STRS Ohio News

STRS Ohio Executive Director Michael Nehf to Retire June 30

Executive Director Michael Nehf announced his plans to retire when his current contract ends on June 30, 2020. Nehf served as just the ninth executive director in the Retirement System’s 100-year history. He joined STRS Ohio in 2008.

“It has been an honor to serve Ohio’s public educators as executive director of the system,” Nehf said. “The Retirement Board, STRS Ohio staff and I have shared a commitment to the system’s mission — to partner with our members in helping to build retirement security. The financial markets took a downturn shortly after I joined the STRS Ohio team. With the cooperation and understanding of STRS Ohio stakeholders, we have seen steady improvements in the system’s funding levels. I hope to see this progress continue as the system embarks on its second century of service to our members.”

Under Nehf’s leadership, STRS Ohio:

  • Grew assets to the current total of more than $78 billion — despite the Great Recession (when assets dropped to as low as $46 billion).
  • Successfully gained support and passage of a pension reform bill that significantly improved the funding level and sustainability of the system.
  • Successfully worked with the board, staff and stakeholders to improve the solvency of the retiree health care program.
  • Maintained its commitment to providing exceptional service to STRS Ohio members and retirees, as the system earned the #1 service level in CEM Benchmarking’s Pension Administration Survey in each of the past four years.
  • Earned highly positive overall impressions of active and retired members as measured by annual member surveys.

Nehf also noted that it has been a team effort to make these strides. “I would like to thank all of the board members, STRS Ohio associates and stakeholders who have worked with me over this past decade to partner in our accomplishments.”

Carol Correthers, chair of the State Teachers Retirement Board, recognized Nehf’s contributions to the Retirement System, “We have been very fortunate to have Mike’s steady hand at the helm during this time in the system’s history. He helped STRS Ohio navigate needed pension reforms and now the condition of the fund is steadily improving. His commitment to STRS Ohio’s membership has been unwavering, he’s fostered a positive culture among staff and worked effectively with Ohio’s legislators. My board colleagues and I are grateful for his leadership.”

The Retirement Board selected executive search firm Korn Ferry to assist in its search for STRS Ohio’s next executive director. Interested parties may be referred to the STRS Ohio website for additional details. The board plans to have a new executive director named by June 30, 2020.

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100th Anniversary Update — Members, Retirees Share Their Stories

As STRS Ohio recognizes its 100th anniversary during fiscal year 2020, members and retirees have been sharing their stories on the STRS Ohio website. Among them...

“The guidance from STRS as I head toward retirement has been wonderful. I feel that I have been on the right path since I began my career with the workshops, etc., STRS provided throughout my teaching career.”

A. Martin — Current Teacher, West Liberty-Salem Schools, 29½ Years

“Students have inspired me to do whatever it takes to help a child to find success.”

C. McDonald — Retired 2012, Orange City Schools, 40 Years

“Everything you do and say will be remembered by many of your students for the remainder of their lives. You are given the opportunity to ‘form the very lives’ of your students.”

P. Sites — Retired 2000, Jackson City Schools & Wellston City Schools, 54 Years

A young lady asked, “Do you remember Jack Jones?” I thought for a moment and responded. “Yes. He was one of my first students.” She responded, “He talks about you all the time.” I asked, “Is that your father?” She answered, “No. It’s my grandfather.”

P. Sites — Retired 2000, Jackson City Schools & Wellston City Schools, 54 Years

“I am very happy with my pension. It has enabled me to continue the standard of living I had when teaching.”

M. Allgood — Retired 1986, Pulaski (Wilmington) School District and Taylor (New Castle) School District (both Pennsylvania); Poland Local Schools, 34 Years, STRS Ohio Centenarian Member

“STRS brought me security in my retirement.”

R. Emmitt — Retired 1974, Akron City Public Schools, 32 Years, STRS Ohio Centenarian Member

All members and retirees are invited to read more of these entries and to share their stories with us.

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Tax Info Available Online in January

STRS Ohio will have 1099-R forms for 2019 prepared in January 2020. This form provides your 2019 pension distribution for use in calculating your income taxes. The form will be available through the password-protected Online Personal Account section of the STRS Ohio website. The forms will be mailed by the end of January 2020. You can opt out of the mailing and view the form online instead by logging in to your Online Personal Account and updating your correspondence preferences.

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Direct Deposit Dates

There are a few times each year when the first banking day does not fall on the first day of the month. These banking days are posted on STRS Ohio’s website. Below are the direct deposit dates for the rest of 2019 and all of 2020.

2019
Nov. 1 Dec. 2
2020
Jan. 2 Feb. 3
March 2 April 1
May 1 June 1
July 1 Aug. 3
Sept. 1 Oct. 1
Nov. 2 Dec. 1

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Retirement Board Chair, Vice Chair Named

The State Teachers Retirement Board elected retired teacher member Rita Walters as its vice chair for the September 2019–August 2020 year. According to Board Policy, contributing teacher member Carol Correthers (Lorain City Schools, Lorain County), who was previously serving as vice chair, automatically moved into the position of board chair. Walters and Correthers assumed their new responsibilities on Sept. 1, 2019.

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STRS Ohio Earns Awards From Public Pension Coordinating Council

STRS Ohio received the Public Pension Standards Awards for Funding and Administration for 2018 from the Public Pension Coordinating Council (PPCC). PPCC is a confederation of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems and the National Council on Teacher Retirement. The awards recognize public pension plans that meet key standards in several assessment areas, including actuarial, audit, benefit programs and communications.

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STRS Ohio Earns GFOA Certificate of Achievement

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) awarded STRS Ohio its Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the system’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018. This award is the result of a coordinated effort from many departments including Communication Services, Finance, Investments, ITS and Member Benefits. STRS Ohio has received the GFOA award each year since 1990. Staff consolidates financial, investment, actuarial and statistical information into one publication that meets the standards established by the GFOA to receive this recognition.

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