SERS: Grateful for 85 Years

A lot has changed since 1937. For instance, the price of gas, which was 10 cents per gallon, and the cost of a movie ticket, which was 25 cents. But one thing that has remained constant is SERS’ commitment to its members, retirees, and employers.

From its humble beginnings on September 1, 1937, with $5,000 in start-up money from the state of Ohio to having $17.80 billion in assets as of May 31, 2022, SERS continues to be a defined benefit pension system that more than 227,000 members and retirees can count on.

SERS remains an important foundation in retirement, paying out $1.5 billion in post-retirement and health care benefits in fiscal year 2021. As our System has matured, we have expanded our focus to providing financial education and awareness through various resources such as webinars, conferences, social media, and our website, ensuring our members have all the information necessary to achieve retirement security.

Some highlights throughout the years include:

  • 1942: SERS reached 11,773 members with an average annual salary of $1,120
  • 1951: SERS began offering survivor benefits, including disability benefits provided since inception
  • 1959: Years of service for a full pension decreased from 40 to 35
  • 1962: Health care coverage became available with retirees paying the full premium
  • 1974: SERS established a subsidized health care program
  • 1976: Years of service for a full pension decreased from 35 to 30
  • 1977: Added health care eligibility for dependents
  • 1992: All non-certificated public school employees, with minimal exceptions, were required to contribute to SERS
  • 1993: SERS developed a new disability program that allows members to apply for disability regardless of age
  • 2000: 102% funded over 25 years with $0 in unfunded liabilities
  • 2005: SERS’ Board of Trustees was expanded from seven to nine members, with the addition of three investment experts
  • 2021: SERS has 146,646 members with an average salary of $24,700

For more financial, demographic, and health care milestones for each decade, as well as pension and health care timelines, visit the SERS History page.

Also, as we kick off SERS’ 85th anniversary, celebrate with us by following our Facebook and Twitter page for SERS trivia and fun facts throughout the month of September.

Finally, SERS’ Board and staff would like to thank its members and retirees – the employees who manage the daily operations of our K-12 schools, community schools, and community colleges – for their commitment to our schools and children. Without these unsung heroes who help keep our children safe and schools running smoothly, SERS wouldn’t be the mature system it is today.

We are grateful for you.

Before You Call: Answers to Frequently Asked QuestionsCLICK HERE