PERI Continues to Advocate for Retirees Through Opposition to HB 413

PERI Urges Members to Contact Legislators On H.B. 413
January 8, 2018
House Committee Schedules Hearing for Opponent Testimony on HB 413
February 2, 2018

PERI Continues to Advocate for Retirees Through Opposition to HB 413

(January 31, 2018)  PERI is continuing the fight to defeat HB 413 and its most onerous provision that would cap retirees’ COLA at actual inflation up to a maximum of 2.5% annually.  We recently learned that the performance of OPERS investment portfolio was outstanding last year and realized more than double the anticipated return of 7.5% annually, coming in at a robust 16.2%.  The results provided OPERS with billions of additional dollars that likely no one saw coming at the beginning of 2017.   This is another reason to believe OPERS when they say that the state of the system is strong and getting stronger.  Given the lack of an economic crisis to drive reductions in benefits, OPERS is further pressed to demonstrate that 200,000 retirees should be forced to live on reduced benefits.  PERI strongly urges members to continue to contact legislators and express your opinion that HB 413 is a bad deal for retirees and is completely unnecessary.

After review of an important court case that addresses an issue very similar to this, PERI believes OPERS and the General Assembly lack the authority to pass this proposed change and will face almost certain litigation if HB 413 becomes law.  Remember, the proposed reduction to COLA has not taken effect and won’t unless it passes the General Assembly and is signed by the Governor.  There is still a long way to go before this is resolved.  Rest assured that PERI will continue to fight on your behalf and do everything within our power to protect your COLA benefit.

 

13 Comments

  1. Jerry M. says:

    Based on Opers portfolio returns for 2017, This should be a primary reason to oppose h.b. 413 as it slithers it’s way through the general assembly. And another reason to fight it via litigation if needed.

  2. Michael Roberts says:

    God bless PERI. I continue to write, email, tweet and call. I continue to comment on all blogs and pages made on Facebook dealing with this issue Oh course I can not comment on any OPERS Facebook posts because they removed my comments and finally the area to comment ceased being there in other words I was blocked without warning or reason. My first amendment rights were taken away by a public organization. I said public lightly because I believe OPERS has become a secretive business like organization and its purpose is to maintain its employee jobs and salaries and the retirees have become a secondary thought.

    • Mark says:

      Its part of OPERS plan to manipulate public opinion by removing dissenting viewpoints. Either you are in agreement with them or you are silenced. Some of my posts were also removed quietly. OPERS is attempting to run without checks & balances. There is no oversight when one party controls it all.

  3. Len says:

    I received a response from State Representative Boccieri…he indicated that “right now” he is OPPOSED to HB 413. Still waiting to hear from Senator Schiavoni. Keep the emails flying…

  4. David Smith says:

    Many retired early, myself included, because of the law change in 2012 in order to obtain the 3% COLA. Because one retired early with for example 25 years, they lose out on the benefits of the yearly increases to their income and to the additional 5 years of service credit had they waited. Now OPERS wants to change the laws and take away the 3% COLA! This just seems so wrong. I recently became a lifetime member of OPERI in hopes you continue to represent the retirees on this issue.

  5. Donna says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  6. Ginny says:

    Keep up the effort, everyone!

  7. David says:

    State legislators have had too much control over OPERS activities for years. I agree we must contact them to oppose HB 413 but don’t stop there..
    Help Fair Districts = Fair Elections to get signatures for a November 2018 ballot initiative that is intended to end gerrymandering in Ohio. The current legislative body can be changed to be more retiree-friendly but their current ability to gerrymander threatens that change.

  8. Donna says:

    I just contacted my representatives again with the new information PERI provided. I encourage you all to do the same.

  9. Dean says:

    A 16:2% gain means total assets in the defined pension portfolio grew 8 billion dollars. It would have been 10 billion if OPERS was not in Hedge Funds that earned less than 7% in 2017.

  10. Pat says:

    I like many retired with the guaranteed 3%, which diminishes with each passing year. It’s criminal to take it away from us now. A promise is a promise.

  11. Tim Zdrale says:

    Let’s stop the bleeding! OPERS has taken away spousal benefits, reduced reinbursements to Medicare/Medical Accounts!
    Now they want take our COLA . . . Members need to dig in and prevent OPERS from philfering
    our pensions. OPERI we need you to fight us!! Please don’t let this happen.

  12. Tim Zdrale says:

    Enough is enough! Don’t let them take away our COLA! We all worked long and hard for this benefit . . .

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