I am responding to your recent editorial titled "Ohio can't ignore pension funds' shortages." The author writes that funding issues for Ohio's public pension plans are "just now coming to the public's attention." The author also states that some systems "have been unable to devise plans for long-term solvency." Unfortunately, the author is wrong on both accounts. In fall 2009, the five statewide public pension systems shared their plans for either maintaining or returning their respective pension funds to a 30-year funding period. This was done after much public discussion by the systems with their members, constituency groups and legislators - and coverage by the statewide media. Since then, several of the plans have been modified, including the plan for the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS Ohio), but all accomplish the goal of helping to ensure these funds can continue to serve many future generations of public employees.
What is needed now is action by the Ohio Legislature to approve these plans, as each system's plan requires changes in state statute. The home page of STRS Ohio's Web site includes a significant amount of information about this issue, and is updated frequently. I would encourage your readers to visit the site if they would like to know more.
Michael J. Nehf