Changes in Pension
By now you have hopefully been familiarized with the changes that will occur to your pension in the coming years. If you haven’t you can familiarize yourself by logging onto www.op-f.org and reviewing the recently approved legislation and changes. While over the last few weeks and frankly last few years the board and myself have been getting a little grief over these changes. It is important to keep in mind the reasoning. First, while change is unpopular it is needed to sustain the overall health of the fund. Simply stating, we were paying out more than we were taking in, cost and life expectancies were continuing to rise and we could not simply sustain this trend. While I cannot speak on the proposed changes first being presented to the ORSC and legislature I can speak on the fact that something needed to be done.
I can also assure you at the time, the board that was in place was working with the best interest of the members in mind and that the changes that they chose would impact majority of the members least. Those board members wanted to make changes that would have little or no impact on current retirees, minor impact on those about to retire with the ability for those to make certain adjustments and the most impact to those entering the profession or having ample time to make major adjustments. The bottom line is whether supported or not change definitely had to occur to sustain the overall health of the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund. Only time will tell whether these changes will work for a long and healthy retirement fund.
On another note, we have finally hired a replacement for our retiring Executive Director, William Estabrook. John Gallagher was hired and comes to us as the Executive Director of the Chicago Police Pension Fund. He has been with the Chicago Police Pension Fund since 1980 and has been the Executive Director since 2006. He comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and the board is confident he will be an excellent predecessor to Mr. Estabrook.
Moving forward, the next task and issue that should be coming our way is disability pension reform. We believe that the ORSC will make this a pressing issue in the years to come and ultimately look at addressing this growing debate. To date we have one of the highest disability rates in the country with some 30% plus members retiring on disability retirements. While our process is not in question and actually is one of the best in the country, the fact that our members become disabled according to our administrative policy at a high rate needs to be addressed. I am not sure what the solution may be but I believe the board and staff will work with the ORSC to help refine this issue. The reform itself may help the funding of the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund for future years.
Thanks for your support and should you have any concerns, comments or needs feel free to email me anytime.
Trustee/Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund