ARP Reporting


An alternative retirement plan (ARP) is a defined contribution plan offered to eligible public college and university faculty teaching in Ohio. Eligible employees include all new full-time academic and administrative employees, as well as full-time reemployed retirees employed by a college or university.

ARPs are offered through each college or university by private vendors and offer an alternative to participation in STRS Ohio. Ohio law requires all public colleges and universities offer an ARP in addition to STRS Ohio. The chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education has approved the following vendors that colleges and universities may use.

  • Equitable Life Insurance Company
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Lincoln Financial Group
  • MassMutual Financial Group
  • TIAA
  • Voya Financial

ARP Contributions

Ohio law requires employers to contribute to the ARP vendor a percentage of each ARP participant’s compensation. The current required employer contribution rate is 11.09%.

The employer is also required monthly to remit and report 2.91% of each ARP participant’s compensation to STRS Ohio. The 2.91% employer contribution is referred to as the mitigating contribution rate. These payments go toward meeting the employer’s proportionate share of STRS Ohio’s unfunded accrued liability. This contribution requirement begins with an employee’s ARP effective date.

Five mitigating contribution rates have been in effect since the inception of ARPs. Below is a history of the mitigating contribution rate for ARP participants:

Effective Date Rate*
July 1, 2022, to present 2.91%
July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2022 4.47%
July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2017 4.50%
Oct. 1, 2001, through June 30, 2013 3.50%
July 1, 1999, through Sept. 30, 2001 5.76%
ARP inception through June 30, 1999 6.00%

*The ARP contribution rate is subject to review every five years per Ohio law.

ARP Election Process

Election Period

A full-time employee working in an STRS Ohio-covered position has 120 days from his or her starting date of employment to select a retirement plan. Once an employee elects to contribute to an ARP, the choice cannot be changed; the election is final, and the election period is closed. Employees who do not elect an ARP will automatically become members of STRS Ohio. New STRS Ohio members who do not choose an ARP within the 120-day election period have an additional 60 days (a total of 180 days from the first day of paid service) to select one of the three STRS Ohio retirement plans. Employees who do not select an STRS Ohio plan during this 180-day period will automatically join the Defined Benefit Plan and remain in it as long as they are an STRS Ohio member.

An ARP election becomes irrevocable when the election is made and is effective back to the first day of employment.

Example: You hire a new faculty member who begins employment on Sept. 1. The new employee elects an ARP on Nov. 12. This election is irrevocable on Nov. 12. The effective date of the election is the first date of employment, Sept. 1. This means that all earnings since Sept. 1 are subject to 2.91% mitigating contributions.

An election to participate in STRS Ohio becomes irrevocable after the employee’s 120-election period expires.

Example: You hire a new employee who begins employment on Sept. 1. The new employee elects STRS Ohio on Nov. 12. This election becomes irrevocable on Dec. 31, the 121st day after the first date of employment.

ARP participants who terminate employment in an ARP-eligible position must remain in the ARP as long as there is no more than a one-year break in employment with their college or university. This rule affects both (1) ARP participants who move from a full-time to a part-time position, and (2) ARP participants whose break in service with their college or university is less than one year.

Required Election Form

An ARP election made by an eligible employee is irrevocable and is effective back to the first day of eligible employment. The employee must complete Sections 1, 2 and 3 of the Retirement Plan Election Form and return it to their employer. The employer completes the certification at the bottom of the form and submits the form to STRS Ohio within 10 days. The employer can mail election forms to the address below or scan and send via secure file upload.

STRS Ohio Employer Reporting Dept. 275 E. Broad St. Columbus, OH 43215-3771

Certified election forms should include the amount of employee and employer contributions already remitted to STRS Ohio via payroll reporting from the ARP effective date through the last date the employee was included on an STRS Ohio payroll report.

STRS Ohio will forward contributions to the employee’s selected ARP vendor within 30 days of receiving the properly certified election form. The contributions should not be included on the annual report. Any underpayment or overpayment to the vendor as a result of an employer’s certification error will be the responsibility of the employer.

Considerations When Transferring Between Ohio Retirement Systems

If an employee has an active ARP election with another Ohio public retirement system and is now employed in an STRS Ohio-covered position, the employee must remain a participant in the ARP and is not eligible to make a new election with STRS Ohio. A new hire notification or reemployed retiree notification is not required for this employee; however, STRS Ohio requires you to provide the following information about the employee for our records:

  • Name
  • Social Security number
  • Birth date
  • Gender
  • Effective date of employment in an STRS Ohio-covered position
  • Certification that ARP contributions are the result of an active ARP election made with another Ohio public retirement system

Please provide the required information to the address below or fax the information to 614‑227‑7893.

STRS Ohio Employer Reporting Dept. 275 E. Broad St. Columbus, OH 43215-3771

While a copy of the election form is not required, it can be used to provide us with the necessary information listed above. If you choose to send the election form, include the employee’s date of employment in an STRS Ohio-covered position.

Keep in mind, the mitigating contribution rate may be different if an employee’s membership requires a change in retirement systems.

For example, if an employee moves from an STRS Ohio-covered position to a position covered by Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) or School Employees Retirement System (SERS) while continuously employed and contributing to an ARP, the employer remits the 2.91% mitigating contribution to STRS Ohio until the effective date of the change in the employee’s position. After that time, the applicable contribution rate should be remitted to OPERS or SERS. Conversely, the 2.91% mitigating contribution should be remitted to STRS Ohio when continuously employed individuals contributing to an ARP move from an OPERS- or SERS-covered position to an STRS Ohio-covered position.

ARP Reporting Process

Mitigating contributions are due to STRS Ohio for as long as the employee is continuously employed in an STRS Ohio-covered position. An employer’s 2.91% mitigating contribution for ARP participants is due to STRS Ohio for each month in which compensation is paid. Compensation for ARP mitigating contributions is the same definition used for reporting member and employer contributions. It generally includes all earnings, salary and wages paid to an individual during his or her employment. Please refer to the Compensation fact sheet for more information.

ARP reports listing mitigating contributions and payments for ARP participants are due to STRS Ohio by the 15th of each month for the prior month’s payroll. This process includes the following steps:

  1. Remit payment of your 2.91% mitigating contributions along with an online payment remittance. Note: A remittance is not required when making a direct debit payment in ESS.
  2. Submit the ARP report containing mitigating contributions and earnings for each ARP participant via ESS or secure file upload using the required record layout.
  3. The ARP report and payment are reconciled at STRS Ohio. STRS Ohio will contact you if any errors are identified or if payments do not match the amounts listed on the report.
  4. Contributions for compensation reported on the monthly ARP report should not appear on your payroll reports or annual report.

Employers can submit only one ARP report per month. Do not include multiple records for an employee, or negative contributions or earnings on the monthly ARP report.

Making Adjustments or Corrections the Monthly ARP Report

If an error affects most or all of the participants on the current monthly ARP report, contact STRS Ohio to arrange for resubmission of your entire report.

If an error only affects a small number of participants, submit an ARP adjustment report in ESS. Remit the appropriate additional payment, if necessary. If a credit is created, notify STRS Ohio about whether you would like a refund or prefer the credit be applied toward future obligations. Please note, unlike the monthly ARP report, ARP adjustment reports can contain negative contribution values.

Corrections for prior months should be sent separately from your current monthly ARP report.

Residual Account Balance

If an individual previously had an account with STRS Ohio but then later becomes eligible for and chooses an ARP, he or she has two options relating to the residual account balance with STRS Ohio.

Option 1 — Leave contributions with STRS Ohio

Defined Benefit Plan Defined Contribution Plan Combined Plan
  • Deposits continue to earn interest.
  • Can purchase service credit if eligible.
  • Can restore withdrawn credit.
  • Entitled to benefits if age and service eligibility requirements are met.
  • Can combine credit with OPERS and SERS upon retirement.
  • Continue to accrue market gains and losses, and fees.
  • Can purchase credit if eligible.
  • Entitled to benefits if age and service eligibility requirements are met (DB portion).
  • Continue to accrue market gains and losses (DC portion), and fees.

Option 2 — Transfer STRS Ohio account to the ARP vendor

Transferred funds include all teaching contributions, purchased credit, gains, interest and matching funds, less losses/fees if any.

A faculty member cannot transfer funds if currently contributing to:

  • STRS Ohio through another employer; or
  • OPERS or SERS through another employer, from which the faculty member’s STRS Ohio-covered employment has terminated. (This applies to STRS Ohio Defined Benefit Plan members only.)

To transfer funds, the member must submit a withdrawal application to STRS Ohio. STRS Ohio will notify the employer when a withdrawal certification is ready to complete in ESS.

Getting Help

STRS Ohio Employer Reporting

ARP Reports and Payments Jim Peterman Employer Account Representative 614‑228‑7224 [email protected]

STRS Ohio Member Services

ARP/STRS Ohio Plan Questions Shara Bailey Senior Benefits Coordinator 614‑227‑5235 [email protected]