From John Curry, June 6, 2012
Letter: Retirement system forgets its purposeThe State Teacher Retirement System is seeking bonuses for its investment staff while cutting benefits for its members.
June 6, 2012
STRS also calls for a 4 percent increase in active teachers' contributions if teachers to work longer with cuts to retirement benefits. STRS also calls for retirees to experience a Cost of Living (COLA) freeze for 2013 and a 2 percent or less COLA in years to follow. Retirees will be paying more in health premiums and will receive fewer benefits.
Mr. Nehf, executive director of STRS, stated in testimony to the Ohio Senate and House that the above changes will be requested because STRS will not be able to pay future benefits if changes are not made to the system. This was also mentioned by Mr.Tim Myers, STRS Board member, in The Lima News on May 27th. He stated, “If we don't do something, the future funding of the system would be in question.”
Yet, on April 19, the STRS Board voted to award some of the investment staff with potential bonuses equal to 100 percent of their base pay even in negative earning years. In 2012, this same investment staff will receive their 2011 bonuses that range from 1.4 percent to 82.4 percent of their base pay. The total cost to the system for 2011 bonuses is $4,9 million. The potential cost for 2013 is even greater.
If the above issues concern you, I ask you to please write or contact your representative as the Ohio House has not yet voted on the changes.
— Shirlee Zerkel, Lima