Thursday, September 19, 2019

Dan MacDonald, STRS Ohio Retirement Board, September 19, 2019

Last month Investment Director John Morrow stated that CalSTRS is not doing anything unique, I beg to differ.

I am Dan MacDonald, veteran and also STRS retiree, 38 years active, plus Executive Director of Local 279-R, NEO AFT retirees, 1,000 members strong.

CalSTRS has a mature plan just like STRSOH. CalSTRS has gone through the same market volatility as STRS. CalSTRS educators have no Social Security. CalSTRS rate of return was less than STRS’s in FY 2019.

CalSTRS, I am sure, has a sensitive and knowledgeable Board just as STRS.

CalSTRS appears to have the support of its state legislature, perhaps that’s a difference.

CalSTRS has managed to pay a COLA for the past 43 years, that is a difference.

CalSTRS has Inflation Protection. This is purchasing power protection which maintains its retirees’ benefits at least at 85% of the retiree’s initial monthly benefit. That’s a BIG DIFFERENCE.

CalSTRS retirement formula appears to be what STRS had before STRS’s “Pension Reform.” That’s a BIG DIFFERENCE.

If these last are not unique from STRS, I don’t understand. Perhaps CalSTRS Board chair might be invited to Ohio to explain before our Board, California’s thought process, concerns, and benefits. CalSTRS has a goal of 2046 for full funding, but I’m sure they are also concerned about the next market drop. How can California continue to support its actives and retirees while we can’t?

STRS, our hen house, is being decimated by the foxes that administrate our plan. While actives and retirees are losing hope of financial safety with the loss of a good benefit formula, COLA, and income protection, OUR employees; in other words, STRS staff, continue gaining merit based salary increases and performance-based incentives.

Don’t consider placating us with a thirteenth check. We want our COLA back!

Thank you.