Saturday, September 29, 2018


From Dean Dennis, September 29, 2018 
On November 6, 2018, Ohioans will be electing a new governor. The next Governor of Ohio needs to know that current Ohio STRS retirees are not receiving a COLA because 
1) Ohio's General Assembly turned over control of our COLA to Ohio's STRS Trustees.
 2) Ohio's STRS Trustees then adopted an arguably low earnings assumption which is 114 basis points (7.45% adopted, 8.59% earned) lower than what they actually earn over the current 30 year, legislatively required, funding period. 
3) In turn, Ohio's STRS Trustees used this unjustifiably low earnings assumption as an excuse to withhold paying out Ohio's retirees their promised COLA. Ohio's retiree's could lose six years of COLA's by May of 2022, the time the trustees stipulated they would revisit the COLA. Any Governor of Ohio should be appalled that teachers who dedicated their lives to Ohio's children are being treated in this manner.
Mike DeWine and Richard Cordray both are making Ohio's children one of their top priorities. But are Mike DeWine and Richard Cordray willing to make Ohio's teachers a top priority? Will Richard Cordray or Mike DeWine publicly commit that Ohio's retired teachers are deserving of their COLA and commit that if elected, they will make sure we have a COLA? Let's find out. Contact each one and ask. You can use this information or tell your own story. Here are their email addresses, please cut and paste and send them a message:
Mike DeWine:
Richard Cordray: 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Bob Buerkle's remarks re: Melissa Cropper's 9.20.18 speech to STRS Board

Thank you for the speech you made at the STRS Board Meeting, Melissa. It is exactly what needed to be said and what the Board needed to hear. All board meetings should be available to be listened to and/or viewed on the internet at our convenience. They have the equipment and personnel that we have already paid for to do this but they want to keep us in the dark as long as possible. 
STRS Director Nehf came over to me after one recent Board meeting and said that STRS was trying to be as transparent as possible. I don’t believe that at all. I believe that STRS knew that the Ohio Constitution did not give legislators the authority to retroactively change a promised pension benefit so STRS sought and received total control of the COLA from the legislature to do this on their own. 
Director Nehf knows that up until now, by using investment assumptions and actuarial manipulations that have proven very wrong, he and his team have gotten away with one of the largest personal property thefts in American History. If the STRS course is not reversed, all of the current active and retired teachers will lose nearly 38 billion of their “personal property” in pension dollars; stolen from them in their lifetime. 
STRS would retort that withholding the COLA is strengthening the system to get to 100% funded status. We don’t need to be 100% funded, the legislature doesn’t require us to be 100% funded, none of the other Ohio Pension Systems are 100% funded, but one day Director Nehf will be able to say that “under his directorship, STRS was able to get to a 100% Funded Ratio.” Of course, retirees now know what this really means and that it will be achieved mostly by withholding, lowering, eliminating or delaying our COLAs.
By the way, by comparison, there’s never been a bank heist that even approached one billion dollars, let alone 38 billion.
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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