STRS Ohio | STRS Ohio Update for Reporting Employers — STRS Ohio Employer News

State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio

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STRS Ohio Update for Reporting Employers

STRS Ohio Employer News

Posted: November 2017

Withdrawal Certification Reports Now Available Through ESS

STRS Ohio reporting employers are now able to complete withdrawal certifications through Employer Self Service (ESS). Similar to retirement reporting, this new feature allows employers to complete the requested information online and correct, view or print certifications that have been previously submitted online. Online withdrawal certification submission will allow for faster and more efficient processing of withdrawals.

Information being requested in the new online report is similar to the previous paper format. Last date of service, last day on payroll, contributions and service credit (if applicable) are requested for each individual. Note: earnings are not requested in the online format.

For step-by-step instructions on completing these reports, please see the Withdrawal Certification section of the ESS Instructions on the STRS Ohio Employer Website.

Employment Verifications Due by End of Year

To comply with Internal Revenue Service 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 withdraw their accounts or begin receiving a required minimum distribution as part of a monthly annuity.

Employers may receive a request from STRS Ohio before the end of the year to complete employment verifications (formerly called reemployed retiree certifications) to confirm identified individuals are no longer working. STRS Ohio needs your assistance in providing final contributions and pay date information.

In an effort to reduce paper and complete the process in a timely and efficient manner, employers will be asked to complete this verification online in Employer Self Service (ESS). The "Employment Verification (Formerly Reemployed Retiree Certification)" tutorial in the Education & Training section of the employer website is available to assist you. Step-by-step instructions including screenshots are also available in the ESS Instructions.

Save Time by Using Direct Debit to Make Payments to STRS Ohio

STRS Ohio receives hundreds of payments weekly from more than 1,100 employers. Payments can be made by direct debit, check, Automated Clearing House (ACH) credit or wire transfer. Direct debit is STRS Ohio’s preferred payment method and can be completed by logging in to Employer Self Service (ESS) on the employer website. After banking information is set up and approved, payments can easily be deducted from the employer’s designated account. This method eliminates the extra step of completing a cash remittance form, and payments are posted to your account within two business days of the scheduled payment. For more information about direct debit, view the on-demand webinar “Making Direct Debit Payments Through ESS” in the Education & Training section of the employer website, or view the ESS Instructions.

Help STRS Ohio Members Build Retirement Security

STRS Ohio’s Member Education Department provides customized retirement planning meetings at the location of your choosing for your early-, mid- and late-career employees. You do not have to have all of the answers related to STRS Ohio benefits and retirement preparation. We are here to help and will even bring the program to you!

To schedule a Member Education representative to meet with your group, call 614-227-4082 or email [email protected].

Does STRS Ohio Have the Correct Address?

When entering new hire information, take time to make sure STRS Ohio has the correct address for members. Adhering to U.S. Postal Service addressing standards will help members receive important notifications such as enrollment packets, plan updates and other mailings. The Postal Service defines a standardized address as one that:

  • Uses standard USPS abbreviations such as Ave., Blvd. or Cir.
  • Uses the city name recognized by the USPS. For example, use a city or town name rather than a neighborhood or unincorporated community within the city.
  • Includes the ZIP Code+4.

Be aware of apartment numbers and directionals such as North and South. For more information about addressing standards, visit usps.com.

Reporting Requirements

Posted: November 2017

An Employer Self Service (ESS) Upgrade Is Coming!

An upgrade to ESS is scheduled for spring 2018. This is not new software, but an upgrade to the current system. Most applications will function the same way they do now, but may have a different look and feel.

To help employers prepare for the upgrade, STRS Ohio will be offering several live webinars. If you are new to ESS reporting or need further instruction after attending a webinar, hands-on ESS training classes will be offered at STRS Ohio in Columbus. All online tutorials will be updated as well. Employers will receive an email when the upgrade implementation date is finalized along with information on ESS training opportunities offered.

Service Credit Verification Report Tips

Thanks to all employers who have submitted the service credit verification reports sent out over the past few months. Your timely response helps ensure service credit is verified while employment and payroll records are still readily available. These reports are generated for any individuals whose service credit seems inconsistent with contributions reported on the annual report.

Important: If an individual is listed on the service credit verification report and your records indicate they were not paid in the fiscal year in question, a backposting is needed to move the contributions submitted to STRS Ohio into the correct fiscal year when the individual last worked. Entering a “0” for the individual will not move the contributions that were reported. If you are unsure how to enter a backposting or complete the service credit verification report, please take a moment to view the tutorials available on the employer website.

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 the employer website via secure file upload. The form may also be mailed or faxed. Employers submitting forms online may save time by scanning multiple forms and submitting them as a single file via secure file upload. View the SSA-1945 form upload instructions.

Employer Education

Posted: November 2017

Upcoming Education Opportunities in 2018

STRS Ohio offers group education workshops, hands-on training, teleconferences, tutorials and webinars to help you meet STRS Ohio reporting requirements. Upcoming 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 2018 Education Opportunities.

Note: Employer Self Service (ESS) training sessions and live webinars will be offered after the spring 2018 ESS software upgrade. You will be notified via email when dates and registration information become available.

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. 12.

  • April 25 — Columbus
Training
Deposit and Service Report Teleconference Help Sessions

These individualized help sessions are for personnel experiencing difficulty completing retirement reports. Each registered participant will receive 45 minutes of personal instruction via phone with an STRS Ohio education coordinator. To participate, employers must have members retiring between April and August. Registration begins April 30.

  • May 18
  • June 15
  • July 20
Live Webinars
Preparing Deposit and Service Reports

Registration begins April 30.

  • May 16
  • May 24
Annual Reporting Overview and Troubleshooting

Registration begins June 25.

  • July 10
  • July 12
Overview of Employer Responsibilities

Registration begins Aug. 6.

  • Aug. 15

Welcome, Todd!
Photo of Todd Wolford.

Todd Wolford joined the Employer Education team in July 2017 as an employer education coordinator. He started at STRS Ohio in September 2007 and was most recently an employer reporting senior coordinator. He has experience working with employers to complete annual reports, payroll reporting, retirement reporting and more. Todd will be assisting K–12 and college and university employers throughout Ohio.

Have a Question? Ask an Employer Advisor

Posted: November 2017

Q: What happens if I submit a payment to STRS Ohio and later find out the earnings don't qualify as compensation?

For STRS Ohio, compensation is defined as salary, wages and other earnings paid to a member, including amounts for a supplemental contract. If compensation is generally earned by reason of employment, then contributions must be remitted. Longevity pay, performance-related bonuses and retention bonuses are included in compensation. For more information on compensation, see the Compensation Fact Sheet and Compensation FAQs.

Payments made in error to STRS Ohio on earnings not considered compensation require account corrections. Current year adjustments can be made through payroll reporting and would not require additional reports or notification to STRS Ohio. Prior year adjustments would require completion of a backposting report in addition to payroll adjustments. See the account corrections flow chart in the Backpostings and Account Adjustments Fact Sheet to determine what steps to take for account correction. A tutorial about backposting adjustments is available in the Tutorials & Webinars section of the employer website.

What’s Ahead

Posted: November 2017

December 2017

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

Dec. 15
  • Employer Detail Listing is mailed to employers.
January 2018

STRS Ohio’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is available.

February 2018
Feb. 5
  • Request for salary schedules is emailed to employers.
Feb. 7
  • OASBO SE Payroll & Benefits Seminar for Support Staff — Athens
Feb. 12
  • Registration begins for Higher Education Essentials employer workshop.
Feb. 14
  • OASBO SW Payroll & Benefits Seminar for Support Staff — Miamisburg
Feb. 22
  • OASBO NE Payroll & Benefits Seminar for Support Staff — Twinsburg
Feb. 28
  • OASBO NW Payroll & Benefits Seminar for Support Staff — Bowling Green
March 2018
March 2
  • OASBO CE Payroll & Benefits Seminar for Support Staff — Columbus
April 2018
April 25
  • Higher Education Essentials employer workshop — Columbus

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