Get the Facts
NRW-2928AO.1

What are my Plan Options?

Becoming a member of STRS Ohio is just the first step in preparing for a secure future. The second step is to choose from the various plan options available to you:

  • STRS Ohio Defined Benefit Plan
  • STRS Ohio Defined Contribution Plan
  • STRS Ohio Combined Plan

STRS Ohio Defined Benefit Plan

The Defined Benefit Plan is a comprehensive plan that provides benefits during your career and in retirement. 

Under the Defined Benefit Plan, your retirement income is determined by a calculation that uses:

  • Your age,
  • Your years of service
  • Your final average salary (FAS) — the average of your five highest salary years

Your benefits are created by three sources:

  1. Your contributions during your career — you currently contribute 14% of your annual salary
  2. Your employer's contributions during your career
  3. Investment earnings resulting from those contributions

Contribution rates are established by the State Teachers Retirement Board and are subject to change.

STRS Ohio maintains a diversified portfolio strategically allocated among stocks and fixed income, real estate, international and alternative investments. STRS Ohio investment professionals manage these funds so that benefits are there for you at retirement. This can be an ideal plan for career educators.

What This Means for You

Your monthly benefit is predictable — it does not depend on investment performance.

With the STRS Ohio Defined Benefit Plan, you receive a monthly benefit payment in retirement based on service credit and final average salary — not prevailing market conditions — and access to health care coverage* if you meet health care eligibility conditions. Benefits while you are teaching include survivor benefits and disability protection.

* Coverage under the STRS Ohio Health Care Program is not guaranteed. STRS Ohio hopes to continue the program indefinitely, but reserves the right to change or discontinue all or part of the program for all or a class of eligible benefit recipients and dependents at any time.

STRS Ohio Defined Contribution Plan

Your retirement income is driven by three variables: the performance of the investment choices you select, the amount of contributions deposited to your account — your contributions and the amount of employer contributions added to your account — and market annuity rates in effect at retirement. You may allocate your contributions among various investment options managed by STRS Ohio. Benefits such as disability protection, survivor benefits and health care coverage in retirement are your responsibility; they are not provided by STRS Ohio. Keep in mind that investing involves market risk, including possible loss of principal.

Your current contribution rate of 14% of your annual salary will go into your defined contribution account. Currently, employer contributions of 9.5% of salary will also be deposited in the defined contribution account, meaning that an amount equal to 23.5% of your salary will go directly into your account. These contribution rates are established by the State Teachers Retirement Board and are subject to change. If you leave teaching, you can withdraw these funds — plus any investment gains or losses. You are vested in your member contributions immediately. You are vested 20% per year in employer contributions. 

If you have credit in the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System or the School Employees Retirement System, selecting this plan may affect your future benefits from these systems. Please call STRS Ohio toll-free at 1-888-227-7877 for more information.

If you choose this plan now, you will have a chance to reselect your retirement plan in the fifth year of teaching.

What This Means for You

With the Defined Contribution Plan, you have control over your retirement account. You have the ability to monitor and manage your account to meet your retirement goals.


STRS Ohio Combined Plan

The STRS Ohio Combined Plan includes features of the Defined Benefit and the Defined Contribution Plans. From your current contribution of 14% of annual salary, 12% goes into a defined contribution account where the investment risk is assumed by you. However, 2% of your current contribution and employer contributions fund a defined benefit portion of the plan — invested by STRS Ohio investment professionals — to pay for service retirement, disability or survivor benefits, and access to retiree health care coverage*. Contribution rates and eligibility for health care are established by the State Teachers Retirement Board and are subject to change.

If you have credit in the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System or the School Employees Retirement System, selecting this plan may affect your future benefits from these systems. Please call STRS Ohio toll-free at 1-888-227-7877 for more information.

What This Means for You

If you retire with 35 years of service under the current formula, you will receive 35% of your final average salary as an annual retirement benefit, starting at age 60. You can also select from several payout options for the defined contribution portion of your account.

* Coverage under the STRS Ohio Health Care Program is not guaranteed. STRS Ohio hopes to continue the program, but reserves the right to change or discontinue all or part of the program for all or a class of eligible benefit recipients and dependents at any time.

Getting the help you need

The Plan Comparison Chart (PDF) allows you to compare the benefits of three plans side-by-side. Members eligible to select an alternative retirement plan (ARP) should use this version of the Plan Comparison Chart, which compares the three STRS Ohio's plans and an ARP.

PDFs require Adobe® Reader®

NRW-2826OH.8
NRW-2826OH.8
Modal Dialog Start Close

You are going to a page that is not part of this website

We make no endorsement of its content or guarantee of its accuracy. If the Continue button does not work, the page may have been moved or removed.

Please consider logging out of your account before you proceed.

Modal Dialog End