Sunday, September 09, 2012

Nancy Hamant to legislators re: State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio

From Nancy Hamant, September 08, 2012
Senators Faber, Oelslager, and Tavares; House Members Ramos, Wachtmann and Schuring; Governor's Appointees Miller and Morgan:
My name is Nancy B. Hamant. I am a State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) member and current retiree. For the past ten years, I have actively followed STRS actions regarding pensions and health care.
As you continue your thoughtful review of all five public pension funds recommendations for needed changes, I feel it is important to forward my concerns, especially for the STRS proposed changes.
1. Of deep concern is the reduction of Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) which is proposed to start with a one year halt and immediately thereafter with lower annual calculation of COLA. This will be an extreme financial blow to the over 30,000 STRS retirees who retired with a Final Average Salary of less than $30,000 annually. Please consider the impact of the proposed changes on these retirees in STRS, as well as, retirees in the other four public pension plans in similar fiscal circumstances. Your fairness and equity are greatly needed.
2. The proposed 14 year phase-out of the current 88% calculation of benefits for 35 year retirees, which was implemented in FY1999, is not understandable and certainly is not equitable. Phasing out of the 88% calculation should not exceed 7 years (one fifth of a 35-year career). Again, your fairness and equity are greatly needed.
3. The proposal to give STRS, or for that matter also the other four public pension plans, "carte blanche" to change the pensions funds without Legislative oversight should not even be considered at is bad legislation.
I appreciate your time, careful review of all of the facts, and equitable recommendations to the STRS system.
Nancy B. Hamant
Maineville, OH

From RH Jones, September 8, 2012
Nancy B. Hamant,
Please forward my response to your message to the legislators. The 'carte blanche' is bad legislation. However, at today's cost of living a $30,000 pension adjusted for inflation just is not enough due to HC/Rx costs. $40,000 would be a more reasonable figure. The elderly spend most of their income on medications and doctors visits.
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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