Full-time employees have the choice of a state pension plan (SERS or STRS) or the Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) that you manage like a 401k plan. You have 120 days from your date of hire to select the ARP. Part-time employees are enrolled in SERS. Adjuncts are enrolled in STRS.
Retirement (Pension) Resources
- Retirement Program Choices
- SERS Enrollment Forms (Staff)
- SERS Exemption form
- STRS Enrollment Form (Faculty)
- Retirement Plan Election Form
- Alternative Retirement Plan Options (vendors list)
- Retirement Planning Guide
403b and 457 Plans
- Supplemental Retirement Plan Vendors List
- 403(b) Annual Eligibility Notice 2021
- 403(b) and Roth 403(b) Contact List
- 403(b) and Roth 403(b) Salary Reduction Agreement
- 457(b) Salary Reduction Agreement
What does SERS and STRS stand for and which retirement system am I required to pay
SERS - School Employees Retirement System for staff employees
STRS - State Teachers Retirement System for faculty/teaching employees
Do I have to pay into the retirement system?
Yes, you must pay into the retirement system. As a state-supported Ohio public school, Columbus State does not pay into Social Security. Students who attend Columbus State and work at Columbus State at the same time are the only employees allowed to waive participation in the retirement system.
How can I contact State Teachers Retirement System or School Employees Retirement
The STRS Ohio Member Services Center provides a quick access to a service representative. Call STRS Ohio toll-free at 1-888-227-7877. For benefit information, you can log into their website at www.strsoh.org.
The School Employees Retirement System can be contacted toll-free at 1-866-280-7377. For benefit information, you can log into their website at www.ohsers.org
How much am I contributing to my SERS or STRS retirement account?
Staff and Administrative Staff paying into SERS contribute 10% of gross earnings. Columbus State contributes 14% of gross earnings.
Faculty and Administrative Faculty paying into STRS contribute 14% of gross earnings. Columbus State contributes 14% of gross earnings.
Can I increase or decrease the amount of money I am contributing to the retirement
No, you cannot. The contribution rates are state mandated.
What are the eligibility requirements for retirement with SERS?
Grandfathered members with 25 or more years of service on or before 8/1/2017 can retire with an unreduced benefit at any age with 30 years of service or age 65 with five years of service. Members can also retire with a reduced benefit at age 55 with 25 years of service or age 60 with five years of service.
Members who retire on or after 8/1/2017 must be age 67 with 10 years of service or age 57 with 30 years of service to retire with unreduced benefits. Members can also retire with a reduced benefit at age 62 with 10 years of service or age 60 with 25 years of service.
What are the eligibility requirements for retirement with STRS?
Unreduced Benefit for Retirement Between:
Minimum Age and Years of Service
Any Age and 33 yrs.; or age 65 and 5 yrs.
Any Age and 34 yrs.; or age 65 and 5 yrs.
Any Age and 35 yrs.; or age 65 and 5 yrs.
Age 60 and 35 yrs.; or age 65 and 5 yrs.
I have worked in the private sector before, how will my State pension retirement with
SERS and STRS impact my Social Security benefit?
The Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset explain how your Social Security benefit will be impacted by your State retirement benefit.
How many days do I have to elect an Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) and what happens
to my contributions while I decide on which retirement plan to elect?
You have 120 days from your date of hire to elect an ARP. Your funds will be sent to the respective retirement system based on your position until you decide. If you decide to elect an ARP, your funds will be transferred from the retirement system to the ARP vendor.
If I choose an ARP, how much does the college contribute to my retirement account
and how much do I contribute?
By law, a mitigation rate is charged to the employer contribution portion of the ARP reducing the amount of employer contributions deposited in your account. If you are a staff employee, you will contribute 10% of your gross earnings. Columbus State will contribute 14% of your gross earnings, however, only 10.52% is credited to your ARP account. If you are faculty, you will contribute 14% of your gross earnings. Columbus State will contribute 14% of your gross earnings, however, only 9.53% is credited to your ARP account.
How can I request a refund of my SERS or STRS contributions?
After you have terminated employment with Columbus State, you must contact SERS or STRS directly to request a refund of your account. Once you complete the refund application, the retirement system will forward your electronic certification form to the Columbus State Retirement Coordinator for processing.
I am already enrolled in the retirement system, because I teach at another institution.
Do I have to enroll again?
Yes, you must be enrolled in the retirement system for each employer you are working for.
My service credit is incorrect on my SERS or STRS Annual Statement. How can this be
Contact the Columbus State Retirement Coordinator and provide the fiscal year and service credit that is in question. After an audit is conducted, the Retirement Coordinator will forward the correct information to the retirement system. You will then need to contact the retirement system for a new Annual Statement.
Since we cannot increase our SERS, STRS or ARP contributions, what other options for
retirement savings do we have?
You can enroll in a tax deferred 403(b), 457 or after tax Roth 403(b).
Supplemental Retirement Plan
Plan name: Columbus State Supplemental Retirement Plans
Description: You have the opportunity to save for retirement by participating in a Roth 403(b), 403(b), or 457 plan through Columbus State Community College. Employees (with the exception of Student Employees) are eligible to participate in these plans.
Eligibility: To start your contribution, contact a participating provider and complete a salary reduction agreement and return to the Retirement Coordinator. The 403(b) plan shall be administered by VOYA Plan with Ease. Please note that in addition to completing and returning a salary reduction agreement, you must first establish an account with the participating investment provider(s) that you have selected on the salary reduction agreement.
Contact: Twila Wiley, Coordinator of Retirement Benefits
Plan with Ease Contact
How do I enroll in a 403(b) or 457?
You must contact one of the approved vendors to set up an account. The vendor will supply you with a salary reduction agreement or download a salary reduction agreement located in the Retirement (Pension) Resources section above. Return the completed salary reduction agreement to the Retirement Coordinator. See list of approved vendors.
How much am I able to contribute to a 403(b), or 457 Plan?
The 2021 contribution limit is $19,500. If you are age 50 or over, you can contribute an additional $6,500. Full-time and part-time employees may elect contributions as a percent of salary with a minimum of 5%. Full-time employees may also elect contributions as a specific dollar amount with a minimum election of $10.00.
How much does Columbus State contribute to my 403(b), or 457 plan?
There is no employer match for the types of plans.
When is the deadline to enroll in a 403(b), 457 plan?
There is no deadline to enroll.
Can I enroll in more than one plan at a time?
Yes, you can.