We will finally find out this summer about proposed changes to our state retirement benefits. We have been hoping that, after nearly 10 years of analysis and deliberation, the lawmakers finally would have before them a proposal that will increase pension-fund solvency.
The process was delayed when Gov. John Kasich asked a consulting firm to review the findings of the Ohio Retirement Study Council. The firm, Pension Trustee Advisors, is working on its report. With new Study Council President Bethany Rhodes in place, the council expects a report on SERS first, followed by the other systems, including STRS, by July 11.
Over the past two years, 40 state legislatures enacted significant revisions to state retirement plans, ranging from increasing employee contribution requirements and age and service requirements for retirement, to revising cost-of-living adjustments. Nearly two years ago, Ohio’s public pension boards submitted new funding plans to our General Assembly that call for employees working longer for less-generous pension benefits.