member contribution rate that was in effect at the time the money was earned.

STRS Ohio recommends submitting a separate payroll file listing only the contributions on the bonus. (Do not combine the amounts with regular payroll amounts for the pay period on the report submission to STRS Ohio.) The reason it is best to submit a separate file is because a backposting adjustment will also be required. The purpose of the backposting is to adjust last year’s annual report totals. If you submit a separate file for the bonus contributions and send an email to [email protected] indicating you are preparing to send the file, STRS Ohio can create the backposting file for you. However, if the bonus contributions are included with a regular bi-weekly 2016–2017 fiscal year payroll report, then you will be responsible for creating your own backposting file or entering the figures for each individual manually on ESS.

If you have additional questions, please contact your employer advisor at 888‑535‑4050 or send an email to [email protected].

What’s Ahead

Posted: November 2016

December 2016

Retirement Deductions From State Foundation Payments is mailed to applicable employers.

GASB 45 disclosure is available on the employer website.

Dec. 16
  • Employer Detail Listing is mailed to employers.
January 2017

STRS Ohio’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is available.

Jan. 30
  • Registration begins for March ESS Training.
February 2017
Feb. 6
  • Request for salary schedules is emailed to employers.
Feb. 8
  • OASBO Payroll & Benefits Seminar for Support Staff — Athens.
Feb. 13
  • Registration begins for Higher Education Essentials employer workshop.
Feb. 15
  • OASBO Payroll & Benefits Seminar for Support Staff — Dayton.
Feb. 23
  • OASBO Payroll & Benefits Seminar for Support Staff — Independence.
March 2017
March 1
  • OASBO Payroll & Benefits Seminar for Support Staff — Perrysburg.
March 7
  • OASBO Payroll & Benefits Seminar for Support Staff — Columbus.
April 2017
April 3
  • Registration begins for Deposit and Service Report Help Sessions.

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