2011-04-02 / Editorials & Letters

Public pensions supported

Editor:

SERS is a defined benefit (DB) plan. With a DB, members receive a known, fixed amount for life.

SERS was established in 1937 by an act of the Ohio General Assembly to provide pensions and benefits to Ohio’s non-teaching public school employees. SERS has about 191,000 active and retired members. The average monthly pension is $879. Ohio is a non- Social Security state. Like Ohio’s other public employees, SERS members do not pay into Social Security or qualify for Social Security benefits. Members rely on SERS to provide a service retirement benefit, disability protection, and survivor benefits.

Public pensions are good for Ohio taxpayers. For every $1 in taxpayer money invested in SERS’ pensions last year, $1.52 was returned to local economies. Funding public pensions is less expensive than maintaining individual 401K accounts, and the investment returns are consistently greater.

Public pensions are good for Ohio’s economy. SERS paid nearly a billion dollars through pension payments and health care spending in FY2009. With 91% of SERS’ benefit recipients living in Ohio, about $850 million is reinvested back into the state’s economy each year.

Public pensions are good for Ohio employees and employers. Public pensions help make up for the lack of Social Security available to public employees in Ohio. Public employees pay 10% of their earnings to help fund their own pensions.

John Clark
Kirkersville

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