The Ohio House and Ohio Senate unanimously approved pension legislation yesterday, capping a three-year effort by the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System to affect significant change in state pension law.
Both the House and Senate approved the measure by unanimous votes, and the measure known as Substitute Senate Bill 343 awaits only the signature of Gov. John Kasich to become law. Kasich is expected to sign the legislation soon, and the new law will go into effect Jan. 7, 2013.
OPERS would like to extend a thank you to the members of the Ohio legislature and our stakeholders, employers, retirees, members and associates for making this day come to fruition.
The voting followed several weeks of testimony, including input by OPERS Executive Director Karen Carraher. The major changes we have proposed include raising age-and-service limits for retirement eligibility, tying the cost of living adjustment to the Consumer Price Index, changing the final average salary calculation and extending the time it takes for the benefit multiplier to increase.
The Ohio Retirement Study Council, which oversees the state pension systems, accepted the legislation on Monday. The Senate passed the original pension bill in May.
“The proposed changes are intended to strike a balance between not effecting enough change, which could require more drastic changes at a later date, and making changes that are too severe, which would cause undue hardship on our members,” Carraher said. “In addition, the plan design changes enable OPERS to preserve future funding for discretionary access to health care coverage for our retirees, coverage we believe is an integral part of retirement security.”
Watch for more information about the legislation in the coming weeks from OPERS, including an updated website, a special newsletter and Facebook, Twitter and PERSpective blog posts.