Thursday, April 19, 2007

John Curry to State Rep. Larry Flowers: Your bill would weaken SERS and STRS

From John Curry, April 19, 2007
Subject: House Bill 152
Representative Flowers,
I write to you today to relate my feelings concerning HB 152 (alternative investments). As I understand this bill that you co-sponsored, I see that it relates to offering alternative investments to employees of Ohio's public schools rather than sending their retirement contributions into STRS and SERS.
As you know, with the stock market crunch of the early 2000's and some recently corrected mismanagement, misspending, and entitlement mentalities at STRS, both of these funds are now on the road to recovery. Albeit, healthcare premiums for both systems are now putting a major dent in their respective retirees' wallets, but this situation exists throughout the entire nation (to a greater or lesser degree). One thing is for sure....these state retirement systems need every penny they get from employers' contributions (the school systems) and employees so that their state administrated retirement systems can remain solvent and continue to produce retirement checks for their fiduciaries.
HB 152, if passed, would ensure that some of the badly needed monies that would normally go to the respective retirement systems will now go to private investors ....along with associated fees and personal profit - that is unless those investors are willing to give this service for free - that, I doubt!
I chose to write to you rather than Mr. Widener, Mr. Seitz, and Mr. Combs because I note that you are a former fire chief - a former public servant. I wonder how the boys down at the fire house and the retirees from that public service would accept the fact that your bill would assist in gutting the Ohio Police and Fire pension fund had Ohio public fire department employees been included in your bill?
Well, they weren't, were they? Or, how about PERS employees/retirees and the Highway Patrol employees/retirees?
In short, your bill will assist in weakening both SERS and STRS should it pass. This bill does no service to public educators, employees of Ohio school systems, SERS, or STRS.
John Curry
30 year retiree of Ohio's public schools
Proud member of Concerned Ohio Retired Educators (CORE)
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
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