I want to publicly acknowledge the work of the STRS employees throughout the 2018 fiscal year. As reported during last month’s meeting of the STRS Board of Trustees, the investment people added just over $1.1 billion to the assets of our retirement fund. If I understand correctly, STRS earned just over $5.1 billion through its investment activities. With approximately $4 billion going towards paying beneficiaries, the net result of the work of the investment staff resulted in $1.1 billion being added to the assets of our pension fund.
Although the increase in assets brings the pension system closer to the 85% funding level required by the recently revised funding policy, the system remains well below the level identified for serious consideration of benefit enhancement. Many of our retirees do not have 7 or more years of life left to enjoy prior to receiving an increase in the benefit that they were promised at the time of their retirement.
ORTA encourages the board of trustees to take action to rectify the hardship the loss of COLA has placed on retirees. Two specific actions would demonstrate a commitment to the retirees that STRS Ohio serve:
I respectfully remind the STRS Board that simply not paying the obligations of STRS to the beneficiaries is not a ‘plan to strengthen the system’.