STRS Ohio Update From Acting Executive Director Lynn Hoover

Lynn Hoover  

As the school year wraps up for Ohio educators and summer approaches, I want to provide an update on a topic I mentioned earlier this year.

I shared a few months ago that STRS Ohio, at the direction of the State Teachers Retirement Board, is pursuing additional resources in the form of increased employer contributions to bolster the resiliency of the pension fund. Additional funding will allow the Retirement Board to consider benefit changes, such as sustainable inflation protection for retirees and reductions in retirement eligibility requirements for active teachers, sooner than would otherwise be possible.

I have joined the STRS Ohio Governmental Relations team in meetings with state legislators. We’ve also been engaging with teacher stakeholder groups, which I’m happy to say support this initiative. During these conversations we are listening, collaborating and sharing that the employer contribution rate for teachers in Ohio is the second lowest among states where teachers are not covered by Social Security, while the teacher contribution rate is the third highest. I will keep you posted on the initiative to increase employer contributions, and once a bill is introduced, I will explain how you can partner with us on this important endeavor.

A key foundation for these discussions is a newly released report from the Ohio Retirement Study Council (ORSC) on Ohio’s five statewide public pension systems. The report covers how steps taken by the Legislature and the Retirement Board strengthened STRS Ohio’s pension fund.

STRS Ohio investment returns, described in the report as “remarkable,” combined with the benefit changes have gone a long way toward moving STRS Ohio on the path to recovery and financial resilience. As I indicate in my letter to the ORSC chair, Ohio Sen. Mark Romanchuk, this is of little consolation to STRS Ohio members who have seen higher member contributions, increases to retirement eligibility requirements and decreases to benefits collectively agreed upon as part of pension reform. We will continue to talk with legislators and others on these important topics demonstrating the need for an increase in the employer contribution rate.

I hope that 2024 continues to be a healthy one for you and your loved ones. At STRS Ohio, the interests of more than half a million members are our top priority. We remain dedicated to fiscal responsibility and making sure your retirement system is always here for you and serves all members, both active and retired.

Lynn Hoover
Acting Executive Director

The mission of STRS Ohio is to provide Ohio’s public educators a foundation for their financial security. STRS Ohio members can submit questions/comments through the Contact Us email form or by calling the Member Services Center toll-free at 888‑227‑7877, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.