Sunday, February 12, 2006

A Resolution from OFT: STRS employees must become members of STRS retirement plan, not OPERS

Retirement - STRS Ohio Employee Affiliation
WHEREAS the STRS financial and management teams were unable or unwilling to prevent the decline of our pension assets from dropping from a high water mark of over 58 billion dollars at the beginning of 2000 and, even though during this same period employer and employee contributions of over 7 billion more dollars were added to the total STRS fund, the value still plummeted to just over 42 billion dollars in February 2003, and
WHEREAS due to this vast and unnecessary free-fall in the total value of our retirement assets the STRS Management team recommended to the STRS Board (which concurred) that the following punitive and discriminatory measures be taken against current and future retirees:
1. Eliminated the 13th check for retirees, and
2. Decimated the Health Care Plan with huge increases in monthly premiums, deductibles, co-pays, maximum annual out-of-pocket costs, prescription drug costs, shorter prescription renewal periods for the chronically ill, and the total elimination of spousal and dependent health care subsidies, and
3. Approved a new discriminatory action against reemployed retirees and their Money Purchase Defined Contribution Plan (which is scheduled to begin on July 1, 2005) when the STRS will reduce the 100% employer match of the member’s contributions to 50%. (NO REDUCTION IS TO BE IMPOSED AGAINST BRAND NEW STRS MEMBERS WHO WILL CONTINUE TO RECEIVE A 105% MATCH OF THEIR DEFINED CONTRIBUTION RETIREMENT DEPOSITS), and .
WHEREAS, all efforts to communicate good ideas that would provide the STRS with ways to lessen the financial pain and reduce the mental stress for our members and our retirees have been to no avail, therefore
BE IT RESOLVED that the OFT seek legislation that would require the following:
1. STRS Employees must switch to become members in, and participants of, the STRS Retirement Plan instead of the OPERS Retirement, and
2. STRS must provide qualified Instructors to teach mandatory ethics classes on a regular and continuing basis to all STRS Employees and Board members since the proper ethical and moral treatment of all members, whose financial contributions have created and continue to sustain the STRS system, should be the premier and guiding principal the STRS must use “for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to participants and their beneficiaries” and a prudent person would do and as it is described in ORC Sec. 3307.15. (Wall Street Brokers, Traders and Financial Advisors must now take ethics classes)
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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