Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Wade Steen endorses Michelle Flanigan for STRS Board

From STRS Ohio Watchdogs

April 3, 2024 

Vote for ORTA-Endorsed Candidate 

Michelle Flanigan!

Attention Active Teachers: Ballots for the 2024 STRS board election are arriving in your mailbox this week.
Vote for ORTA-endorsed candidate Michelle Flanigan as soon as you receive your ballot.
Click here to view this video from Wade Steen, calling on all teachers to support Michelle Flanigan.  
Those eligible to vote include all STRS contributing members (except for reemployed retirees), individuals who have contributions on deposit with STRS and disability benefit recipients.
Votes can be cast by following the instructions printed on your ballot:
MAIL: returning the paper ballot in the postage paid return envelope,
ONLINE: by visiting this link, 
PHONE: by dialing the toll-free number listed on your ballot.
ORTA strongly recommends voting by phone or online to ensure your vote is counted immediately.
Even if you are not eligible to vote in this year’s election for active teachers, please spread the word about this election and encourage your educator friends, family or colleagues to Michelle Flanigan for STRS board.
If you do not receive your ballot by April 10th, or you misplace it, email, or call 866-276-1506, for a new ballot. 
Be the first to know! Click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page to subscribe to our STRS Ohio Watchdogs blog. You'll receive email notifications of new posts.

Want to learn more about Michelle Flanigan?

Just go to her website:

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Good vote!


The ONLY choice that makes sense for teachers today if they want real representation at STRS and any hope of a decent retirement





Monday, April 01, 2024

The Greatest Teacher Retirement Crisis in History - John MacGregor, Ted Siedle

About John MacGregor: A Leader and an Innovator

John has been a leader and innovator in the financial services industry for over 25 years. John’s passion is helping people understand how easy it is to live a financially secure life if they have the right mindset ad process in place.

Recorded Apr 1, 2024

In this episode, host John MacGregor dives into what is described as the greatest retirement crisis in history, with a focus on the systemic issues plaguing the United States pension system. 
A distinguished panel comprising experts in financial forensics, educators, and leaders from the Ohio Retirement for Teachers Association discuss the deep-rooted problems within the pension system, particularly highlighting mismanagement, lack of transparency, and the chasing of high-risk investments by pension funds as central to the crisis. 
With a series of guest experiences and expert analyses, including a spotlight on the teachers' pension crisis in Minnesota and the broader implications for the US economy and taxpayers, the episode underscores the urgent need for transparency, accurate management, and the fulfillment of pension promises. 
Ted Siedle, renowned for the largest whistleblower awards in history and co-authoring 'Who Stole My Pension?' with Robert Kiyosaki, sheds light on the opaque and mismanaged financial practices
eroding the foundation of pension systems.
00:00 Introduction
01:56 A Deep Dive into America's Pension Crisis
07:48 The Minnesota Teachers' Pension Struggle
11:58 The Power of Pension Activism and the Role of Social Media
12:57 The Ohio Experience: A Call for Transparency and Reform
20:20 Uncovering Hidden Fees: The Battle for Pension Transparency
24:22 Unveiling Pension Mismanagement: A Deep Dive
25:21 The Challenge of Accountability in Public Pensions
26:51 The Ohio Case: A Stark Example of Neglect
29:59 The Dark Side of Private Equity and Real Estate Investments
38:18 The Impact of Mismanagement on Teachers and the Education System
Disclaimer: The information provided in this video is for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be considered as financial advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or engage in any financial activity. 
The content presented here is based on the speaker's personal opinions and research, which may not always be accurate or up-to-date. Financial markets and investments carry inherent risks, and individuals should conduct their own research and seek professional advice before making any financial decisions.
To share this with others, click on the little envelope at the bottom of the article.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Blade Editorial: Operating without regard for the laws governing these pensions proves that Ohio cannot be trusted with more money. It is breaking the covenant with beneficiaries from the top on down.

Pension power corrupts

March 31, 2024
The wheels of justice are turning so slowly it’s unlikely ousted State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio board member Wade Steen will ever be restored to his position as the governor’s appointed investment expert. 
It’s been nearly a year since Gov. Mike DeWine expelled Mr. Steen from his appointed position citing absence from meetings and excessive zeal for a risky investment. Mr. Steen’s appointment expires in September and this case will almost certainly be appealed again, no matter how the 10th District Court of Appeals rules (“Ex-member asks court for override of removal,” Wednesday). 
A magistrate for the court has ruled that the governor overstepped his legal authority. A three-judge panel from that court heard arguments Tuesday. 
Whatever the Columbus-based court decides it’s important the case goes to the Ohio Supreme Court to establish a clear precedent on the extent of the governor’s power over his appointees to the state’s public pension boards. 
Ohio law stipulates a 4-year term of office for the pension board investment expert appointed by the governor. The law has a clear process for removing a pension board member for cause, which begins in Common Pleas Court. 
Mr. DeWine acted outside this process and the court must uphold the sanctity of the statutes that govern pension board appointments. 
Mr. Steen’s Toledo attorney told the judges, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Unsaid but more important is the protection of the fiduciary responsibility as the foremost duty of all pension board members. 
The best interests of STRS beneficiaries cannot come first if the governor can replace his appointed board member at will. Mr. Steen’s obligation is to the beneficiaries of the $91-billion fund. Governor DeWine’s action outside the legal process for removal of a board member is a serious threat to the sanctity of the fiduciary duty. 
Mr. Steen was the first to criticize STRS for poor investment returns, a high-fee portfolio, and lavish bonuses to investment staff despite a freeze on cost of living adjustments for retirees. 
Independent pension expert Richard Ennis, writing in The Blade last March, concluded STRS had underperformed the returns a passive index fund could have provided by 1.62 percent a year for 13 years. Mr. Ennis reported a $12.5 billion shortfall caused by the poor return on investment. 
Mr. Steen was right to ask tough questions and seek investment options. But when elections on the STRS board provided a majority to act upon Mr. Steen’s reform agenda, the governor swept him off the board. 
Oversight of Ohio’s pensions has been shameful. The state was six years late on the legal deadline for fiduciary audits of the pensions, including STRS.
The attorney general who provided legal advice to the Ohio Retirement Study Council when they ignored their most significant duty was Mr. DeWine.
The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund, and STRS all seek legislative approval of increased contributions from taxpayers. 
Operating without regard for the laws governing these pensions proves that Ohio cannot be trusted with more money. It is breaking the covenant with beneficiaries from the top on down.
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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