Saturday, January 29, 2011
Of course, WE (STRS) don't have any 30-year service retirees with
annual retirement incomes of less than $30,000, do we?
From John Curry, January 29, 2011
Several years ago, CORE members were told this by an STRS official (right,
Gary Russell?). Finally, in the fall of 2007 we were given this chart by former
STRS Executive Director, Damon Asbury. Lo and behold, we did have retirees with
30 years of service and annual STRS retirements of less than $30K, didn't we? We
knew it, they denied it...until we pressed and pressed and finally Damon Asbury
released this table.
Now, let's take a look (below) at what the Ohio Highway Patrol has
submitted to the Ohio Retirement Study Council in an effort (a very humanitarian
effort) to look after their retirees with the very low annual retirements (i.e.
usually the eldest). They (the OHP) really have a heart, don't they? A similar
request was presented to some members of our retirement board and Executive
director Michael Nehf this past summer and we were met with a stone wall and a
lip service to possible relief in the form of a charity but...in the same breath
a "means test" was also mentioned. GIVE ME A BREAK!
The OHP retirement system is requesting NO COLA reduction for those retired
(benefit recipient) troopers with annual retirement incomes of less than
$26,000. They don't even specify that the recipient has to be a retired trooper
who spent the minimum necessary amount of service time (25 years) to be eligible
for full benefits, do they?
So, just how many STRS retirees, with incomes of less than $26,000 are
there....or $30,000 for that matter? Well, one can only surmise and
"guesstimate" by using the attached table that is several years old and with a
"cut-off point of -$30,000. Several years ago the magic number was 8,922 (annual
salary under $30,000).....by now, this figure has diminished as many of these
people were up in their 80's and 90's and so are no longer with us. I think a
fair estimate today would be around 7,000 -8,000.
DO YOU THINK THE FAILURE TO CUT 7,000 RETIREES OUT OF A 1% COLA EACH WOULD
PUT A MAJOR DENT IN STRS? Of course, with STRS's new 63 million dollar computer
system in service one would think that it wouldn't take their 'puters just too
much effort to print out an actuarial table as to how many retirees and how much
moneys we are talking about, would it? But... successful requests for actuarial
tables from STRS are "like pulling hen's teeth," aren't they?
Ohio Highway Patrol recommendation to
Decrease the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) from 3% to 2%, except for any
benefit recipient age 65 and older and receiving a
HPRS pension benefit of less than 185% of the Federal Poverty Level
(-$26,000). The HPRS Board may authorize a COLA in an amount not
to exceed 3% when funds are available according to Section 5505.121, ORC.
2007 chart from STRS:
(Click image to enlarge.)