News & Blog


What’s going to happen to my STRS pension? (and other OCAAUP news)

What’s going to happen to my STRS pension? (and other OCAAUP news)

November 30, 2011 

What’s going to happen to my pension?

Over the past year, the Ohio Conference has reported on potential changes to the STRS and other statewide pension systems that are being considered by the Ohio General Assembly via the Ohio Retirement Study Council (ORSC).

Early on in this year’s legislative session, two pieces of legislation were introduced – House Bill 69 (Wachtmann) and Senate Bill 3 (Faber) – that, if passed, would have made changes to the five statewide pension systems.

Ohio requires public retirement systems to have a “30-year funding period,” which means that the system must be able to pay off all pension obligations within a 30-year period. Reforms to the pension systems are being considered to ensure that the retirement systems are meeting this mandated fiduciary responsibility.

At this time, it is uncertain what reforms may be enacted, but changes could include: increasing the number of years needed for retirement; requiring additional employee contributions; or reducing benefits.

Sen. Keith Faber, sponsor of SB 3 and Chair of the ORSC, announced in June that he wanted to bring in an independent actuary/policy advisor to provide an objective perspective and analysis to Ohio’s pension reform process.

Just days ago at its November 16 meeting, following a request for proposals and screening process, the ORSC unanimously selected Pension Trustee Advisors (PTA) to conduct the independent actuarial review. PTA is expected to complete their work by July 2012. 

Because of the complexity of the issue, it is most likely that we will not see serious movement on pension reform until late next year (2012), after the PTA report is issued and studied. And since legislators will be focused on their re-election bids throughout the calendar year 2012, it is very possible that pension reform may not be taken up at all until early 2013.

The Ohio Conference will continue to provide updates on this issue as events unfold.

We Won on Issue 2, Now What?
The fight for fairness in Ohio is hardly over. 

Two days after Ohioans overwhelmingly voted in favor of collective bargaining rights for public employees, a group of Tea Party activists known as the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law filed an initial petition with the Ohio Attorney General to put a constitutional amendment on the November 2012 ballot that would make Ohio a so-called “Right to Work” state.

Opponents of Right to Work more aptly refer to it as “Right to Freeload” and “Right to Work for Less,” since these laws prohibit agreements that require workers to pay fair share fees and promote lower wages.

However, on November 22, Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the rejection of the initial petition on the grounds that it did not properly characterize legal remedies under the proposed amendment. Nevertheless, it is expected that the group will resubmit a new petition with revised language to the Attorney General in the near future.

The We Are Ohio coalition, the bipartisan group that fought against Issue 2, plans to remain together to fight back against these kinds of unfair, partisan attacks on workers’ rights. The Ohio Conference AAUP will continue to be part of this coalition moving forward and provide updates to our members on further developments.

Reminder: Call for Nominations to Serve on the Ohio Conference Board of Trustees

The Ohio Conference is seeking nominations for its upcoming Board of Trustees’ elections.

The positions of President, Secretary, At-Large Member – Private Institutions, Chair of the Committee on Organizing, Chair of the Committee on Two-Year Institutions, and Chair of the Committee on Private Institutions are to be elected in 2012.

For more information on how to nominate yourself or a colleague, please click here.

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SB 83 Stalls Again