Senators Brown and Portman Hold Hearing on Federal Pension Concerns

OPERS Board of Trustees Election
May 11, 2018

Senators Brown and Portman Hold Hearing on Federal Pension Concerns

(July 16, 2018)  A rare field hearing was held by the congressional Joint Select Committee on Pensions at the Ohio Statehouse on Friday.  The purpose of the hearing was to take testimony from interested parties who are specifically impacted by the funding crisis facing hundreds of private multi-employer pension funds guaranteed by the federal government.  More than 1.3 million current and future retirees across the country with many in Ohio are impacted by this crisis.  Both Senators are co-chairs of the committee, charged with the responsibility to devise a solution to close the funding gap and present it to Congress for an up or down vote once approved by the committee.  The funds in question, including the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund, are facing more than $17 billion in unfunded liabilities that could lead to substantial cuts in benefits for those participating in the plans.

It is important to note that this action is not connected in any manner with OPERS’ solvency or that of the other four state pension systems.  They are not participants in the federally guaranteed program.  It’s important to remind PERI members that OPERS is 81% funded which is considered good for a system such as this.

 

10 Comments

  1. Jim says:

    Although this multi-employer pension fund may not directly affect us at OPERS, this divide and conquer strategy does affect us. Make cuts to this smaller private fund, attack public pensions by dividing retirees’ into group A, B and C, attack Social Security—all while others make a mint off of us. I trust that all PERI members will contact both Ohio Senators to enforce the promises made to these fellow retirees’.

  2. Richard DeWitt says:

    Is there anything we can be doing to help retired teachers, who after seeing our success and enduring several years without a cola, need a restoration of their bennifits. I myself will write some letters. I know they are not PERI but can we show support?

  3. Fred says:

    Unfortunately for those who need their help. Brown has been in the Senate for twelve years, and Portman was in Congress for twelve years and now in the Senate for eight years, and both have been relatively worthless representatives of their constituents.

  4. Donna says:

    OPERS is still only posting what they want people to hear in their blog comments. I sent a comment in response to their July 10 post about OPERS’ strong financial position. I stated that there should be no reason to re-open the COLA issue. They never posted it. They only posted the “atta-boy” comments.

    However, they did post an alarmist response about the future of the health care fund. They are gathering ammunition for the next attack on our COLA. We need to stay vigilant.

    • Retiree says:

      I also tried to post a reply to the alarmist comment about healthcare. They didn’t post mine either. Shouldn’t someone be made aware of this? The fact that they won’t allow us to speak openly and are censoring our comments should concern us all.

    • Fred says:

      Donna,
      After reading your post, I went back to the OPERS blog to see if the two comments I entered on the blog in regards To “OPERS announces 2019 COLA adjustments”. I found that neither of the comments I entered on the blog on 7/25 have been posted, however several comments dated 7/26 have been posted on the blog.

    • Jim says:

      Donna, you’re correct. OPERS only posts atta-boys. I tried to ask what the COLA was supposed to be for 2019, if not 3%, but they ignore members’ questions that make them uncomfortable. So much for “A partner in our future”.

  5. Donna says:

    OPERS just announced a 3% COLA for all retirees, based on a CPE index of 3.09%. Thank goodness for everyone’s hard work in preserving our COLA! Had OPERS gotten their way, we would all be receiving 2.5%. Good job PERI, PERI members and the representatives who backed us!

  6. DENNIS KISH says:

    what would a one quarter of one percent increase to current opers eligible employees raise per year? (not the employer contribution). opers retirement is a GREAT plan and i would think current and future employees, like me, would be agreeable to the increase to save the program.

  7. Jerry M. says:

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the CPI-W increased to 3.09 percent. Even more reason to fight to keep retiree c.o.l.a. as is. A new session of the general assembly begins in Jan. 2019. Opers will attempt the c.o.l.a. reduction again. It depends on the make up of the general assembly after the Nov. election. This is why retirees needs to stay in contact with members of the general assembly concerning this matter.

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