Tuesday, June 29, 2038
Friday, June 25, 2038
Thursday, June 24, 2038
Friday, May 28, 2038
Wednesday, February 27, 2036
Wednesday, April 11, 2035
Thursday, March 10, 2033
Monday, September 15, 2031
Note from this blogger.....
Monday, February 24, 2031
Tuesday, May 15, 2029
Gettin' a little tired.....
Saturday, April 29, 2028
I know, it's weird.........
Wednesday, February 24, 2027
This is an abbreviated version of the original 'Handy links' post. Click here to view a more complete list. (Some of it is old.)
Tuesday, February 24, 2026
Dennis Leone's STRS Report to ORTA, March 2007
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Thursday, April 27, 2017
80-member investment staff at STRS? You've got to be kidding me!
New COLA Tree from Bob Buerkle
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
The rest of Bob Buerkle's 4.20.17 speech to the STRS Board
Monday, April 24, 2017
Retirees home in on the grim news.....
(From Bob Buerkle)
Sunday, April 23, 2017
ORTA and OEA-R....haven't changed much in the last 8 years
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Wanna see what people are saying about the COLA cut?
Friday, April 21, 2017
Dennis Leone: Comments on Bob Buerkle's 4/20/17 speech to STRS Board
April 21, 2017
Thursday, April 20, 2017
April 20, 2017 STRS Board Speech by Bob Buerkle, former CFT Retirement Chair
In 2002 Ohio Legislators passed a law requiring STRS to annually pay a 3% simple COLA each year. This was the law. The effect of the law appears in Ohio Revised Code and STRS regulation 3307.67 prior to 01/07/2013. Effective on that date the law changed going forward to a 2% COLA after a one year freeze for retirees prior to 08/01/2013 and no COLA for 5 years for new retirees after that date. Laws can be prospectively changed so that they can be effective for future retirees who sign pension contracts after that date. That is not what happened to STRS Retirees who had retired under the old COLA law. They lost their contractually promised 3% COLA retroactively.
What STRS proposed in 2012, was to retroactively change previously guaranteed pension contracts, that included a 3% simple COLA. This was also done in such a way that it altered the Defined Benefit Contracts that retirees had selected and changed us to a quasi type of Defined Benefit/ Defined Contribution structure that allows STRS to place the risk of losses on the backs of the DB Pensioners, as if we were DC plan members.
Dayton Daily News on STRS COLA-cutting action 4.21.17
Tuesday, April 04, 2017
Kathie Bracy: Letter to ORTA Membership Committee Chairman Bruce Hodges
In addition to the two reasons stated above, ORTA made conscious choices to ignore proposals and initiatives that were authored and pushed by Dr. Leone while he was on the STRS Board (see the attached two documents) ALL of which were designed to support retirees and improve the overall management of STRS.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Dayton Daily News: Pension cuts looming for Ohio teachers and retirees
Pension cuts looming for Ohio teachers and retirees
STRS Ohio is the retirement system for 490,000 teachers and retirees. It had $72.1 billion as of June 30, 2016.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Bob Buerkle on the STRS funding crisis
Points made by Bob Buerkle in his February 2017 speech to the STRS Board
Here are a few of the points I brought up. I did not give the STRS a written copy of my speech.
Monday, March 20, 2017
Bob Buerkle's speech to STRS Board, March 16, 2017
Dean Dennis’ speech to STRS Board February 16, 2017
On February 16, I drove from Cincinnati to present before the Board. Having paid into the STRS Defined Benefit Plan for 35 years, I was quite upset over the mismanagement that caused the 1% deduction in the COLA for retirees who planned on the 3% promise. Worst was the COLA freeze teachers now retiring will have to endure, not to mention the entire revamping of the retirement schedule. It was my understanding that under the Defined Benefit Plan, STRS assumed all the risk. Changing the language to effect benefits after one retires I believe to be illegal. I'll share my wife also taught for 35 years. We were not expecting to lose half-a-million dollars in our retirement; especially after a combined 70 years of funding our pensions. The expectation under the Defined Benefit Plan, especially once retired, is that a benefit would stay the same, or increase, but would never be reduced (ORC 3307.67 states COLA's shall increase 3% annually). I believe past practice also establishes this. That said:
On February 16, I presented before STRS. It is my very strong belief that over the years our Board's have allowed a smaller and more efficient investment staff to grow and become a bloated less efficient financial operation. We also are spending unnecessary monies on consultants as a result. From a person who understands investments, STRS has become upside down. Instead of managing the investment department, you now are reacting to their inefficiencies. They need to be reacting to your management. Due to their mismanagement, you are once again considering cutting member benefits. Don't over react too soon. You need to give the market time to recover. We set our goals for 30 years, why do we not trust the 30 year market cycles?
Please listen; if you see a team that sets a benchmark goal that shoots for less than 8% annually, then you don't need that team. It shouldn't take a staff of 70 plus investment professions to find the symbols (VOO), (SPY), or (VFINX) and invest in the S&P 500 index. You are tolerating too many unnecessary investments using target assumptions that underachieve our benchmark needs. With 8% returns we can easily meet our funding goals. We should not be using the monies of our members to pay people to experiment by trying to beat the market indexes. It is very well documented that over 66% percent of money managers consistently under-perform the S&P 500 index. Employing over 70 people, paying them, and then giving them bonuses to under perform an index that has been around since 1926 is both irresponsible and reckless. I'll share again what I shared at the meeting (with3 minute time restraint). I'll state it in bold.
There has never been a 30 year period in the long proven history of the S&P 500, where the S&P 500 index hasn't gained at least 8% annually. In fact, over 60% of the time it averages over 10%. There have been 60 such thirty year periods. This should be easy to understand. In fact ask your investment advisers from Callan, like I did. I spoke with three individuals from Callan and they seemed to be in agreement with my premise. If you have any doubts please set a meeting, I'm happy to drive to Columbus again. To farther drive home my point, I can also show you that over the last 20 year period that the S&P Mid Cap index has nearly doubled the S&P 500. We should be doing better and spending less in doing so.
So, the S&P 500 index should be your baseline annual investment benchmark utilizing an 8% return objective. If you feel compelled to consider other investments, then they should always be above this benchmark. Listening to our investment team get rewarded while the rest of us are getting punished should be a red flag. It wasn't lost on some of us that while the investment team was getting positively acknowledged during the presentation for exceeding the performance of some of their peers; we were aware that our investment staff's performance lagged the market by nearly 2%. Last year the S&P 500 returned 9.8%, why would we even consider moving our benchmark down from 7.75%? The only reason that makes sense is that the investment staff can't be trusted to keep up with the market indexes or invest in them.
Lastly at this point the 30 year unfunded liability needs to be adjusted to 35 years. Unfortunately due to under performing investments future teachers will have to work 35 years to qualify for full retirement. Having to entice future teachers into our system when they have to work for 35 years and then wait until the age of 60 to retire jeopardizes our retirement system even farther. However, there is hope if we don't react hastily and get back on track. I for one am willing to help.
Please find attached the S&P 500 document referenced during my presentation. It breaks down annual investments in 5 year increments up to 25 years.
Retired CFT Field Representative
Dennis Leone’s speech to the STRS Board February 16, 2017
Recipients of 88% Benefit and COLA Related to Same
Sunday, March 19, 2017
RH Jones: Tell retired teachers to attend the April 20 STRS Board meeting
Friday, January 27, 2017
Handout to STRS Board members at their Education and Planning meeting 1/26/17
January 26, 2017
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
RH Jones: ORSC to try to take back 13th check?
On page 2 of the Winter 2015 ORTA Quarterly, Ann Hanning reports last in her list of the Ohio Retirement Study Council (ORSC): “removing the authority of the STRS board to issue a 13th check.” This is not the first time that the ORSC has considered backing the 13th check take away legislation. In 2004, the ORSC tried to “take back” this lawful benefit; and, if you readers would remember, on 10/19/2001, ORTA’s Executive Director of that time, David P. Travis, spoke before the STRS board in support of the 13th check (the Year-end [Christmas] Supplemental Clean-up check).
Bob Jones, retired OH teacher