Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The rest of Bob Buerkle's 4.20.17 speech to the STRS Board

Since STRS public speeches are limited to three minutes, Because of this, Bob was not able to complete his speech at the time, but he did have copies to present to the Board and he did get his last sentence in. Here is the rest of his speech. Read it and weep; there's too much truth in it to cheer you up. Remember when they used to tell us STRS was the Cadillac of pension systems? Yeah, right. It's not even an Edsel today!
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STRS management and the Board have made a mess of our pension system. 
Thousands of teachers were forced to make quick decisions about retirement in order to beat the newly imposed retirement rules.  (in the last 5 years, the number of retirees increased from 125,000 to 159,000, a 27% increase over a short period of time). 
For every extra retiree that was forced out at the top of their pay scale, STRS receives only about half of the previous employee and employer contributions from their replacement.  This means that for many years the STRS will receive lower contributions from these replacement teachers than they would have if they had not forced so many people to retire early. 
Teachers were told that the formula would be lowered for service years beyond 30, the FAS would increase to five years from three, new age requirements were being phased in, and they would not receive a COLA for their first five years if they retired after 08/01/2013.   Now even that turns out to be a lie, since the STRS Board just eliminated the COLA for these recent retirees.  After all, they were told by STRS Counselors and even read in STRS Publications that they would receive an annual COLA without waiting five years before it started.  What a remarkable scam STRS has devised. 
Here's what retirees have learned about STRS. When you make investments that lose money, we lose benefits!  STRS balances its pension obligations by stealing our money from the retirement contract benefits that retirees were promised.
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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