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(6/14/17) - For the 32nd consecutive year, SERS has received the Certificate of Achievement for Financial Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA).

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The GFOA awards the certificate to government entities whose annual financial reports are judged to adhere to program standards. It represents the highest award in government financial reporting.

SERS received the award for its FY2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

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(6/12/17) - This story was orginally posted on 12/20/16. 

Ohio has one of the best public pension structures in the U.S. Our framework provides reliable and consistent funding to the pension systems for the retirement security of public employees, and protects taxpayers from having to increase pension funding during poor economic times. Ohio also has a formal and independent legislative oversight entity, the Ohio Retirement Study Council, to make sure the pension systems manage assets in the best interests of its public employees.

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Unfortunately, some national studies, like the one the Mercatus Center released on December 13, fail to acknowledge these advantages and use unrealistic assumptions to make the case for a switch from defined benefit pensions to 401(k) plans. Here’s where their methodology fails:

1.  The authors of the study define Ohio’s public pension systems as “severely underfunded.”

According to our actuary, this is absolutely untrue. While SERS is not 100% funded (meaning we have all the assets we need to pay off every benefit earned as of today) we have enough reliable and consistent income to pay off all liabilities over the next 28 years. Not all pension liabilities come due at one time; they come due gradually over time.

2.  They make dire predictions about the solvency of Ohio’s plans based on the assumption that the plans will receive no future employee and employer contributions.

This is unrealistic because our employee and employer contributions are defined by state law and they have always been consistently received.

3.   They use a 2% investment return to calculate future investment earnings on current assets.

This is extremely low considering the 32-year history of investment returns for SERS is nearly 9% annually. While it’s possible that investment returns may be lower in the next few years, 2% over an extended period is improbable.

Ohio’s pension systems constantly undergo close scrutiny by independent auditors and actuaries. At SERS, we have always met or exceeded the state’s standards for pension funding and we take seriously our fiduciary duty to make sure the pension fund remains financially sound.

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PENSION BENEFITS AT RISK WITHOUT COLA CHANGES

(5/16/17) - As Chair of the SERS Board of Trustees and an active member of OAPSE, I want to let you know the importance of the proposed Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) changes to SERS.  

Protecting Pension Benefits Is Our Priority

The SERS Board is sworn to protect the pension benefits of active and retired members.

The changes fairly ask active members and retirees to share in the pension funding solution, rather than saddling active members with the entire burden.

Ignoring the Problem Now Makes It Worse Later

SERS must address its financial challenges now. The pension fund may not withstand another serious financial crisis. The health care fund has seven years of funding, and cannot survive without a healthy pension fund.

Despite this urgency, members are being asked to oppose these changes.

A FAIR Solution

We know these changes are difficult. Several of our advocacy group partners have provided letters of support or understanding that the COLA changes are a FAIR and NECESSARY solution. 

We Need to Hear from You

If you agree that it is better to make changes now rather than waiting for the funding problem to get worse, let the SERS Board hear your voice.   

Click the green button below to tell the Board, "Yes, preserve my pension and access to SERS' health care!"

 

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Click here for more information regarding the proposed changes.

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(5/5/17) - Between preparing healthy meals for our children, being vigilant about student food allergies, and serving each child with a smile, school nutrition staff are true heroes.

Today, we spotlight and thank all school nutrition professionals and honor you for your commitment to our schools each and every day!

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(5/1/17) - Thank you to all our working and retired school bus drivers for keeping Ohio's school children safe each and every day. 

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(4/28/17)If you previously had an online account to access the old version of Member Account Login, you will need to create a NEW user profile to access your personal SERS account information in the new Member Account Login.

The upgraded Member Account Login includes additional functionality, as well as enhanced security features to keep your information safe.

 

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(4/12/17) - SERS' new benefit administration system is "live."  That means that the new Member Account Login is now available. 

Your Member Account Login has a new look. Because of its increased functionality and capabilities, the system's security features have been upgraded

As result of the upgrade, you will need to create a new account to access your SERS account information. We will guide you through the registration process. 

During this transition period, please be patient with us. You may experience some longer than usual turnaround times.

SERS’ staff is appreciative of the assistance from Sagitec, our technology vendor, for a smooth transition from the old system to the new one.

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(4/10/17) - You recently may have received a mailing from Protect Ohio Pensions, Inc. (POP5), a new organization that was founded with the goal of “preserving Ohio’s defined benefit pension plans and protecting the pension systems’ investment decisions from outside financial, or politically motivated, influences.”

SERS is not affiliated with POP5, and we do not advocate for or against joining this organization. Please use your best judgement as to whether or not they provide services that are important to you. 

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COLA Changes: What You Need to Know

Click here to read about the proposed changes to the Cost-of-Living Adjustment.

Click here for a chart that compares SERS' proposed COLA changes to the COLAs of other Ohio public retirement systems. This document also contains a breakdown of percentage changes in the Consumer Price Index over the past 15 years.

Click here for a detailed statement from SERS' actuary.

Contact Congress Regarding An Important Issue Affecting SERS Retirees

Contacting your legislators is easy using SERS' Legislative Action Alert. By entering your ZIP code, you’ll have access to the contact information (e-mail address, phone number, and mailing address) of your federal legislators.

OPPOSE SOCIAL SECURITY OFFSET AND WINDFALL PENALTIES

We encourage SERS members and retirees to contact their members of Congress to ask them to support elimination of these provisions.

Encourage your legislator to support the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act.

Monthly Administrative Expense Reports

The Monthly Administrative Expense Reports contain information about SERS' day-to-day operating expenses and is provided in both summary and detail formats.

Click here to view these administrative expense reports.

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