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STRS October Board News Details Retirement Board Actions and Discussions

(The text below is reprinted from the news release by STRS on 10/16/2009.)

This week, the State Teachers Retirement Board held its monthly meeting. Following the regularly scheduled meetings, a report titled "Board News" is posted on the STRS Ohio Web site, as well as mailed to a number of members and education organization representatives who have requested it. As a member of STRS Ohio with an e-mail address on file, you will also receive this report each month.

OCTOBER BOARD NEWS

ANNUAL ACTUARIAL VALUATION REPORT CONFIRMS NEED FOR PENSION FUNDING CHANGES

At its October 2009 meeting, the State Teachers Retirement Board received its first look at the annual actuarial valuation report of STRS Ohio's pension fund from its actuarial consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). This report provides a "snapshot" of the actuarial position of the retirement fund as of July 1, 2009. As expected, the PwC report confirmed the data shared much earlier in the year with the Re…

I.O.U.S.A. Free Movie Showing During Financial Planning Week

In support of Financial Planning Week which runs from October 5-11, 2009, the Financial Planning Association of Northeastern Ohio is pleased to announce a public showing of the movie I.O.U.S.A. (http://www.iousathemovie.com/) at the Cedar Lee Theater in Cleveland Heights, OH. One of the missions of the FPA is to raise awareness about the the importance of personal financial planning and offer guidance in making financial decisions. As a Board Member of the association I support and encourage this pro bono event in our community.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 7pm
Free Admission (with a suggested donation of $3 to go towards Cleveland Saves)
Cedar Lee Theater
2163 Lee Road
Cleveland Hts., Ohio 44118

Seating is limited, so please register at http://tinyurl.com/ydq99lh. (You must register to attend.)

Although the movie is free, there is a suggested donation which will go towards Cleveland Saves, a local non-profit that encourages individuals and families to save money so that they can build wealt…

September Board News Details Retirement Board Actions and Discussions

(The text below is a copy of the release from STRS made 09/21/2009)

Last week, the State Teachers Retirement Board held its monthly meeting. Following the regularly scheduled meetings, a report titled "Board News" is posted on the STRS Ohio Web site, as well as mailed to a number of members and education organization representatives who have requested it. As a member of STRS Ohio with an e-mail address on file, you will also receive this report each month. The September report follows.

SEPTEMBER BOARD NEWS

OHIO'S FIVE PENSION SYSTEMS PRESENT THEIR PLANS TO THE ORSC On Sept. 9, all five Ohio public pension systems - STRS Ohio, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, School Employees Retirement System, Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund and the Highway Patrol Retirement System - presented their plans for achieving or maintaining a 30-year funding period to the Ohio Retirement Study Council (ORSC). This council serves as the legislative oversight body for the five systems.

At…

Comments on Proposed Changes to State Teacher's Retirement System

As seen from the full post of the STRS announcement, STRS finally came out with their proposed changes to the pension plan. These changes will be presented to the Ohio Retirement Study Council next week in conjunction with the other state pension systems for public employees. These other state pension systems face similar issues as STRS and change within these other pension systems is likely not far behind. It's important to note that state law must actually be changed before these proposed changes can actually be put into force, so there is still considerable length to this process of change.Change in some form is eminent. Private, non-government pension systems have been vanishing over the last decades because in part because as our life expectancy has continually increased over time, the pensions have had to be paid longer than expected. Pensions put an open-ended liability on the shoulders of the private companies and these pensions and healthcare benefits provided to both emp…

STRS Board News: Retirement Board Actions and Discussions from 9/1/09

(The text below is a copy of the release from STRS made 09/01/2009)

Today, the State Teachers Retirement Board held a special meeting. Following board meetings, a report titled "Board News" is posted on the STRS Ohio Web site, as well as mailed to a number of members and education organization representatives who have requested it. As a member of STRS Ohio with an e-mail address on file, you will also receive this report whenever it is issued.

RETIREMENT BOARD ADOPTS PLAN FOR PENSION DESIGN AND CONTRIBUTION CHANGES

Following many months of discussion and after receiving significant input from STRS Ohio members, the State Teachers Retirement Board unanimously approved a multifaceted plan today to strengthen the financial condition of the retirement system. In approving the plan, board members cited the difficulty in making the decision, noting that these changes impact all STRS Ohio members. The plan includes an increase in contributions; an increase in final average salary year…

July Update From STRS Ohio

As the market downturn has hurt pension plans nation-wide, STRS is conducting various contingency planning scenarios to ensure the pension plan is more adequately funded for current and future retirees. Some of the changes, if implemented, could impact current retirees, potentially reducing or eliminating the COLA--cost of living adjustment--for example. This could pose a difficult scenario for current retirees, as a promised and likely planned-for benefits could be reduced.

In a future post, I will discuss the pros and cons of using the PLOP--Partial Lump Sum Option--available through STRS and other state pension systems. The PLOP transfers investment risk to the participant but can reduce the risk of negative changes to the pension systems such as a reduced COLA.

Notes from STRS' July Update are shown below.

To Your Prosperity,

Kevin Kroskey

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(From STRS Ohio's July Update)

LONG-TERM CONTINGENCY PLANNING WORK CONTINUES …

Ohio Deferred Compensation Informational Program

Below is an email that Ohio Deferred Comp sent out to participants of the 457 retirement savings plan about an upcoming informational session held in Medina on 5/19/09.

To Your Prosperity,

Kevin Kroskey


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The Ohio Deferred Compensation Program will be offering two evening retirement readiness workshops on Tuesday, May 19th at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Program Account Executives will cover topics such as asset allocation, risk tolerance, catch-up deferrals and withdrawal options.

Individual questions will also be addressed after the workshop. Due to the large number of anticipated attendees, we will be unable to perform detailed individual account reviews at the workshop. Program participants are welcome to bring a spouse or a co-worker to learn more about the Program. Space is limited. Please call 1-877-644-6457 or reply to this email with your full name, daytime phone number, seminar time you wish to attend and number of attendees to register for either workshop. Locat…

DISCLAIMER

This blog and website are for informational, educational and discussion purposes only. Even though topics may be discussed on this blog that involve legal, tax, or investment issues, nothing on this blog shall be deemed to constitute the practice of law, legal advice, tax advice or investment advice. No reader should act in reliance on anything discussed in this blog without prior consultation with a licensed professional who is qualified to evaluate the reader’s individual facts and circumstances and offer an informed professional opinion with respect thereto.

If any reader takes action or makes decisions based solely on the information on this blog without prior consultation with a qualified, licensed professional, the reader does so at his or her own risk and agrees that Kevin Kroskey and True Wealth Design shall have no liability resulting from such unilateral action or decisions by the reader.

The information posted on this blog is believed to be accurate and truthful. Nevertheless…

The Beginnings of Ohio Faculty Advisor

My name is Kevin Kroskey, and this is my first foray into blogging. I am a Registered Investment Advisor with a fee-only financial planning firm, which I own, called True Wealth Design. I also am a part-time instructor at Tri-C Corporate College near Cleveland where I teach Retirement Planning to financial professionals who are seeking their Certified Financial Planner(r) certification. Through my role and compensation as instructor I too am a participant in State Teacher's Retirement System (STRS). In my practice I work with several faculty members who are also participants in STRS as well as their families.

Through my related experiences as both a participant and practitioner I am confident that I can provide quality information to other faculty members on both the opportunties as well as the challenges they face in navigating their unique financial planning needs. And in my experience this is sorely needed. Thus the creation of this blog.

Some of the topics I intend to write abou…