Wednesday, February 02, 2011

St. Rep. Wachtmann Introduces Legislation to Address Ohio’s Pension Woes

COLUMBUS—State Representative Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon) recently introduced legislation that, when enacted, will amend various aspects of Ohio’s five public pension systems in an effort to ensure their long-term solvency.

“Ensuring the stability of Ohio’s five public pension systems is paramount for all current and future public retirees, as well as for the entire state,” said Wachtmann. “I believe that this legislation is a vital step toward making our state’s pensions more manageable and sustainable.”
Based on recommendations from each of the five public pension systems, House Bill 69 will revise plans for the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), State Teachers Retirement System (STRS), School Employees Retirement System (SERS), Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund (OP&F), and Highway Patrol Retirement System (HPRS).
The legislation would modify employee contributions, retirement eligibility, benefit accrual rate, financial average salary, cost of living adjustments, allocation to retiree health care benefits, part-time and full-time service credits, purchased service credits, and deferred retirement option plans. These changes are expected to impact approximately 1.7 million members, retirees, dependents and beneficiaries.
House Bill 69 was introduced following testimony in the House Health and Aging Committee from the leaders of the five pension systems, who each outlined their boards’ approved plans for financial solvency. It will now be assigned to the Pensions and Retirement Subcommittee of the House Health and Aging Committee, where it will undergo thorough consideration.