Public Pension Records Release Denied
August 31, 2010
Information needed to assess Ohio's pension systems and its cost to private citizens is being denied to news organizations, says the Buckeye Institute.
The Ohio News Organization requested the service time, pay and benefits of Ohio's five state pension fund's 400,000 recipients in early July. Eight Ohio newspapers requested the information jointly as part of an examination of Ohio's pension systems and its cost to private citizens. Attorney General Richard Cordray advised Ohio's five state pension funds not to disclose any parts of their records, even though names and addresses were not to be included.
According to the Institute:
- Two of the pension funds, the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) and the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund (OPFPF), are asking for millions more from taxpayers through the legislature.
- The STRS would like to increase the taxpayers' contribution from 14 percent to 16.5 percent of teacher salaries.
- The OPFPF is asking for the taxpayers' contribution for police officers to be increased from 19.5 percent to 25 percent of their salaries, and the taxpayers' contribution for firefighters to increase from 24 percent to 25 percent of their salaries.
Democratic state Reps. Stephen Dyer (Dist. 43) and Matt Lundy (Dist. 57) said that they were troubled the pension funds rejected this request for information in a budget year while the legislature is preparing to solve the state's deficit. "We need appropriate information to make important decisions," says Lundy.
Source: Julie Robison, "Public Pension Records Release Denied," Buckeye Institute, August 23, 2010.
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