March Board News


Retirement Board Approves Benefit Plan Enhancements for Active Educators

At the March meeting of the State Teachers Retirement Board, the board approved two benefit enhancements for active members. Over the past three years, the board has provided benefit improvements for active and retired members totaling more than $3.8 billion.

The following approved changes take effect on June 1, 2024:

  • The current retirement eligibility rule requiring 34 years of service for an unreduced retirement has been made permanent. The minimum requirement for unreduced benefits was previously scheduled to increase to 35 years of service in August 2028.
  • Eligibility for a reduced retirement benefit has been lowered from 30 years of service to 29 years of service. The current eligibility for reduced retirement at age 60 with 5 years of service remains the same.

These changes were reviewed by the board’s actuarial consultant, Cheiron, which is required by law to determine whether proposed benefit changes will materially impair the fiscal integrity of the system.

The Retirement Board reviews benefits annually as part of its sustainable benefit enhancement plan. The board and its actuary will review benefits again, no later than spring 2025, to evaluate whether additional benefit plan design changes may be made in accordance with the laws in effect at that time.

Board Makes Eligibility Changes for Maximum Health Care Premium Subsidy

STRS Ohio currently subsidizes a portion of the monthly costs for eligible service retirement and disability benefit recipients who participate in the Defined Benefit Plan or Combined Plan. The amount of the premium subsidy is based on total years of service credit. At the March meeting, the Retirement Board approved changes to eligibility for the maximum health care subsidy reimbursement.

The changes are as follows:

  • Members who retire with 30 years of service between Aug. 1, 2023, and July 31, 2032, are eligible for the maximum health care subsidy reimbursement. This will go into effect with the January 2025 benefit payment.
  • For members who retire Aug. 1, 2032, or later, eligibility for the maximum subsidy will align with the eligibility for unreduced pensions (currently 34 years of service).

Consultants Provide Educational Seminar

Board members participated in an educational one-day session following the March board meeting with their general and alternative investment consultants.

Board Reviews STRS Ohio’s Enterprise Risk Management

Acting Executive Director Lynn Hoover and Chief Actuary Brian Grinnell provided updates to the board on the system’s enterprise risk management program, which outlines risks to STRS Ohio and the steps taken to mitigate them. Staff monitors and proactively manages key risks, weighing the probability and potential financial impact of such events. For example, a risk that could have a high financial impact on the system is the implementation of plan changes that prove to be unsustainable in the long term. Mitigation efforts such as having an outside actuary review changes before implementation reduces both the probability and the impact of this risk. This ongoing exercise helps the organization stay ahead of possible threats and ensures the long-term security of the retirement system.

Board Election Ballots to Mail by April 5; One Contributing Member Seat to Be Filled

The 2024 Retirement Board election will take place in April when ballots are mailed by a third-party vendor, Election Services Co., to all STRS Ohio members eligible to vote. In accordance with Ohio Administrative Code 3307-2-01, ballots will be mailed on or before April 5.

Two STRS Ohio members qualified through the nominating petition process to run for the contributing member seat: Michelle Flanigan and Sandy Smith Fischer. Those eligible to vote in the contributing member election include all STRS Ohio contributing members (except for reemployed retirees), individuals who have contributions on deposit with STRS Ohio and disability benefit recipients.

The ballot mailing will include candidate information submitted by each candidate and instructions for voting online, by phone or by mail. The deadline for voting is 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 6. STRS Ohio will share the results of the election following the presentation of results to the board of tellers on Saturday, May 11. The four-year term for this seat begins on Sept. 1, 2024.

Board members are not compensated for board service but may be reimbursed for actual necessary expenses incurred while serving on the board.

Retirements Approved

The Retirement Board approved 72 active members and 60 inactive members for service retirement benefits.