Thursday, May 18, 2017

Letter to us from Mike Nehf...and it isn't a love letter!

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Worth repeating.....

I also believe we have something I call the STRS Investment Mis-Management Tax
It's a tax you can't get back
It's a tax you can't vote on
It's a tax you can't deduct
It's a tax that's gone forever, and
It's a tax that currently provides smaller benefits than everybody paid for
~ Mike Mulcahy
STRS speech May 18, 2017

Bob Buerkle's speech to STRS May 18, 2017: Warren Buffett Wins $500,000 Investment Bet

"For the past few months we have been telling this STRS Board that your investment returns would be larger (and less expensive) if you used index funds. This is the same thing that Warren Buffett has been saying for a very long time. This Board should take notice and learn from the 'Oracle of Omaha'."

"Here are a few index funds you should be familiar with and they are beating the tar out of your investment experts. The reason you should be familiar with them is simple. They are index funds that STRS provides to Defined Contribution Plan members through the Nationwide Insurance Co. and you can see them yourself on your own STRS website."

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Bob Buerkle: The STRS Pension Penalty for Working in June During Your Last School Year

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Dean Dennis' speech to STRS Board May 18, 2017

"I retired in 2008. In 2008 a teacher named John Curry wrote Director Michael Nehf about the safety of his pension. Director Nehf responded back reassuringly."
"The applicable provisions of the statutes that govern STRS Ohio and SERS are very similar. The pertinent language of each state provides that pensions are vested when granted. This means that retirees vested in the STRS Ohio defined benefit plan cannot have their pension formula reduced by STRS Ohio. In simple language, once an STRS Ohio member begins receiving a pension STRS Ohio cannot reduce that pension." 
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Mike Mulcahy's speech to STRS May 18, 2017: The 2 main types of pension plans

"Who is responsible for fulfilling the pension promises made by STRS when your investment experts lose so much of 'our' money? I suggest to you that it is not the retirees. However, STRS acts as if they have the right to steal the benefits that we were promised after we signed our retirement contract.This is what we worked for and paid all of our STRS required contributions for." 
"Now, you think you have the right to make us pay for your mismanagement, when the obligations are clearly on the STRS to deliver on our promised pensions. Find a way!"
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Jesse Parete: Some questions for Nick Treneff

From: Jesse Parete 
Date: Thu, May 11, 2017 
Subject: Questions I hope you can answer
To: Nick Treneff
Dear Mr. Treneff,
One of the immediate topics engaging STRS retired teachers when they socialize is what is going on with STRS. I have tried to synthesize from those conversations the following questions.
1. When was the percentage teacher pay into STRS raised from 10% to 14%? 
2. Two years ago STRS retirees skipped a COLA: What effect did it have on the solvency of the STRS system? 
3. For the past several years retirees have received 2/3 of their original COLA.  When did this start and what effect has this had on the solvency of the STRS system? 
4. Are any of the other four state retirement systems in the same financial straits as is STRS?   
5. Have any of the other four state retirement systems altered or suspended  their COLA for their retirees?
6. Why has STRS had trouble averaging 7.5% with investments?
I don’t know about what those that I talked to actually have been averaging more than 7.5%, but I know that I have a very conservative Edward Jones advisor who has helped me average 9% from 2009 through 2016 and so far this year it is much more than 10%.
I hope that you can provide some context and answers.  We all want what is best for Ohio as well as for ourselves.
Jesse Parete
Retired since 2009
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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