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December Board News

(The text below is reprinted from the news release by STRS on 12/17/12.)

CliftonLarsonAllen reported the results of its audit of the STRS Ohio financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, at the December Retirement Board meeting. The report noted that the system's financial statements were fairly stated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles; further, no material weaknesses in internal controls or instances of statutory noncompliance were found. As a result, STRS Ohio received an unqualified audit — known as a "clean" opinion — which is the highest level of opinion that an organization can achieve.

STRS Ohio's financial statements are included in the 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, which will be posted on the STRS Ohio website by Dec. 28, 2012. Copies of the report can also be requested by calling STRS Ohio's Member Services Center toll-free at 1-888-227-7877. In addition to the financial statements noteed above, th…

November Board News

(The text below is reprinted from the news release by STRS on 11/16/12.)

Retirement Board Resumes Health Care Strategic Planning Discussions At its November 2012 meeting, the Retirement Board reviewed the three primary goals of the health care strategic plan:

·Establish Medicare as the health care program's cornerstone, to help the largest number of retirees for the longest period of time;
·Achieve 30 years of solvency for the health care program by 2016;
·Extend forecasted solvency to 65 or more years by 2025.
The Retirement Board discussed ways to extend the solvency of the Health Care Stabilization Fund, as health plans around the nation wait to see just how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will shape the industry. One key issue surrounding the ACA is if and how the health care exchanges will develop in Ohio. These exchanges are expected to provide guaranteed issue coverage for pre-Medicare individuals. In most health care plans, pre-Medicare individuals are now subject to preexisting c…

October Board News

(The text below is reprinted from the news release by STRS on 10/19/12.)

Annual Actuarial Valuation Shows Decrease in Member Payroll Causes Slight Decline in STRS OhioFunding
At its October meeting, the State Teachers Retirement Board received a report of the annual pension valuation results from its actuarial consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The report provides a "snapshot" of the actuarial position of the retirement funds as of July 1, 2012. This year's report shows the funding period for the pension fund increased slightly to 36.4 years, when calculated using the benefit changes resulting from the passage of Sub. S.B. 342. The funded ratio now stands at 64%.

A decrease in contributing payroll, caused primarily by the fact that there were nearly 5,000 fewer active members paying into STRS Ohio, led to the slight decline in overall funding progress. While fiscal year 2012 had a negative impact on STRS Ohio's funding, PwC's report noted that with the new be…

Ohio House and Senate Pass Pension Reform Bills; now Awaiting Governor's Signature

(FROM the STRS Ohio eUPDATE)

On Sept. 12, the Ohio Legislature passed pension reform bills to improve the financial condition of all five Ohio pension systems, including the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS Ohio). The STRS Ohio bill, Substitute Senate Bill 342, was based on the reform plan approved unanimously by the State Teachers Retirement Board on April 19, 2012. The bill now goes to Governor Kasich for his signature. Once signed, the bill will go into effect Jan. 7, 2013, but most of STRS Ohio's plan changes will take effect July 1, 2013, or later.
STRS Ohio executive director Michael Nehf expressed his appreciation to the key legislative leaders who helped bring the board-approved plan to fruition. "I want to thank Senate President Tom Niehaus (R-New Richmond) and Minority Leader Eric Kearney (D-Cincinnati) for co-sponsoring the pension reform bills," said Nehf. "I am also grateful for the leadership that Representatives Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) an…

August Board News

(The text below is reprinted from the news release by STRS on 8/17/12.)

STRS Ohio Presents Pension Reform Proposal to House Subcommittee At the August meeting of the State Teachers Retirement Board, executive director Michael Nehf provided an update on the status of pension legislation that is pending before the Ohio House of Representatives. Nehf told the board that the House Health and Aging Subcommittee on Retirement and Pensions held several hearings on pension bills during the summer. On Aug. 8, Nehf presented STRS Ohio's pension reform proposal to the subcommittee and responded to questions from its members

Nehf told the subcommittee that STRS Ohio's changes are necessary to preserve the pension fund and acknowledged that the board-approved plan has the support of the Healthcare and Pension Advocates for STRS — a coalition that is comprised of groups of active members, retirees and employers. The STRS Ohio plan increases age and service requirements for retirement; calculat…

STRS Ohio Presents Pension Reform Proposal to House Subcommittee

(FROM the STRS Ohio eUPDATE)

On Aug. 8, STRS Ohio executive director Mike Nehf told members of the House Health and Aging Subcommittee on Retirement and Pensions that the pension reform plan unanimously passed by the State Teachers Retirement Board in April is necessary to preserve the pension fund and that the board's action was taken to uphold its fiduciary duty to the members and retirees of the system. The House subcommittee has been holding hearings on pension legislation since mid-July and expects to take action on bills for all five Ohio retirement systems in September.
Mr. Nehf's presentationacknowledged that STRS Ohio's pension proposal is supported by the Healthcare and Pension Advocates for STRS — a coalition that is comprised of groups of active members, retirees and employers.The STRS Ohio planincreases age and service requirements for retirement; calculates pensions on a lower, fixed formula; increases the period for determining final average salary; increases …

Pension Trustee Advisors Presents Report to ORSC, Recommends Adoption of System Developed Plans

(FROM the STRS Ohio eUPDATE)
At the July 11 Ohio Retirement Study Council (ORSC) meeting, William "Flick" Fornia presented the results of the Pension Trustee Advisors (PTA) study of the pension plan design changes approved by the boards of Ohio's five statewide retirement systems. The PTA report recommended adoption of the systems' plans, but suggested that the retirement systems' boards be given authority to make further benefit changes in the future, if necessary, to remain within a 30-year funding period. The report also supported the continuation of defined benefit plans for Ohio's public employees, noting the efficiency and low costs of these plans. While some news outlets focused on portions of the report that point to the possible need for additional plan adjustments, PTA encouraged legislative approval of the plans because the boards' recommended changes will put the systems in a much more solid financial position.
The PTA report called STRS Ohio…

June Board News

(The text below is reprinted from the news release by STRS on 6/15/12.)
Retirement Board Chair, Vice Chair Named During its June meeting, the State Teachers Retirement Board elected Dale Price (Toledo Public Schools, Lucas County) as its vice chair for the coming year. According to Board Policies, Mark Hill (Worthington City Schools, Franklin County), who is currently serving as vice chair, automatically moves into the position of chair. Hill and Price will assume their new responsibilities on Sept. 1, 2012.
Retirement Board Accepts the Annual Investment Plan The Retirement Board voted to accept the Investment Plan for fiscal year 2013 (July 1, 2012– June 30, 2013). The plan details staff's investment strategy for each asset class comprising the system's investment fund.
STRS Ohio staff expects only modest growth in the capital markets during fiscal year 2013. With the threat of global debt problems having a harmful effect on the markets, STRS Ohio will continue to closely monitor …

May Board News

(The text below is reprinted from the news release by STRS on 5/18/12.)

Ohio Senate Passes Pension Reform Legislation; STRS Ohio Hopeful That House of Representatives Will Take Action
Executive Director Michael Nehf reported at the May Retirement Board meeting that the Ohio Senate passed STRS Ohio’s long-awaited pension reform bill (Sub. Senate Bill 342) on May 16 by a 31–2 vote, paving the way for the House to hopefully take similar action yet this year. Retirement Board Chair Jim McGreevy expressed appreciation to the Senate and to the bill’s co-sponsors, Senate President Tom Niehaus (R-New Richmond) and Senate Minority Leader Eric Kearney (D-Cincinnati) for taking action on pension reform. McGreevy also complimented STRS Ohio stakeholders for their work in support of the bill.

On May 8, the co-sponsors introduced four pension reform bills that were assigned to the Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee. In testimony that afternoon, Nehf told Committee members that the changes …