SmartTALK

Retirement Plan Reselection Deadline is June 1; Online Enrollment Now Available

In March, STRS Ohio mailed reselection packets to members who are now eligible to make their retirement plan reselection in 2019. The final reselection option is available now to individuals who enrolled as new members between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015, and chose to participate in either STRS Ohio’s Defined Contribution Plan or Combined Plan at that time.

Members who are eligible for this final selection have until June 1, 2019, to complete their enrollment. If you are eligible for reselection and do not choose a plan by the June 1 deadline, you will remain in your current plan. The decision you make now 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.

You can make your selection by mailing or faxing the Retirement Plan Reselection Form that was included in the reselection packet to STRS Ohio or by using the new online tool. The online tool is available through your Online Personal Account. From your Online Personal Account, click on “Member Information” in the top menu and then “Retirement Plan Reselection” under Useful Links.

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 click on “Plan Reselection Deadline Is June 1 for Defined Contribution and Combined Plan Participants.”

Total Guaranteed Return Choice 2019 Term Ends June 30

If you allocated contributions to the Total Guaranteed Return Choice 2019 (for contributions made between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015), you have an important decision to make. The five-year term for this choice ends on June 30, 2019, 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 option that falls immediately before your 60th birthday (or the next closest STRS Target Choice option if you have already reached age 60). Watch your mail in the coming weeks for more information and instructions about how to make your selection.

Investor’s Corner

Benchmarks

A benchmark is a standard — usually an unmanaged index — used for comparative purposes in assessing an allocation choice’s performance. Major U.S. stock indexes include the Russell 1000 Index and the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index. Investors cannot invest directly in an index. STRS Ohio uses several “index choice” allocation options that are designed to closely match the return (before fees) of a particular market index (e.g, STRS Russell 1000 Index Choice or STRS MSCI World ex USA Index Choice).

Investment Choice Profile

This quarter’s SmartTALK profiles the STRS Russell 1000 Index Choice.

The STRS Russell 1000 Index Choice is an allocation choice that is intended to closely match the return of the Russell 1000 Index before fees. The Russell 1000 Index is comprised of approximately 1,000 U.S.-based companies selected for their large market capitalization, liquidity and industry classifications.

Companies in the Information Technology, Financials, Health Care, Consumer Discretionary and Industrials sectors make up about 75% of the Index. Top holdings include Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc., Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and JP Morgan Chase and Co. Intermediate and long-term performance figures for this and all allocation choices are provided on the Investment Performance Report.

Ask SmartTalk

What is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)?

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) invest directly in the real estate market. REITs often own or finance real estate in a range of property sectors. For example, the STRS REIT Index Choice is composed of REITs that invest across as many as 14 property sectors — including apartments, office, health care, regional malls, industrial, data centers and more. REITs generally seek to provide a high dividend income component along with potential for capital market appreciation. Because they are concentrated in the real estate industry, REITs have relatively low correlation with stocks and bonds in other market sectors. Accordingly, they may experience increased volatility relative to the general markets, but can also play a role in helping to diversify a portfolio. Investors seeking exposure to REITs should review the risks carefully before investing.