Five-Year Reselection Period Is Now Open for Eligible Members

In a few weeks, STRS Ohio will send retirement plan reselection information to Defined Contribution Plan and Combined Plan participants who are in their fifth year of service and are now eligible for their permanent plan election. If you are eligible to reselect your retirement plan and are changing plans, you must submit your retirement plan reselection by June 1, 2023, and the plan choice will become effective on July 1, 2023. Below, SmartTALK provides answers to questions about the reselection period.

Who is eligible to reselect their retirement plan?
The reselection window is open to Defined Contribution Plan or Combined Plan participants who are in their fifth year of STRS Ohio membership. Members are eligible if they enrolled as a new member between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019. If you were hired after this period, you will be notified when you are eligible for plan reselection during your fifth year of membership.

What retirement plan choices are available and how do I indicate my selection?
Your options include the STRS Ohio Defined Benefit Plan, the Defined Contribution Plan or the Combined Plan. You can log in to your Online Personal Account and make your selection online after you receive your reselection information.

Do I have to change plans?
No. Eligible members who do not make a choice during the reselection period must remain in their current plan for as long as they are STRS Ohio members.

What happens to my defined contribution account if I change plans?
The answer depends on your current plan and the plan you now choose as your permanent plan. If you select the Defined Benefit Plan, your current defined contribution account will be closed, and you will no longer have an account to manage. Instead, a defined benefit account will be created for you, based on your years of service as if you originally enrolled in the Defined Benefit Plan. If you select either the Defined Contribution Plan or the Combined Plan as your permanent plan, you will still have a defined contribution account to manage. The STRS Ohio Retirement Plan Reselection Options brochure that you will receive in March covers these options in greater detail.

Will I have another chance to reselect my retirement plan?
No. This is a one-time opportunity to change plans. The decision you make now is permanent, and the plan you choose will be your retirement plan for as long as you are an STRS Ohio member. The deadline for your permanent reselection is June 1, 2023. You must respond with your selection by that date. If STRS Ohio does not receive your selection by the deadline, you must remain in your current plan, in accordance with Ohio law.

What if I don’t receive my reselection packet in the mail or if I have more questions?
If you have not received your reselection packet by the end of March, call our Member Services Center toll-free at 888‑227‑7877 for a replacement packet. STRS Ohio staff is also available to answer any questions you have about this important decision.

Investor’s Corner

Retirement Resources

STRS Ohio and Nationwide Retirement Solutions (NRS) offer online resources to help you plan for a sound retirement. The NRS/STRS Ohio website offers tools and tips including:

  • Secure access to your online account
  • Ability to see your account balance and set allocation for future contributions
  • Financial tools and calculators
  • An online retirement planning tool called “My Interactive Retirement PlannerSM that helps you assess your retirement readiness

If you have not yet registered for your online account, you can do so here.

Investment Choice Profile

This quarter’s SmartTALK profiles the STRS MSCI World ex USA Index Choice.

The STRS MSCI World ex USA Index Choice is intended to closely match the return of the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) World ex USA Index, before fees. This investment choice is based on the share price of approximately 1,000 companies listed on stock exchanges in 22 developed countries. Companies listed on exchanges in Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Switzerland, Germany and Australia make up about 75% of the index.

This investment option is intended as a long-term investment choice due to the higher volatility of returns of international stocks over short-term periods. Risks of international investments include (but are not limited to) stock market risk, country risk and currency risk, which can adversely affect performance. Intermediate and long-term performance figures for this and all investment choices are provided on the Investment Performance Report.

Auditor of State Completes Special Audit of STRS Ohio

In December, the Ohio Auditor of State’s office released the report of its special audit of the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS Ohio). The special audit found no evidence of fraud, illegal acts or data manipulation related to the funds held in trust by STRS Ohio for its members. The special audit’s findings include, “STRS’ organizational structure, control environment and operations are suitably designed and well monitored, both internally and by independent experts. These experts help assure that STRS follows applicable asset and liability measurement, reporting, investing and cash management laws, professional standards, and best practices. Our conclusions are consistent with the findings of these independent firms.”

The special audit’s findings are consistent with those of a fiduciary performance audit, commissioned by the Ohio Retirement Study Council and completed last year by Funston Advisory Services LLC. The fiduciary performance audit found STRS Ohio is operationally excellent with effective operational policies and processes.

If you have any questions about the material in this newsletter, please contact STRS Ohio toll-free at 888‑227‑7877. This newsletter is intended merely as a general information reference for members of STRS Ohio. This newsletter is not intended as a substitute for applicable federal or state law, nor will its interpretation prevail should a conflict arise between its contents and applicable federal or state law. Before making decisions regarding your retirement, you should always consult with STRS Ohio as well as your personal tax, legal and financial advisors, as appropriate.