SmartTALK Spring 2018

Retirement Plan Reselection Deadline is June 1

In March, STRS Ohio mailed reselection kits to members who are eligible to make their retirement plan reselection in 2018. The reselection option is now available to individuals who enrolled as new members between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, and selected STRS Ohio’s Defined Contribution Plan or Combined Plan at that time. Members who are eligible for their retirement plan reselection have until June 1, 2018, to complete and return their enrollment form. If you are eligible for reselection and do not return an enrollment form by the June 1 deadline, you will remain in your current plan.

The decision you make at this time will be permanent, and the plan you select will remain your retirement plan for as long as you remain an STRS Ohio member. The packets mailed in March included personalized account information, as well as an overview of each retirement plan, a plan comparison chart and an enrollment form with a reply envelope.

STRS Ohio’s goal is to receive an enrollment form from every member who is eligible to reselect. Your response will save STRS Ohio the cost of follow-up mailings and phone calls. If you have questions or need more information regarding your reselection decision, please call the STRS Ohio Member Services Center toll-free at 888‑227‑7877 or visit our website and click on “Plan Reselection Deadline Is June 1 for Defined Contribution and Combined Plan Participants” under News.

Total Guaranteed Return Choice 2018 Term Ends June 30

If you allocated contributions to the Total Guaranteed Return Choice 2018 (for contributions made between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014), you have an important decision to make. The five-year term for this choice ends on June 30, 2018, at which time you will need to transfer the accumulated value to other STRS Ohio allocation choices.

If no action is taken, the accumulated value of this choice will automatically be rolled into the STRS Target Choice 2020. Watch your mail in the coming weeks for more information and instructions about how to make your selection.

STRS Ohio Reviewing Defined Contribution Allocation Choices, Fees

STRS Ohio introduced its Defined Contribution and Combined Plans in 2001. Periodically, the retirement system conducts a review of its defined contribution program offerings — including allocation choices and fees. We are currently completing such a review and encourage you to watch your mail in the coming weeks for an announcement of updates to the program.

Investor’s Corner

Market Correction

U.S. stock market returns have experienced a volatile ride so far in 2018. S&P 500 Index returns were very strong in January, but tumbled in early February before recovering somewhat by month end. During a recent report to the Retirement Board, STRS Ohio Investment staff indicated that market volatility was unusually low during the past 15 months and should not be expected to remain that way indefinitely. This is why maintaining a diversified portfolio continues to be important.

Investment Choice Profile

This Quarter’s SmartTALK Profiles the STRS Russell Midcap Index Choice.

This allocation choice is intended to closely match the return of the Russell Midcap Index, before fees. The Index is composed of approximately 800 stocks chosen for the mid-size market capitalization and industry group representation. Companies in the information technology, financials, consumer discretionary, industrials, real estate and health care sectors make up about 78% of the holdings. Top holdings by company include Zoetis Inc., Prologis Inc., Progressive Corp., Analog Devices Inc., Marathon Petroleum, Illumina Inc. and Fidelity National Information Services Inc. Intermediate and long-term performance figures for this and all allocation choices are provided on the Investment Performance Report.

Ask SmartTALK

How do I determine my investment strategy?

Investors typically choose an investment strategy based on a number of factors — including risk tolerance, how many years until they retire, the lifestyle they want to maintain in retirement, health care needs, etc. STRS Ohio has a questionnaire developed by Wilshire Associates that can help you determine your investment style.

Generally speaking, many experts agree that as your retirement date draws near, a gradual move to lessen the risk in your portfolio makes sense. This can include a shift to greater exposure to fixed-income securities and reduced exposure to equities in an effort to reduce volatility. STRS Ohio offers seven Target Choice allocation options that do just that. These options target a date in the future that would roughly match a participant’s expected retirement date. As the target date approaches, the investment mix becomes more conservative. You can learn more about these Target Choice options on the STRS Ohio website, and you can discuss your investment strategy with a retirement specialist at Nationwide Retirement Solutions by calling toll-free 866‑332‑3342.