May Board News


Board Approves 1% Cost-of-Living Adjustment; Continues Retirement Eligibility at 34 Years

The Retirement Board approved benefit enhancements at its May meeting for both active and retired educators. The board’s actuarial consultant, Cheiron, presented several benefit enhancement options for fiscal 2024 that — as required under Ohio law — would not materially impair the fiscal integrity of the retirement system. The board made two changes so that both active and retired teachers would benefit.

Retirees who started receiving benefits on June 1, 2019, or earlier will receive a 1.0% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in fiscal year 2024. The increase will be added to the base benefit on the retirement date anniversary.

For teachers now in the classroom, the current retirement eligibility rule requiring 34 years of service for an unreduced retirement has been extended five years through July 2028. The requirement was scheduled to increase to 35 years of service on Aug. 1, 2023.

Educators may continue to retire at any age with as few as 30 years of service; however, actuarial reductions apply. STRS Ohio recommends an appointment with a benefits counselor to review retirement options at least three years before a planned retirement. 

The board and its actuary will review benefits again, no later than spring 2024, to evaluate whether additional benefit plan design changes may be made in accordance with the laws in effect at that time.

RETIREE Benefit Enhancement
COLA Retirees who started receiving benefits on June 1, 2019, or earlier will receive a 1.0% COLA in fiscal year 2024. The increase will be added to the base benefit on the retirement date anniversary. Examples:
A teacher who retired effective July 1, (2018 or earlier) will receive a COLA on July 1, 2023.

A teacher who retired effective June 1, (2019 or earlier) will receive a COLA on June 1, 2024.
ACTIVE MEMBER Benefit Enhancement
Retirement eligibility Eligibility to retire without any actuarial reduction will remain at 34 years of service through July 2028.

Note: Members who retired July 1, 2019, or later are not eligible for a COLA at this time (retirees must have received benefits for 60 months to be eligible for a COLA).

Member Benefits Ready to Help

Chief Benefits Officer Christina Elliott talked with the board about the Member Benefits team and its engagement with active and retired members statewide. Member Benefits connects with educators at all stages of their career including assistance with retiree health plan questions. Staff are prepared to assist members with important decisions that may, for instance, be impacted by the benefit enhancements described above. Employers and members may call, email or schedule an in-person or virtual visit with a benefits counselor or member education and outreach staff. Employers can request customized services. The Member Benefits team would be happy to visit your city, school district and any other location convenient for members. For more information call 888‑227‑7877.

Board Examines STRS Ohio Performance-Based Incentive Plan for Investment Staff

The Retirement Board received an in-depth look at the performance-based incentive (PBI) plan for eligible associates in the Investment Department. Aon/McLagan, the industry leader in compensation analysis, provided the review. The firm finds STRS Ohio’s plan is generally aligned with competitive market practice and that STRS Ohio competes with a broad range of firms for investment talent. The PBI plan is designed to attract, motivate and retain top-caliber professionals in order to drive strong investment returns and provide Ohio’s public educators a foundation for their financial security.

Retirements Approved

The Retirement Board approved 45 active members and 66 inactive members for service retirement benefits.