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Government & Politics

OPERS Seeks to Cut Future Benefits

Ohio Public Employees Retirement System building.
KAREN KASLER
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System has voted and now will ask lawmakers to cut the COLA (cost of living adjustment) for 2022 and 2023.

Ohio’s largest public pension fund is asking state lawmakers to allow it to cut a future benefit increase for more than 200,000 retirees.  

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System has voted to ask lawmakers for permission to freeze a cost of living adjustment in 2022 and 2023 and to delay that increase for all new retirees. Michael Pramik of OPERS says that will eliminate a record high unfunded liability of $24 billion. Pramik says that’s the result of several down years for its investments and an increase in retirees who are also living longer. And he says OPERS isn’t alone.

“Just look across the country and try to find a public pension fund that's increasing benefits right now," Pramik said. "You’re just not going to find it.”

Pramik says right now there are no plans to change health care benefits, but that is definitely on the table.