May Board News


Board Seeks to Gather Information About Possible Benefit Changes

The State Teachers Retirement Board directed staff to gather information about potential benefit changes for the pension fund. This includes an accelerated review of the upcoming annual actuarial valuation, laying the groundwork for a fall discussion of a possible fiscal year 2026 cost-of-living allowance (COLA) for retirees. Additionally, the board directed STRS Ohio staff to explore the feasibility of providing a one-time supplemental benefit to retirees in December 2024, serving as a form of inflation protection.

Board Makes Change to Health Care Premium Subsidy Eligibility

To align the health care premium subsidy with the retirement eligibility change announced in March (starting June 1, 2024, members can retire with a reduced benefit after 29 years of service), the board approved an increase in the subsidy for anyone who retires between August 2023 and July 2032 with 29 years of service. This change moves the subsidy to 72.5% from 60% for non-Medicare enrollees with 29 years of service and to 63.8% from 52.8% for Medicare enrollees with 29 years of service.

Asset-Liability Study Timeline Outlined

The board’s investment consultant, Meketa Investment Group, will begin an asset-liability study starting in September. Best practices are to conduct this kind of study every three to five years and when economic conditions materially change. Meketa will present preliminary results in December and complete the study in March, when the board will vote on a new asset mix.

Personnel Updates

At the May meeting, the Retirement Board approved a motion to continue Bill Neville on paid administrative leave, maintaining the existing terms and conditions, until June 30, 2024. The board also approved a motion to continue Lynn Hoover as acting executive director, upon existing terms and conditions, until June 30, 2024.

Board Governance Discussed; Committee Charters Approved

In 2022, a fiduciary audit from Funston Advisory Services was completed that included recommendations related to board governance topics such as policies, committees and education. The board has made significant progress on governance-related recommendations and plans to continue working with a third-party consultant to maintain forward progress.

One recommendation from the audit was to streamline the committee structure of the board. The Audit, Investment, Legislative and Governance Committees met in April, and the committee chairs gave reports on the committee meetings and revised committee charters to the full board this month. Committee charters were approved, and possible board policy changes were discussed, including changes to the timing of chair and vice chair elections.

Other STRS Ohio News

Flanigan wins seat on the Retirement Board

Contributing teacher member Michelle Flanigan of Brunswick City Schools was elected to the State Teachers Retirement Board in the 2024 election that concluded on May 6. The term for this seat runs from Sept. 1, 2024, to Aug. 31, 2028. Board members receive no compensation for service on the board other than reimbursement for actual, necessary expenses.

Board chair, vice chair elected

At the May meeting, the board elected retired member Rudy Fichtenbaum as chair and retired member Elizabeth Jones as vice chair through Aug. 31, 2024.

Special board meeting scheduled

The Retirement Board will hold a special meeting on Thursday, May 30, at 1 p.m. A public notice including agenda topics will be posted prior to the meeting.

Retirements Approved

The Retirement Board approved 38 active members and 53 inactive members for service retirement benefits.