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(7/6/15) – In response to the Columbus Business First article titled“Ohio Public Pension Systems Face Second-Largest Shortfall” published June 5, SERS Executive Director Lisa J. Morris penned a letter to the editor to clarify misconceptions about Ohio’s public pension systems when compared on a national level.

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(6/30/15) - Are you planning to retire in another 10 to 15 years? Have you considered your retirement needs and how to achieve them? It is never too early to begin planning.

Considering joining us for a PREP seminar. We’ll cover a full range of topics including: retirement eligibility, service credit, Social Security’s Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision penalties, and financial planning. Ohio Deferred Compensation will also be there to show you how to invest for a more secure financial future.

The half-day program is free of charge. Space is limited and advanced registration is required, so be sure to register early. For full details on the seminar dates and locations, visit: http://www.ohsers.org/seminars-and-conferences-1.

Note: The Cuyahoga Falls seminar is sold out; tickets are still available for the seminar in nearby Beachwood.

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(6/26/15) - The fiscal health of public pension plans nationwide improved last year, according to a recent analysis from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

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Following a strong market performance in 2014, a study of 150 plans showed an average increased funded status of 74%, compared to 72% in 2013.

Future public pension plan funding will be dependent on stock market performance, but researchers expect funding to continue to increase, should most plans achieve their expected returns.

Read the full analysis here.

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(6/24/15) - Starting today, employers are able to access their proportionate share data, as required by Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement 68, on SERS’ website.

As a reminder, GASB now requires employers to report their proportionate share of SERS’ net pension liability on their financial statements for fiscal years ending after June 15, 2014. The proportionate share is a percentage of each employer’s required contribution for the year compared to all employers’ contributions.

For many employers, the net pension liability will be much larger than other liabilities on their financial statements; however, they are not responsible for paying them. In Ohio, once employers pay their 14% employer contribution, their pension funding obligation has been fulfilled. SERS is solely responsible for paying off the system’s net pension liabilities.

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Employers with questions regarding their proportionate share should contact SERS at (614) 340-1823 or SERSGASBreports@ohsers.org.

To view the proportionate share of net pension liability for each school district, vocational and technical school, community school, and community college in the state of Ohio, and The University of Akron, click here.

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(6/3/15) - The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office warns of a recent telemarketing scam.

Callers claim to represent the Franklin County Clerk of Courts. Intended victims are told they owe money for not showing up to jury duty, then are instructed to load the money on a prepaid debit card.

Sheriff Zach Scott assures citizens that no one from the Clerk of Courts office would contact them to demand money.

If you receive one of these calls, please contact the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at (614) 525-3333.

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(5/12/15) - The retirement savings crisis is becoming a major concern. You may recall from some of our previous stories that 40% of Baby Boomers and at least 45% of working-age households do not have any retirement savings.

But few realize that the retirement savings crisis is generally much worse for women.

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Why is this? According to Sallie Krawcheck of The Washington Post, women retire with two-thirds the savings of men, live six to eight years longer, and have higher medical costs. In addition, nearly 80% of women are single during the final years of their lives.

By closing the gender pay gap and increasing the economic engagement of women, it is estimated that the GDP would increase by approximately 9% and the Social Security savings gap would decrease by nearly a third.

Krawcheck recommends improvements at both workplace and public policy levels to help resolve the crisis.

Read more here.

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(5/4/15) - Thank you to the more than 15,000 school bus drivers and all transportation staff who help keep Ohio’s children safe every day.

 

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(4/29/15) - Thank you, Congresswoman Beatty, for co-sponsoring H.R. 711, or the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act.

Rep. Beatty (D-OH-3) joins 17 other legislators in supporting a repeal of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), including Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12) and Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH-15).

If you have not already done so, we urge you to ask your congressional representative to co-sponsor the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act by sending a message through our Legislative Action Center tool. To date, you have sent over 3,100 messages requesting support of this important bill.

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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. 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.

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