I have good news to report. For fiscal year 2021 (July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021), STRS Ohio’s investments returned more than 29%, and total investment assets on June 30 exceeded $94.8 billion. This means our assets under management rose about $17.7 billion during the 2021 fiscal year and more than $24 billion since the March 2020 lows. Please recall, only about $87.5 billion of that total are defined benefit assets. Approximately $2.4 billion of the total belongs to Defined Contribution Plan members and about $4.9 billion are dedicated to the STRS Ohio Health Care Program for benefit recipients. One final note on assets, these figures are all after we paid over $7.5 billion in pension benefits and retiree health care expenses during fiscal year 2021.
You may be asking what STRS Ohio will do as a result of these strong returns. At its June meeting, the chair of the Retirement Board, Rita Walters, asked staff to evaluate the possibility of providing some level of inflation protection for retirees. Because Ohio law requires the system’s actuary to assess the impact of benefit changes, I anticipate this discussion will take place when the board’s independent actuary, Cheiron, presents to the board in October.
I hope all of you are having a safe and enjoyable summer. To those of you returning to the classroom this fall, thank you for the important work you do.
William J. Neville