OPERS releases financial reports

Documents focus on the future of your pension system

By Michael Pramik, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

July 22, 2021 – OPERS’ annual financial reports provide a detailed look at our financial, investment, actuarial and demographic details, providing transparency in the management of our pension system.

The latest Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, and the abbreviated Popular Annual Financial Report, are available on our website for members and stakeholders to review. The current reports illustrate how, despite the pandemic, OPERS continued to provide uncompromised services and made progress on achieving our goals in 2020.

  • Here’s some of the 2020 information you’ll discover about OPERS in the latest reports:
  • A total investment portfolio gain of 11.95 percent
  • An increase in the pension funded ratio to 83 percent from 80 percent
  • An increase in the health care funded ratio to 104 percent from 65 percent, which reflects the health care changes passed by the Board in January 2020
  • The improvement of health care solvency from 11 years in 2018 to 23 years in 2019.
  • A 0.1 percent increase in member and employer contributions, compared to a 4.1 percent increase in 2019
  • An $8 billion increase in OPERS’ total net position, to $114 billion.
  • Benefits increases in the Traditional Pension Plan of 3.1 percent, to $6.5 billion
  • Pension benefit payments of more than $5.8 billion to Ohio retirees and their beneficiaries
  • Decreases in non-investment pension administrative expenses from $58.2 million to $56.8 million
  • A 5.6 percent decrease in health-care costs
  • A 5 percent decrease in active membership and a 0.7 percent increase in retirees.

Michael Pramik

Michael Pramik is communication strategist for the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and editor of the PERSpective blog. As an experienced business journalist, he clarifies complex pension policies and helps members make smart choices to secure their retirement.

Michael Pramik

Communication Strategist

    • John,

      If you go to page 92 of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, you’ll see a listing of all administrative expenses for both pension and health care.

      Then, go to page 11 of the Popular Annual Financial Report. You’ll see that our per-member administrative cost of $55 is far lower than our peers, which have an average per-member administrative cost of $78.

  • All of this demonstrates the prescience of the General Assembly in allowing OPERS’ recent COLA freeze proposal the die without a sponsor.

  • Where can I see the list of investments and returns as well as who was paid for investments and how much?

  • Yes, thanks for the update. Shows gradual improvement in what some might consider austere circumstances.

  • Based on the 2020 Popular Annual Financial report, OPERS has averaged a return of 8.6% per year over the last 10 years. That is well above the revised 7.2% expected return. (Revised from 7.5% in 2017.) The funding years has dropped dramatically from 27 in 2018 to 18 in 2020. On page 15 there is the continued claim of longer life expectancies. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, that claim is probably not quite accurate, at least for 2020. I am glad that OPERS is financially solid and appears able to meet its contractual pension obligations, including the COLA, to retirees such as myself.

  • I just started reading the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, and I am stuck on a few items in the Letter of Transmittal. In the investment section, it is stated “it’s important to remember that those returns reflect only one year”. As we know, we have been in a bull market for over a decade, and it has been a raging bull market. However, it appears that the market has reached most of the benchmarks which define a ‘bubble’. If we are truly in a bubble, I hope the OPERS investment team is prepared. I also hope OPERS can withstand a downturn without further reducing members benefits! Best of luck.

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