Investment Consultant’s Report Shows STRS Ohio’s Investment Returns Outperform Benchmark and Most Peers Over Various Time Periods
At the February meeting of the State Teachers Retirement Board, STRS Ohio’s investment consultant, Callan LLC, reviewed the results of its quarterly performance report for periods ending Dec. 31, 2020. The report showed STRS Ohio’s investment returns ranked in the top 25% of Callan’s public fund sponsor database for the three-, five-, seven- and 10-year periods and exceeded its total fund benchmark returns for each of these time periods. The report also noted STRS Ohio’s calendar year return for 2020 was +12.26%. Callan’s public fund sponsor database includes more than 300 U.S.-based public funds.
2020 Survey Results Show Members Have Positive Overall Impressions of STRS Ohio
The Retirement Board reviewed the results of the 2020 membership survey that was conducted in November. The survey included a random sample of 302 retired members of the system and 303 active members — giving the results a sampling error of no more than plus/minus 5.7 percentage points. Key findings from the survey included:
- A vast majority of members — more than nine out of 10 retirees and more than eight out of 10 active members — have positive overall impressions of STRS Ohio.
- 85% of retirees and 78% of active members agreed that STRS Ohio has earned the trust and confidence of its members.
- About eight out of 10 retirees see the amount of their contributions relative to the pension benefits they receive as an excellent or good value.
- Most members reported positive overall impressions of the Retirement Board.
- About 90% of active and retired members believe STRS Ohio is open and honest in its communications and believe STRS Ohio keeps them well-informed about pension- and retirement-related issues.
- About 80% of active members indicated they are setting aside additional savings for retirement beyond their contributions to STRS Ohio.
- About 90% of retiree households have at least one source of income in addition to their STRS Ohio pension; 76% report having at least two additional sources of income beyond their STRS Ohio pension. Common additional sources include investments, Social Security and spouse’s pension. On average, retirees indicated STRS Ohio provides about 60% of the total household income.
Board Reviews Benefits Comparison of Teacher Retirement Systems
STRS Ohio staff presented a comparison of pension benefits provided by U.S. teacher retirement systems along with contribution rates. While no system ranked as best in all categories, STRS Ohio compares well overall against the other 12 states that do not contribute to Social Security. Information was compiled through system websites and financial reports, plus data from the National Council on Teacher Retirement, the National Association of State Retirement Administrators and interviews with system staff.
When compared to the other non-Social Security states, STRS Ohio:
- Has helped retirees keep up with inflation (members who retired in the last 20 years have a current benefit that represents about 95% of the purchasing power of their original benefit).
- Offers a service retirement benefit (as a percent of final average salary) that ranks at the 50th percentile for a member retiring in 2021 with 33 years of service.
- Has a total contribution rate that is the fourth lowest of 14 rates (some systems have more than one rate in place).
- Is one of seven retirement systems to provide subsidized health care coverage.
- Has a comparatively high funded ratio at 77.4%.
The Retirement Board approved 266 active members and 170 inactive members for service retirement benefits.
Other STRS Ohio News
Retirement Board’s virtual meeting recorded, will be posted to system website
The State Teachers Retirement Board has met virtually since its May 2020 meeting, with meetings open to the public via a link to GoToWebinar. The link is available through the Public Meeting Notice that is posted on the system's website. Beginning with the February meeting, STRS Ohio will post a recording of the meeting along with the meeting presentations on the Most Recent Board Meeting Materials page on its website in the Retirement Board section. The recording is expected to be available early in the week following the board meeting to allow for closed captioning to be added.