Pension fund PERS may fund catastrophe building

State's largest pension system has set aside $3.03 million for new building
MCT Regional News
Dec 13, 2013

Ohio’s largest pension system has set aside $3.03 million for a new building that could be used in case a disaster strikes.

The Public Employee Retirement System currently leases a facility for that purpose. But the price could increase by about seven times to nearly $500,000 a year, Director Karen Carraher told the Ohio Retirement Study Council yesterday.

No alternative has been approved; the $3 million is just a budget “placeholder” in case the board decides to buy its own building separate from the pension system’s headquarters Downtown on E. Town Street, she said.

The current lease, for a site near Rt. 23  north of 270, will increase from $180,000 to $480,000 after June 1, 2014.

Ohio’s other pension systems all have backup sites to preserve crucial retirement information and enable at least a skeleton crew to keep working in case their current headquarters can’t be used.

The possible PERS building is part of a $20.3 million capital budget for 2014. The fund’s operating budget is up about 6.8 percent from projected spending for this year, to $101.8 million.

The council also learned that the funding period for the State Teachers Retirement System is 36.1 years, according to the system’s new valuation. State law requires the period to be 30 years at most, so STRS must come up with a compliance plan by early next year.

Director Michael Nehf said the teachers system, which has cut its liabilities by $15 billion, hopes to achieve the benchmark by 2016.

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By Darrel Rowland - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

©2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

Visit The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) at www.dispatch.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

JACKEL

Yea,that figures. Now they are cutting Medicare premium reimbursement from retirees and increasing retirement years to remain solvent,so they say.

Contango

Re: "The Public Employee Retirement System,"

Isn't it nice that public employees have a health and welfare benefit system that is guaranteed by OH taxpayers, while the citizens have to rely mostly on Social Security?

ladydye_5

We paid into my husband's PERS all while he worked for the state. The amount they took out of our check was ungodly!!!! I could have used that money for other things (like groceries, instead of a credit card). When he lost his job due to DOWNSIZING...we had to cash out his PERS....took a hit on taxes and paid off the CREDIT CARD we had been living on! So quit crying about how it is taxpayer funded, we paid into it also. At a rate that was too high if you ask me. It took money out of our check we needed to live on.

Truckstop

@Contango-- do you think that all of Ohio's taxpayer's are entitled to the PERS benefit system? Ohio public workers pay into PERS at a considerably higher rate than regular citizens pay into social security. Shouldn't they then be entitled to a larger payout? Besides, just last year Ohio's pensions rolled back some of their more lucrative benefits in order to remain solvent. If you wanted a lower-paying, public sector job with a great retirement, you probably could;ve taken that route. Instead you likely took a higher-paying private sector job with less benefits.

Contango

The point (which you're obviously missing):

Public employee health and retirement benefits are GUARANTEED (note: guaranteed) by OH taxpayers. It's written in the OH Constitution.

The retirement side are defined benefit (DB) plans which are mostly a dinosaur in the private sector.

(Only 45K private DB plans currently exist, compared to 100K about 5 yrs. ago.)

Public sector DB plans also are entitled to cost of living adjustments (COLA) unlike private sector plans.

I ain't saying that you two don't 'believe' that you deserve the rich benefit structure, I'm just saying they are inequitable and ultimately financially unsustainable.

The private sector, many of whom are forced to live on a fixed income (Soc. Security) is increasingly tapped out. (Note how increases in local school levies are voted down.)

Don't be surprised if 'someday' in the future your benefits are reduced.

Enjoy 'em while you've got 'em.

ladydye_5

Our benefits are GONE. My husband LOST his job. Are you happy? The state is OUT OF MONEY! They pulled the contract for his job. So after 16 years he was without a job! We cashed his "guaranteed" benefits out and paid off the bills, so we could start over. Not everyone with a state job lives the high life. Get over yourself. My kids still qualified for FREE LUNCHES. That YOU as a taxpayer could pay for too!

Contango

Re: "Our benefits are GONE."

Well then OBVIOUSLY my first post was not addressed to you.

So are you "happy" for the current public employees and retirees and their GUARANTEED health and welfare benefits?

ladydye_5

If they were lucky enough to get THAT job, more power to them. They pay into it as well. You make it sound like YOU are personally funding it. I know how much the employee pays in also. The way you sound, it makes it seem like it is a complete free ride. It is not. That was the point I was making. Sounds like you are just jealous you didn't get a job in that sector.

Contango

Re: "If (snip)."

Your animosity is misdirected.

Yes, taxpayers help fund public employee retirement and health benefit pension trusts and are legally obligated to fund any future deficits.

Not a big fan of bloated govt. and would NEVER seek employment in the public sector.

J Cooper

Seeking something and being able to obtain it might be the same.