House Committee Schedules Hearing for Opponent Testimony on HB 413

PERI Continues to Advocate for Retirees Through Opposition to HB 413
January 31, 2018
PERI Testifies in Opposition to HB 413
February 7, 2018

House Committee Schedules Hearing for Opponent Testimony on HB 413

(February 2, 2018) The House Committee on Aging and Long Term Care has scheduled the third hearing on HB 413 for Tuesday, February 6th at 3:30 PM in hearing room 122.

It has been listed as an “all testimony” hearing, which means that both proponents and opponents will have an opportunity to offer testimony on the bill.  PERI is surprised the bill is being given this hearing as it appeared the Ohio Retirement Study Council was tasked with evaluating provisions in the legislation including the legal authority to reduce benefits in the absence of a funding crisis.

OPERS has said on many occasions that the system is strong, a position supported by its actuaries.  Rep. Steven Arndt, Chairman of the House Committee hearing the bill, has decided that it is best to keep the conversation going, despite the work the ORSC is doing with their research.

PERI will be at the hearing and testifying in opposition to the bill.  PERI suggests that retirees interested in this bill should plan to attend the committee meeting so that legislators will understand this is an issue of importance to all OPERS retirees.

13 Comments

  1. Pat Cain says:

    I plan to be there. It’s a 2 hour drive, but I’ll be there.

  2. Rick says:

    Is this in the capital building ?

  3. Jerry M. says:

    Opers has already given proponent testimony in favor of the bill. Now they are given another chance to testify in favor of this bill. This should be opposition testimony only! It seems the general assembly are going to give opers every chance to push this bill through . I do not like this all testimony hearing!

  4. Donna says:

    Can you give us the address of the building? And just to confirm, the public is able to attend?

  5. Retiree says:

    Well PERI I hope you’re ready. I want to have confidence in you but ever since I called to ask for an update and was told that you believed the bill was going to just sit in committee and die I’ve been very worried. It sounded to me like you as an organization weren’t taking this seriously enough. Maybe I’m very wrong. I hope I am. I just know that I don’t think the vast majority of retirees are well informed on this. You can tell just from this blog. It’s the same handfull of people commenting all the time. And what is OPERS doing? Sending out another survey by email. I’m sure they’re adding up lots of positive responses from people who really don’t get it or just don’t think they have a choice. They’ll surely have all those surveys as ammunition to take to the committee to show that retirees are just oh so okay with having their benefits reduced. I for one am very worried.

  6. Ginny says:

    OPERS wants to push this through quickly with help from their friends in the legislature. No one should be surprised by this. They will not be fair or follow protocol.

  7. James says:

    Opponents testimony on HB 413 will be labeled as “fake news”…. the hearing will be called “fair and balanced”…union busting legislation “Right to Work” will be soon be reintroduced…voter suppression will become more prevalent….egregious gerrymandering will result in even more red districts. Fellow brothers and sisters, do you detect a pattern here? Let us, We the People, the working class of public sector employees, be represented in our state legislature, not by ideologues, but by politicians who stand with us in these partisan times. The mid-term elections can not come soon enough. ENOUGH! In solidarity ~

  8. Donna says:

    In retrospect, perhaps PERI should have sent a survey of its own to retirees to bring ammunition to the opponent hearing. Maybe it’s not too late. I had planned to make the drive from Cleveland to attend the hearing but came down with bronchitis, so was unable to go. I am anxiously awaiting updates.

    • Carol says:

      Yes, I agree with Donna a Survey or a (Post Card) as OPERS did in 2016. Everyone knows how OPERS created the (2016 Law) with just a Post Card sent ONLY to the retires & spouses it benefited, OPERS claimed an overwhelming response, this happened without us knowing. Now, 2018 when all Spouses & Surviving Spouses are no longer receiving allowances for healthcare we see our Spouses premiums at $1059 a month after 30 years or more, Yet, OPERS 2016 created Law allows reimbursement to those who did not qualify for Social Security Benefits (Spouses (50%) & Retire (100%) of Medicare Part A premiums with all fees & penalty. The rest of us who planned our retirement, worked qualified for Social Security benefits we get hit with the Windfall. We are the one’s hurting the most.

  9. Jim says:

    I have only called a few members on this Aging Committee, but as far as I can tell so far, the only ones proposing or backing these cuts to our pension are all Republican legislators. I will find out when the next hearing on this will be held and plan to attend. I hope that PERI puts out a notice to have all 60,000 of us there.

  10. Jim says:

    I have emailed every member of the House Committee on Aging and Long Term Care.

    I quoted the contract I signed with OPERS:

    COST-OF-LIVING ADJUSTMENT
    All benefit recipients who have received benefits for 12 months are entitled to an annual Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA), fixed at three percent. The three-percent rate is fixed regardless of the change in the Consumer Price Index, (CPI). The COLA is calculated using your original monthly allowance. Eligible benefit recipients will receive this increase on their anniversary date, to the extent such an increase does not exceed Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 415 limits.

    I ask that my contract be honored in its entirety.

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