Thursday, April 19, 2018

Letter to our retired members of the STRS Board

Mr. Bob Stein
Ms. Rita Walters  
State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio
275 E. Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215

April 19, 2018  

Dear Mr. Stein and Ms. Walters, 

The loss of STRS members' COLA has caused a hardship for a large number of our older members. These are the ones who retired when salaries had not yet made the climb they did after they retired. Also, we are all falling behind in our ability to keep up with the cost of living.

I feel strongly that we were illegally deprived of our COLA. I retired under ORC Statute 3307.67, which was modified after my retirement date. Since this change took place on January 1, 2013, the original language clearly stated that "the COLA shall be 3%."  Those people who retired before that date should never have had their COLA changed!

I am asking for STRS to give the retirees of Ohio a quarterly report on the financial progress being made towards the recovery of the COLA. I am asking that some kind of chart, graph, or similar item be made available to all STRS beneficiaries. It needs to contain the financial facts of (1) where we need to be to recover the COLA, (2) where we are on that quarter's report, and (3) a projection of when we will reach the stated goal of recovery.

In all the years of your indexed formula projections, STRS definitely planned for this promised COLA. It was also included in their final Reserve Transfer Calculations which went out to all covered Ohio retirees. We retirees do not deserve to lose what should have been a protected benefit.

In closing, I am asking for an accounting of where STRS is in recovering OUR lost benefit. It should be done quarterly and in a simple-to-understand format. You are our representatives on the STRS Board, and I am asking that you spearhead the move toward this badly needed and long overdue transparency.

Yours truly, 
Kathie Bracy
STRS Beneficiary
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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