May Board News

Myers Wins Board Seat

Contributing teacher member Tim Myers was reelected to the State Teachers Retirement Board in the 2016 election. The term for this seat begins Sept. 1, 2016, and ends on Aug. 31 2020.

Board Considers Updates to Strategic Goals Document

During the May meeting of the State Teachers Retirement Board, STRS Ohio executive director Michael Nehf reviewed changes that staff is recommending to STRS Ohio’s Strategic Goals document. The Strategic Goals document provides an overview of the retirement system’s goals, along with objectives and initiatives developed to meet the approved strategic goals.

Staff’s recommended changes include adding a new strategic goal to address STRS Ohio’s health care funding challenges. Proposed objectives under this new goal include:

  1. Determine the components that deliver a plan that represents a good value;
  2. Evaluate the impact of additional health care plan changes on enrollees and the health care program’s funding;
  3. Work with membership and stakeholder groups on approaches to increase funding; and
  4. Continue open and honest communication with the membership and stakeholders.

Staff also recommended adding a new objective to address business continuity and disaster recovery to the current strategic goal, “Ensure a high level of quality service to STRS Ohio members.” The proposed objective will direct staff to focus on further strengthening business continuity capabilities.

Staff requested that the board take action on these proposed updates at its June meeting.

Board Reviews Preliminary 2017 Health Care Premiums; Amends April Reduction in Subsidies for Non-Medicare Benefit Recipients

At its April meeting, the Retirement Board approved changes to the health care program for 2017, and some of these changes impact the premiums that enrollees will pay next year. At its May meeting, the board got a first look at proposed health care premiums for the 2017 plan year. Staff conferred with health care consultants and actuaries to determine the expected costs for the self-insured and fully insured programs.

Due to action the board approved in April to reduce the subsidy multiplier to 1.8% per year of service (from 2.1%) for non-Medicare benefit recipients, proposed premiums climbed sharply for this group. Following discussion during the May meeting, the board voted to amend its action taken at the April meeting, changing the subsidy multiplier to 1.9% per year of service for non-Medicare benefit recipients — a move that reduces the proposed premium increase for this group. Next month, the board is expected to vote on health care premiums for the 2017 plan year. Once approved, the premiums will be posted on STRS Ohio’s website.

Retirements Approved

The Retirement Board approved 38 active members and 76 inactive members for service retirement benefits.

Other STRS Ohio News

Defined Contribution Plan Assets Reach $1 Billion

Nearly 15 years after its inception, assets in the STRS Ohio Defined Contribution (DC) Plan exceeded $1 billion in April 2016. A total of 20,505 members are enrolled in the DC and Combined plans, with 63% in the DC Plan and 37% in the Combined Plan. Members enrolled in these plans have 16 allocation options managed by STRS Ohio. One option is the STRS Total Guaranteed Return Choice that provides a guaranteed interest rate on contributions and transfers. In addition, there are seven different Target Choice Options that pinpoint a year in the future that would roughly match a participant’s retirement date and adjust allocations over time. Other options range from the conservative STRS Money Market Choice to a small company equity choice and an international equity index.