PERI Begins Process to Urge Legislators to Say No to COLA Reductions

PERI Board of Trustees Votes to Oppose OPERS COLA Proposal
October 25, 2017
Arrangements finalized for OPERS Board Retiree Representative John Maurer
November 9, 2017

PERI Begins Process to Urge Legislators to Say No to COLA Reductions

(November 7, 2017)  PERI is in the process of talking with key legislators to ensure that no changes are made to reduce COLA payments for retirees.  We are working behind the scenes to educate members of the House and Senate on the real cost to retirees if OPERS is successful in pushing through this unnecessary change.  Additionally, we have been joined by Ohio Fraternal Order of Police who are also opposed to OPERS plans.  Rest assured that we will alert retirees if there is a need for direct contact through cards, letters and calls to their state senators and representatives.  We will continue to brief you on any changes or specific calls to action that might be needed in support of our position on this critical issue.

95 Comments

  1. Ginny says:

    Educating the House and Senate on how this really affects OPERS retirees is imperative. It’s great the FOP is supporting PERI too. Strength in numbers is key. Keep up the good work and we are behind you!

  2. Dean says:

    Until such time that OPERS finds a someone to sponsor for their request for legislation to DEFAULT on COLA payments, this is the best course of action.

  3. Len says:

    Thanks PERI for all your efforts. If this attempt to renege on our COLA is illegal as many have posted perhaps getting a legal opinion and then making legislators aware of the illegality of their actions if they decide to vote for it would have even more of an impact. Just a thought.

    • Dale Harmon says:

      In the case of “United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit. John J. MASCIO, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF OHIO; Richard E. Schumacher, Defendants-Appellants. No. 97-3314. Decided: November 04, 1998″ decided in part that “The retirement benefits of Ohio public employees vest, by statute, at the time when the retirement allowance or pension is granted by the public employees retirement board.” The court decision found that when a retiree retires they are “vested” and have a contractual right to their pension.

      ORC 145.561 vests a retiree with such retirement allowance, annuity, pension, or other benefit at the rate fixed at the time of granting. This was amended, effective 1/7/2013 to EXCLUDE the COLA. The obvious implication of this is that the COLA, prior to 1/7/2013, is a vested benefit.

      The only possible legal option to retroactively cut the COLA is if the the State of Ohio can demonstrate “a significant and legitimate public purpose behind the legislation such as the remedying of a broad and general social or economic problem.” Since the OPERS financial balance is better now than in the recent past, I find it difficult to understand how this argument would prevail.

  4. Michael Roberts says:

    We always could push for OPERS to be privatized. Money savings from the elimination of over 600 jobs and perhaps someone private would invest much more prudently and stay away from hedge funds. People are tired of their elitist attitude and secret dealings.

  5. Jerry says:

    I am glad to hear that p.e.r.i. is working with the general assembly in an attempt to stop the opers c.o.l.a. reduction proposal from being passed. everyone needs to contact members of the general assembly to help stop this from being passed. We can not allow the general assembly to rubber stamp every opers change. this must stop at some point.

  6. Jim says:

    Our retiree representative on the OPERS’ Board of Directors, Mr. John Maurer, has passed away. We will all miss his advocacy for us.

    He told me in an email, that when the proposal to cut our COLAs was brought up, he voted ‘Hell no’ not just ‘no’.

    May he rest in peace.

  7. Daniel says:

    Thank you so much PERI for standing up for all of us retirees ! All of us have worked hard for our retirement and most of us would be helpless without PERI’ s help. I personally value the thought that there is representation for the retirees. It should not be as easy as it is to reduce the Benifits of a retired person as it is. Maybe after this is all over we can find a way to advocate legislation where the general assembly has to have stakeholder meetings and hear the effective people’s comments .

  8. Dean says:

    Some may wish to read this document link from the Ohio Retirement Study Council.

    1st, ORSC states OPERS’s 2.25% COLA cap is less than OPERS’s assumed future 2.5% inflation rate.
    2nd, the want to have OPERS explain why they think this is legal given 145.561.
    3rd, they have no history of cutting benefits when a pension is within 30 year funding,
    4th. Intergenerational differences are a concern.

    http://orsc.org/Assets/EventFiles/576.pdf

  9. Rick says:

    I pulled this statement from the OPERS financial statement for 2016. The most recent statement there is. Note the central paragraph concerning funding for all those already retired as being 100% funded for 30 years. this report was published by OPERS.
    Something simply doesn’t smell right.—————
    Experience Study—Updated Assumptions
    The OPERS funding plan is based on actuarial valuation assumptions that represent projected long-term expectations of demographic and economic activity impacting the System� Both statute and best practices indicate pension systems should review their assumptions used in actuarial valuations every ve years� In 2016, the Board’s actuarial consultants conducted an experience study for the period 2011 through 2015, comparing assumptions to actual results� The experience study incorporates both a historical review and forward-looking projections to determine the appropriate set of assumptions to keep the plan on a path toward full funding�
    As is typical from these studies, OPERS modi ed some of the assumptions used in pension plan funding� Speci cally, one of the most signi cant changes was to the assumptions used
    8 OPERS The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report 2016
    Introductory Section Letter of Transmittal
    to estimate how much investment earnings would be earned over the long term in the future� Previously, OPERS used an assumption of 8�0%, which means that over the long period
    of 30 years or more, OPERS expected to be able to earn an average return of 8�0%�
    While historical returns have supported that assumption, forward projections were more pessimistic� Thus, the approved recommendation was to reduce this assumption from 8�0% to 7�5%� Other key pension assumption modi cations included a reduction in the wage in ation assumption and the price in ation assumption and an increase in the mortality assumptions
    to re ect the longer life expectancies of our members�
    The changes in pension assumptions from the study resulted in an increase to the actuarial liability of approximately $5�3 billion (restated 2015 amounts)� This also resulted in a decrease in the funded ratio from 85�0% to 80�0%, and a slight increase in the amortization period from 19 years to 20 years (restated 2015 amounts)� While the funded ratio declined, the overall funded ratio remains strong� The funded ratio illustrates the assets that have been set aside
    to fund the liability that will come due in future years� It is important to note that the liability associated with those members who are already retired and have commenced their bene t
    is 100% funded—the remaining unfunded liability is associated only with those who are still actively working and will retire in the future� The amortization period re ects how long it will take to fund remaining liabilities� The OPERS amortization period of 20 years remains both strong and well within the statutorily required 30-year period of time�
    OPERS also conducted an experience study for health care funding� For health care, the assumption regarding future investment earnings remained unchanged at 5�0%� However, similar changes were made to the mortality assumptions�
    The changes in the assumptions are described further in the Actuarial Section, beginning on page 147� Additionally, the schedules of funding progress for pension re ect results including the changes in assumptions approved by the Board in 2016�

  10. Donna says:

    Thank you again, PERI, for advocating for us. I really appreciate it!

  11. Donna says:

    Is anyone going to the talks with Karen Carraher? I am not. I really don’t want to hear any more of their deceptions.

  12. Len says:

    I”m not going either. It is only her futile attempt to continue to ram this atrocity down our throats in hope that in time we accept it. I have far better things to do and I don’t need the aggravation. From the tone of her invitation there will be no productive discussion just a continuation of the “snow job” only it will now be alive and in person. No thank you Karen.

    • Retiree says:

      I disagree. I think all of us who are onto their snow job need to go. That way when they are done with their presentation we can make our voices heard and hopefully open the eyes of those who believe everything OPERS has to say. I think there are a lot of people out there who just go along with them believing they are doing things in our best interest. They need to hear the opposition side as well. This is an opportunity for us.

  13. Michael Roberts says:

    Where was the notice of a meeting with Karen? I am forced to look for work between the increase in health care and COLA cut. I would like the info on the meeting to see if I could maybe go considering I will be starting a part time job.

  14. Jerry says:

    I understand when the Opers board voted to pass the c.o.l.a reduction last month there was very little room allowed for discussion. This was rushed through the board as quick as possible. I am not interested in anything Karen Carraher has to say. It will be her attempt con retirees that this proposal was needed. A load of crap!

  15. Len says:

    Michael…I recieved it in the mail. There are talks set up in various parts of the state. I am sure that it is also posted on OPERS website.

    • Hilou says:

      Len,
      I did not receive any notice in the mail reference Carraher having public meetings with retirees.
      I also looked on the OPERS website and found nothing.
      Can someone post a copy of what they received in the mail? Or advise if any of the meetings are taking place in southern Ohio..

  16. Cheryl says:

    Nov. 17 Northeast Ohio/Cleveland 9am, 12 pm, 3pm
    Dec. 1 Central Ohio/Worthington 9am, 12pm, 3pm
    Dec. 6 Northwest Ohio/Toledo 9am, 12pm, 3pm
    Dec. 12 Southeast Ohio/Athens 9am, 12 pm, 3pm
    Dec. 15 Southwest Ohio/Cincinnati/Dayton 9am, 12 pm, 3pm
    Registration is required. Call 1-800-222-7377 or register through your online account.

  17. Len says:

    Hilou,

    The announcement just says that on December 12 there is a meeting in the Southeast in Athens at 9am, 12pm, and 3pm.
    It the Southwest on December 15 in Cincinnati/Dayton at 9am, 12pm, and 3pm.
    It does not give an exact location…I am not sure why?

    There are also meetings scheduled in Cleveland on November 17, Worthington on December 1, and Toledo on December…all at 9am, 12pm and 3 pm.

    It says you can register through your online account or by calling 1-800-7377. Seating is limited so you must pre-register. It was very vague as you can see so I would call but it made it sound like if you logged onto your account there would be more information.

    I hope this helps.

  18. Len says:

    The Toledo meeting is December 6…sorry I left out the date on my previous post.

  19. Len says:

    Sorry again…the telephone number for reservations is 1-800-222-7377.

  20. Hilou says:

    Len,

    Thanks for the information.

  21. Dean says:

    All PERI members should attend these meetings and invite the attendees to join our fight against these COLA reductions.

  22. Dean says:

    For those who were following this thread, HB413 is being introduced with the 2:5% COLA cap that our PERI Board told OPERS would be acceptable. There will be not legislative fight to,protect your COLA because your PERI Board surrendered before the first shot was fired.

    • Retiree says:

      Dean,
      Are you saying a 2.5% guaranteed COLA or 2.5% tied to the CPI?

      • Retiree says:

        I for one am not okay with anything tied to the CPI.

      • Dean says:

        2.5% CPI cap. The PERI Board agreed to support Option 2 in their very first meeting with OPERS.

      • Peri Peri says:

        It would be helpful for members to ensure they have their facts correct prior to posting on this blog. OPERS Board was considering multiple packages and the 2.5% cap was clearly the least damaging to retirees of those under consideration. PERI was aware that the majority of the OPERS Board were supporting a cap at 2%. The PERI Board voted reluctantly to agree to a cap at 2.5% thinking that it was the best retirees could hope to achieve and it was better to get something much less onerous than a 2% cap. The OPERS board chose to reject PERI’s compromise position and voted to adopt a cap at 2.25%.

        Following the vote of OPERS Board, PERI’s Board met again to reconsider their position. It was decided by a unanimous vote that PERI should fight any change to the COLA. Now legislation comes forward (HB 413) to increase the CAP to 2.5%. This appears to in recognition of the original position PERI took prior to the OPERS Board meeting where they adopted the package capping the COLA at 2.25%. This does not reflect the current position of PERI’s Board. PERI is working with FOP – Ohio in an effort to maintain the COLA at 3% annually.

        • Michael Roberts says:

          Good for you and pound home the position of Steve Toth to stop QEBA payments to high earners in violation of IRS rules. Find out why we have lost money in investments in Lehman Brothers in 2008 and again investing in money losing hedge funds while paying the investors billions. See what other state have done with cutting off double dipping especially California the biggest public employer. See the states that have put a cap on public pensions at a high rate and also state that have limited COLA to the average wage of the state with high earners getting less. There are so many things needing attention and all we hear is COLA which is just a small clog in a big wheel.

    • Jim says:

      Dean,

      I crunched the numbers for an OPERS retiree and a Social Security retiree retiring in 2004 with a $1,000 pension. Even at 2.5%, the OPERS retiree is left $100 a month behind the Social Security retiree by 2017.

      That adds up quickly.

  23. Hilou says:

    Dean,
    On 11/7 PERI indicated above that ” they are talking with key legislators to ensure that there is no changes made to reduce the COLA for retirees”.
    Now on 11/12 you are indicating that “PERI told OPERS that the 2.5% COLA cap is acceptable”, and there will be no legislative fight.
    Is this correct?
    If so, Why should retirees continue to pay $20.00 a year dues to PERI?

  24. Michael Roberts says:

    No stop to double dipping which is draining the system as other states say. No end to QEBA which is paying out pensions in excess of IRS regulation of over 215,000 per year. No cap on Pensions as other states have done , say 150,000 per years. No cap on COLA, just keep paying out COLA on 200,000 pensions, instead of a sensible cap of say average yearly wag in Ohio up to 3 percent on pensions and after that get nothing or a 1/2 percent. No using living live actuarial tables for dependents of joint and multiple plans. Just reduce the most average pensions to CPI which in most years is 0 percent. Hell no, we with high pension will retire and go back to the same position tomorrow and pay nothing into OPERS. We will continue to rob the system while all you little people are reduced. And no we will not look at our loses in hedge funds, we don’t care if we lose money, the little people will pay. This way too secretive and elitist organization needs to be examined from top to bottom with a financial and administrative audit. And it worse come to worse, privatize it, after all we are paying over 600 people with a good percentage making over 100,000 a year. And we pay financial managers in the six figures to lose money and we pay hedge fund managers billions over a 5 year period to lose money so that our COLA will be reduced.

  25. Retiree says:

    Given the above mentioned OPERS regional meetings and Dale’ s 11-12-17 alert re HB 413, how can PERI members proactively mobilize NOW so that when we are needed to send letters and advocate as a group (and reach out to and educate non PERI members) we can quickly and effectively do so? I am concerned if we wait to organize all retirees, it will be too late to have an impact.

  26. Retiree says:

    Given the serious and life changing nature of this COLA issue, quickly having special PERI regional meetings and chapter meetings focused on this issue seems imperative.

    • Jim says:

      Dean,
      Page 4 section B sounds like there will be at least a 12 month or 24 month waiting period in addition to this reduction, if I am interpreting it correctly.

      Which legislators are sponsoring this Bill?

      We must campaign against them.

      • Jim says:

        Dean,

        This Bill seems to have been sponsored by Representative Gary Scherer, District 92 in Columbus. He should hear from us all.

      • Dean says:

        Under this bill, everyone would receive the 3% increase in 2018. After that the COLA is CPI to a max of 2.5%. Except those who retired in 2010, 2011, or 2012 will get 3% in 2019, and 2020.

        If you had an average pension at retiring at age 60 in 2012 and live til you life expectancy, this cola reduction is loss of $50,000. – $250,000 in total benefits variable with inflation.

        If we you are a younger retiree, we have 10 years of low inflation followed by 10 years of moderate inflation, you buying power will be wiped out.

  27. Ron Martin says:

    The Summer 2005 issue of OPERtunities newsletter was largely devoted to the advantages of investing in the the OPERS Additional Annuity.
    One of these promised advantages was a 3% cost of living adjustment for those who chose annuitized payments upon retirement.

    On page 2 of the newsletter the following sentence appears:
    “By doing this you can choose a lifetime monthly benefit option that will receive an annual three percent cost-of-living increase”

    Page 3 contains this sentence:
    “Remember, annuity payments will increase by 3 percent annually.”

    My wife and I, in good faith invested over $150,000 in the OPERS Additional Annuity in the belief that this was a legally binding agreement; only to find
    that the promised inflation protection is now to be withdrawn from the annuity as well as the pension itself. How is this possible?

    file:///home/chronos/u-6c0f0e94dc2f800d483bd83c4791e80160e1c64e/Downloads/2005-summer.pdf

    • Ginny says:

      Ron, I too believed them about the additional annuity 3% and invested heavily in this. To me this is a breach of contract, but how to prove and fight it is beyond me.

  28. Rick says:

    I will be sure to inform family members who live in that district, who is raiding dads pension.

  29. Rick says:

    One thing that Irks me is the lack of respect to the retirees. If these cuts are really even needed, (read page 9 of OPERS 2016 financial report) there is no negotiating or real give and take here just someone dictating to us what their going do do with OUR money. And this is our money,not theirs. All the money in OPERS fund came from our paychecks,and the legally required contribution of our employing entities. The same as they would have had to pay to SS, so this is part of our pay as well. WE then payed OPERS to invest this at compound interest. That interest is our money as well despite their playing semantics with it, just like the interest earned on your accounts at the bank is yours. OPERS went right for the option most harmful to our economic well being they thought they could get away with. That survey they put out was not a good faith negotiation or give and take by any stretch of the imagination. And now they want to fast track it through in hopes of limiting our and PERI”s ability to organize .

    • Dale Harmon says:

      In reading through HB 413, Representative Scherer, I find a couple of issues.

      First is the financial, based on the most recent financial report, OPERS is not in financial distress. As a result there isn’t any real justification to reduce the COLA of retirees. The reduction in the COLA that became effective in 2013, doesn’t take effect until 2019. Yet according to OPERS financial reports the retirement system is more solvent than in 2012. HB 413 also INCREASES the benefit BASE for those who retired prior to 1980.

      Second is the legal, based on John J. Mascio v. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio (11/4/1998), this all seems to be an illegal impairment of contract. Everyone who retired prior to 1/7/2013, have a contractual right to a 3% simple interest increase on their base pension, no more and no less.

      Finally, I question if HB 413 means what its author(s) think it means. Section 1 of the bill amends several sections of the ORC including 145.323 (COLA). Section 2 of the bill repeals the existing ORC 145.323. I suppose it is just me, but it seems difficult to amend that which has been repealed.

  30. Michael Roberts says:

    I sent all 9 voting members of the Ohio Retirement Study Council an e-mail and received a response today. These are voting legislative members. See my former comments to get an idea of what I wrote.

  31. Michael Roberts says:

    Ok I got the letter and scheduled a time thru the website. Their having mine at Holiday Inn French Quarter, which I imagine is a fortune to rent. Other sites they are probably renting also. With all the sites the States owes and already rents, why in the world would they waste our PERS money renting a pay site. Public Libraries have large conference rooms, senior centers have large gathering rooms and we are almost all 55 or above all free. The office I worked in had a large conference room that they would let other State agencies use. Why rent and pay, so you see again the elitist mentality and why care about our money as it is just the poor workers paying in.

  32. Ginny says:

    I received my dues notice from PERI today along with a letter which was quite interesting. PERI says that OPERS had plans for the current retirees COLA reduction for some time. I believe this to be true and hope PERI will update us sooner than later on what they are doing to fight back. PERI, please don’t back down or settle for the COLA based on CPI reduction.

    I agree with Michael about how OPERS administration is spending OUR money. They are asking OPERS retirees to tighten their belts and theirs keep expanding.

  33. Jerry says:

    I have had a change of heart. I will attend the Opers-Karen Carraher regional meeting in my area. This is a chance for retirees to voice their opposition to Opers and Karen Carraher in person. I am sure they will do their best to con retirees. Retirees need to keep in mind, Opers are doing this because they have a concern this may not pass the general assembly. Just food for thought. Retirees need to keep contacting members of the general assembly to voice their opposition to the Opers c.o.l.a. reduction proposal! Keep the heat on Opers! Support P.E.R.I. and the Ohio F.O.P. in their opposition also. Thanks.

  34. Retiree says:

    I did some math based on the CPI over the last 25 years. I based my math on the 2.25% that OPERS originally stated they wanted but now I see they changed it to 2.5% so my numbers will be a little off but not by much.
    If you retired in 1992 with a Social Security benefit of $20,000 you would now be receiving $34,521.91 per year. If you were an OPERS retiree retiring that same year with the same $20,000 benefit but using the simple COLA based on the CPI and capped at 2.25% you would only be getting $28,670. That’s an almost $6000 difference!
    I am so disturbed by OPERS trying to manipulate the facts to make us think that we are so out of step with inflation that our COLA needs to be lowered to correct that. What they are proposing will put us so far behind inflation we’ll never catch up!
    Our COLA is simple, it’s not compounded. There will be a cap of 2.5%. We’ll never keep up in years when it’s high like in 2008 when it was 5.8%.
    I can’t wait to hear what kind of spin they throw at us at these upcoming meetings to make us believe our system is in such dire need of money that they need to destroy our financial futures that we all based on certain guarantees. It’s unbelievable to me that they feel they can justify changing the law to harm those of us who no longer have jobs.

    • Jim says:

      Yes, and if you do the math for a Social Security retiree over the same time period, you will see just how far behind we all fall.

      • Retiree says:

        That’s what I did. The soc security retiree gets almost $6000 more because it’s compounded with no cap.

        • Ginny says:

          Just because the cap is 2.5% does not mean we will get that percentage because its determined by the CPI. Some years in social security there was no COLA increase at all. I think many OPERS retirees believe that they will get 2.5% COLA each year no matter the CPI. They will be in for a big surprise if this proposal passes.

          • Retiree says:

            Exactly. That’s how I did the calculations. I looked at the CPI history on the soc security website, started with $20,000 in 1993 and compounded it for each year thereafter based on what the CPI was for that year. That is was a soc security recipient would get. Then I did the same thing using a simple COLA with a 2.25% cap. That’s what we would get. Almost $6000 less.

  35. Donna says:

    If anyone attends the meeting with Karen Carraher, can you please report how you responded and any reaction from OPERS staff? Thanks.

  36. Retiree says:

    I attended. They had a very lengthy presentation. Lots of slides detailing funding levels etc. lengthy and detailed enough to lull the man sitting next to me to sleep and several people to leave before it was over. The way I felt about the presentation was that it was designed to make us believe that unless our COLA is reduced then health care may disappear. They didn’t come right out and say that but to me it seemed like the underlying theme. It felt like a scare tactic to me. Maybe others didn’t see it that way but it was just my take. At the end of the presentation she took questions. Many of the questions were about health care. I wondered if that was because people finally had someone right in front of them to finally speak to about their issues with it or what. I wish that more of them were strictly about the COLA. When there were COLA questions/comments what I found interesting was that she seemed annoyed when people told her they were angry, felt lied to or in any way tried to show opposition to their plan. She would shut them down right away and have the microphone taken away. Several people said they felt OPERS encouraged them to retire before pension reform to lock in the guaranteed 3% COLA. Her response was that OPERS never did any such thing. That they in fact encouraged people to work longer. I know first hand that that was a lie because I was one of those people.
    I also heard someone ask her about the trigger that would raise the COLA if inflation was above 3%. She said it would have to be 3 “consecutive” years of the CPI at 3% or more. Better hope it doesn’t drop to 2.9% in year 2.
    I just found the whole thing to be a lot of spin. I believe this has been planned for some time. I don’t trust them.

    • Ginny says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Retiree. No surprise Karen did not want to hear the angry, disenchanted comments. Like you, I believe OPERS had this reduction for retirees COLA in the works since the beginning of pension reform. The implied threat of losing healthcare if the reduction in CO
      LA does not happen is disgusting. OPERS does not want to hear negative comments about anything they propose. They don’t allow free speech on their blog by moderating and deleting comments and are defensive in most of their comments back to retirees. Can these OPERS elites be replaced? If so, what is the process?

    • Dean says:

      Nor should we trust them. They want to reduce COLAs to prop up a health care preservation plan that has been one failure after another.

  37. Audit Opers says:

    Audit Opers is what I posted this on the facebook page of OPERS – Karen Carraher sets on ORSC put she is not one of the voting members, There are 14 members but only 9 voting members – http://www.orsc.org/about/members-and-staff – click on their pictures of the voting members then you can send them an e-mail. Ask for an audit, ask why they have not stopped double dipping which even California the biggest of the big public pension system has stopped because it is draining the system, make them stop QEBA, put limits on high pension earners topping out of pension and limit COLA to the average yearly wage in Ohio at 3 percent after that nothing. Put live actuarial tables on joint and multiple beneficiary of those that choose those plans and so many other things. But mainly ask for that audit on why since 2011 they have invested so much in hedge funds and lost money with the stock market going up 25 percent since Trump got in. 25 percent of 90 billion is around 23 billion and with the profits this year alone would pay 6 more years of COLA, just with the profits in one year. The first of the meeting with Carraher was held, her staff took the microphone away from people that disagreed or voiced their opinions. We have an elitist secretive organization that needs to be privatized. Her and all the other 600 employees

  38. Rick says:

    I would rather loose the pre Medicare health payments than the Cola.The cola is forever and the health ins. Is only till age 65

  39. Rick says:

    Wasn’t 145.323 passed to protect our retirement from over reaching wall st. type fund managers and greedy politicians wanting to reapropriate OUR money?

  40. Rick says:

    I would like to make a respectful request of PERI, please post or email us updates, on how things are going , do we have many house members on our side? How long do we have before the house starts debate on this bill? You have things covered for now but an advanced heads up to all OPERS retires when and if the time comes to mobilize can’t hurt.

  41. Ginny says:

    Rick is right PERI, it would be great to have an update so we know what’s going on behind the scenes.

  42. RPM says:

    “An Invitation From OPERS Executive Director Karen Carraher

    Recently OPERS leadership had an opportunity to meet with a small group of retirees and explain to them, firsthand, the rationale behind the retiree COLA changes and address their questions and concerns. We’d like to continue the dialogue by hosting a series of meetings across the state called, OPERS Speaks.

    We will be coming to you to explain the COLA changes the OPERS Board of Trustees is recommending to the Ohio Legislature and why it’s necessary to makes these changes now. There will also be a Q&A period so we can hear your questions and answer you directly.”

    So OPERS leadership met with small groups of retirees. Who were these privileged few? Was Ms. Carraher really there at the November 17 meeting in Cleveland? Was she part of the “we” to make explanations and take Q & A at the northeast meeting? There must be someone who reads this blog who was there and can give us feedback on what happened?

    Every retiree should attend one of these meetings, should be armed with the knowledge displayed in this blog and ask pointed questions to put the “we’s” on the defensive.

    • Retiree says:

      Karen Carraher was the one and only speaker at the meeting in Cleveland and she took all the questions.

      • RPM says:

        Retiree
        Were you there? How did the meeting go? What was the mood at the beginning and end of the meeting? Was Ms. Carraher successfully challenged?

  43. Jim says:

    I received a response to the letter that I sent to the Ohio Retirement Study Council. It related that my letter would be given to all nine voting members on the Council at their December 14th meeting.

    I urge everyone to write soon and protest this attack on our pensions.

    I don’t know if this meeting is open to the public. Perhaps OPERI can organize an organized protest.

    • Michael Roberts says:

      I also sent an email to all voting members and received a response by email saying the same Jim.

    • Donna says:

      Jim – Can you post a copy of the letter you sent to the Ohio Retirement Study Council? I will send one but want to have my facts straight. I won’t use your exact wording, but would like the gist of it. Thanks.

      • Jim says:

        Donna,

        The next time I am on my computer, I will try and get something posted.

        I had a couple of tables in my letter to compare what would have happened to an OPERS retiree and a Social Security retiree if this would have been done to us from 2004 until now. It showed that we would be hundreds of dollars behind and even behind a Social Security recipient.

        I notice, however, that tables do not paste well to this blog.

    • Rick says:

      I would be interested in seeing you letter as well

  44. Retiree says:

    Updates and direction from PERI would be helpful, please.

  45. Ron Martin says:

    What’s the email address for the ORSC ?

  46. Michael Roberts says:

    A response from an e-mail to Rep. Scherer office the ones who introduced HB 413 to lower our COLA. Michael, Thank you for reaching out to our office. We value all of our constituents and are always interested in hearing your feedback and concerns. Rep Scherer introduced HB 413 at the personal request of Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring. Rep Scherer is not currently for or against the proposed changes to the OPERS COLA and he introduced the bill as requested to begin the process of a discussion of the pros and cons of the proposed changes. We have noted your position on this issue and appreciate your taking the time to voice it. If you have any further questions or issues, feel free to contact this office. Sincerely, Amanda McCoy Legislative Aide/ Representative Scherer – Ohio House of Representatives 77 S High St, Columbus, Ohio 43215 614-644-7923.

  47. Catherine says:

    Does anyone know what happens under the OPERS COLA plan to the accumulated COLA that we are now receiving annually? Does it stay or is it eliminated? Thanks…

  48. Jim says:

    Thank you, Michael.

    Kirk Schuring is from Canton. There are tons of OPERS retirees living in Canton.

    I’ll be writing to him. Everyone should write to him. And remember his name if he runs for office again.

  49. Ginny says:

    How is Schuring connected to Karen at OPERS? Does she have direct access to him and is he compliant with what she asks him to put forward? Anyone know?

  50. Michael Roberts says:

    Representative Kirk Schuring is the chair and voting member of the Ohio Retirement Study Council and Karen Carraher is a non voting member of the Ohio retirement Council. Now it would not look to good for the chair of the Ohio Retirement Study Council to introduce a bill to lower our COLA, that is why he probably got Rep. Scherer to introduce the bill. Here again is the members of the Ohio Retirement Study Council There are 14 members, but only 9 voting members – http://www.orsc.org/about/members-and-staff – it looks pretty bad when my e-mail says Rep. Scherer introduced the bill on behalf of Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring. That goes to show you that the chair of the Ohio Retirement Study Council and Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring – same person – are already against us. With Carraher setting on that board telling them exactly what to say.

  51. Michael Roberts says:

    This is the e-mail I just send to Representative Kirk Schuring chair of the Ohio Retirement Study Council and Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Representatives. Rep. Scherer introduced H.B 143 because according to the e-mail I received from his office, Rep Scherer introduced HB 413 at the personal request of Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring. This is my take on this already.

    Representative Kirk Schuring is the chair and voting member of the Ohio Retirement Study Council and Karen Carraher is a non voting member of the Ohio retirement Council. Now it would not look to good for the chair of the Ohio Retirement Study Council to introduce a bill to lower our COLA, that is why he probably got Rep. Scherer to introduce the bill. Here again is the members of the Ohio Retirement Study Council There are 14 members, but only 9 voting members – http://www.orsc.org/about/members-and-staff – it looks pretty bad when my e-mail says Rep. Scherer introduced the bill on behalf of Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring. That goes to show you that the chair of the Ohio Retirement Study Council and Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring – same person – are already against us. With Carraher setting on that board telling them exactly what to say.

  52. Ginny says:

    Michael thanks for the information. What collusion!

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