During the November meeting of the State Teachers Retirement Board, Segal Consulting made a presentation on funding policy elements that could result in a more robust way to monitor the progress of the pension fund. Segal, the board’s actuarial consultant, described a funding policy as a roadmap for measuring the pension plan’s funded status and noted that public plan funding policies are gaining national attention.
The presentation included a funding policy overview based on best practices issued by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and guidance from other actuarial organizations. STRS Ohio’s current funding period — the length of time it is projected to take to pay off the system’s unfunded liabilities — is 29.5 years. Ohio’s public retirement systems are required by law to amortize any unfunded liabilities over a period of not more than 30 years. However, the GFOA recommends a more conservative standard of not more than 25 years.
Segal also reviewed additional reports and analysis the board could request to outline how the pension plan is measuring up to these standards. The board is expected to continue funding policy discussions in the months ahead.
The Retirement Board approved 219 active and 130 inactive members for service retirement benefits.
Other STRS Ohio News
Retirement Board Election Process Begins this Month
On Nov. 7, notices were sent to all STRS Ohio reporting employers and other interested parties about the upcoming Retirement Board election for one contributing member seat. In addition, election information is posted on the STRS Ohio website and is included in the fall newsletters. Individuals interested in running for a seat on the State Teachers Retirement Board can request petitions from STRS Ohio. The deadline for returning petitions is Feb. 27, 2015.
Satisfaction Survey Responses Reflect 96% Satisfaction Rating for First Quarter
During the first quarter of the fiscal year, nearly 1,900 members who met with a counselor completed a satisfaction survey, with 97% responding that the service met or exceeded their expectations. Of those members who met with a counselor, 66% provided a perfect 10 for overall service. Staff continues to be rated the highest in the areas of professionalism, courtesy and knowledge, with more than 70% providing a perfect 10 rating.
About 400 members who attended a Member Education program also completed satisfaction surveys for the quarter, with 93% stating that the program met or exceeded their expectations and 41% rating the program a perfect 10. More than 70% of respondents rated the Member Education staff a perfect 10 regarding professionalism, courtesy and knowledge.