STRS Ohio is responding to Gov. DeWine’s recent request to have only essential workers reporting for work at this time. STRS Ohio implemented work from home measures last week for associates who were able to do so, and we will continue to reduce the number of staff members at our Columbus office. We want you to know that we are continuing to serve our members during this time and want to assure you that benefit payments will continue to be made as scheduled on the first banking day of the month. STRS Ohio values the health and safety of our members, stakeholders and associates, and we understand that the services you are counting on must continue.
While face-to-face counseling meetings have been canceled for the time being, members are continuing to take part in one-on-one teleconferences to meet their needs. If you are planning to retire at the end of this school year, there is still time to teleconference with a benefits counselor and apply for retirement online. These teleconferences can be scheduled through the STRS Ohio Call Center (toll-free) 888-227-7877, or through your Online Personal Account. We are not scheduling walk-in appointments at our Columbus office at this time.
Our Call Center is available and is currently taking about 1,000 calls per day. Call volume is heaviest between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., so if you call during this time, your wait might be a little longer. STRS Ohio Member Education seminars are now offered as online webinars that can be viewed on your home computer, tablet or other mobile device.
Benefit applications continue to be processed, with online forms being the best option. We will continue to process paper forms; however, those will be delayed due to the latest steps taken by the state to have citizens remain at home.
We hope our members and stakeholders are healthy and well, and we continue to urge you to follow the safety precautions issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov), as well as the authorities in the state where you live. STRS Ohio will continue to use our website and email news service to keep members and stakeholders informed of any changes at STRS Ohio resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.