Frequently Asked Questions

Determining Membership

We have an employee who holds a teaching license. Do they automatically contribute to STRS Ohio?

No. It is not the person but the position held that determines membership. If the position requires a state board of education license under Sections 3319.22 to 3319.31, R.C., or meets other criteria as outlined here, then STRS Ohio membership is required.

The exception to this rule are coaches and athletic directors. For these positions, you need to examine whether or not the individual holds a valid teaching license or registration. If a coach or athletic director has a valid teaching license or registration, he or she contributes to STRS Ohio; if not, he or she contributes to the School Employees Retirement System of Ohio (SERS).

We are hiring a physical therapist as an independent contractor. His salary will be paid as a purchased service, not through payroll. Is this individual considered a member of STRS Ohio?

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 means 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 State Teachers 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].

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 to 3319.31, R.C.

Ohio Administrative Code Section 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 teaching earnings.

Our district requires our preschool teachers to be licensed individuals. Doesn’t this mean STRS Ohio membership is required?

Not necessarily. Regardless of whether the district requires the individual to have a license, STRS Ohio membership is generally based on whether the state board of education requires a license for the position. In the case of preschool teachers, head teachers in a special education preschool program are required to hold specific licensure which qualifies them for STRS Ohio membership. However, regular preschool teachers are not required to hold a license covered under STRS Ohio’s section of the Revised Code and, therefore, should be members of SERS. See STRS Ohio, SERS Clarification on Membership Determination for Preschool Teachers for more information.

Contracted Services

Approximately, how long will it take before we receive a determination of STRS Ohio membership?

Generally, the review process takes about one month from the time all information is received by STRS Ohio.

Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP)

What is the current ARP mitigating contribution rate?

The current ARP mitigating contribution rate is 2.91% of each ARP participant’s compensation.

When are the monthly ARP mitigating contributions due?

The monthly ARP mitigating contribution report, and its associated payment, are due the 15th of the month for the prior month’s payroll.

What are the allowable methods of submitting my monthly ARP mitigating contribution report?

The monthly ARP mitigating contribution report must be submitted to STRS Ohio electronically by one of the following methods:

  • Secure file upload on our website; or
  • Online entry in ESS.

Can I submit more than one ARP mitigating contribution for the same person in a month?

No. ARP mitigating contribution reports can contain only one record per person, per month. However, see the last question below for information about how to correct previously reported contributions via ESS.

Can I submit negative ARP mitigating contributions on my monthly ARP mitigating contribution report?

No. You may only report positive contributions on the monthly ARP mitigating contribution report. However, see the question below for information about how to correct previously reported contributions via ESS.

How can I correct a monthly ARP mitigating contribution report that I have discovered contained incorrect information?

Reporting errors can be corrected by creating an ARP Report adjustment in ESS. If the correction results in an additional contribution payment due, pay the necessary amount to STRS Ohio and submit a payment remittance (except when paying online through ESS direct debit). If the correction results in a net return of contributions to your school, then email your STRS Ohio payroll reporting representative to let us know whether the excess contributions will be used to pay future obligations or should be refunded to the school.