27 Investigates: STRS pension update

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) — The State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio has a plan to reduce how long it would take to pay off what it owes.

We first told you about this last week as part of 27 Investigates: Ohio public pension systems.

Here’s a breakdown of the numbers: STRS has 13,595 active members in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties. The fund is just 66.3 percent funded and would take 40.2 years to pay off what it owes. The state requires 30 years or less.

It sent a letter to the Ohio Retirement Study Council on Feb. 21.

We now know what the board is proposing. It believes strong investments in 2014 and deferred gains since 2011 will drop the payoff period by four years.

The board also has discussed redirecting 1 percent of employer contributions from health care to pensions.  If approved, it would drop the payoff period another four years to about 32 years. None of this plan would require legislative action.

The Retirement Study Council will discuss the proposal at its next meeting, tentatively scheduled for March 13. STRS will meet on March 20 and likely talk again about the health care funding shift.

To learn more about STRS 2012 pension reform, click here.

To see a breakdown of all five Ohio public pension systems, including tri-county numbers, click here.

To see information on Ohio’s public pension systems provided by Mahoning County Auditor Mike Sciortino, click here.

For more information, contact Erika Thomas at erika.thomas@wkbn.com.

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