XENIA — The Greene County Retired Teachers Association recently held its spring meeting where it recognized its past presidents and featured members, reported on scholarship awards, and gave an update on the Ohio Teachers’ Retirement System Pension Fund.
Joyce Redder, scholarship chair, announced at the luncheon that two $1,000 scholarships were awarded for 2018. Kathleen Giffin, daughter of William and Beth Giffin, is a Bellbrook High School graduate and will attend The Ohio State University to major in English and music. Michaela Rhoades, daughter of James and Paula Rhoades, is a Beavercreek High School graduate who will attend Bowling Green State University to major in middle school education and minor in deaf education.
Member Recognition Chair Virginia Pinkerton spoke on the life accomplishments of past president Roy Carr of Cedarville. Coming from a large farm family in western New York, Carr enlisted in the U.S. Army, and after his service entered Cedarville College where he met and married his wife, Alberta, and settled into teaching and coaching in Cedarville. A highlight of his life was a 60th anniversary trip with family to the Caribbean.
Executive Director of State Teachers’ Retirement System for Ohio Michael Nehf also spoke at the luncheon. Nehf gave a detailed account of the current state of pensions and investments. An actuarial experience study, conducted every five years, measures economic assumptions and demographic assumptions to build a model of liabilities and assets of the Ohio STRS over five years.
Nehf said participants of the retirement system have to confront the fact that mortality rates to reflect longer lifespans and an accompanying reduced salary growth expectation will continue into the foreseeable future. Because by law Ohio STRS must have a sustainable retirement fund, for the fiscal integrity of that fund, the Cost of Living Adjustment was reduced to 0.0 percent in fiscal 2018. A positive factor reported during the fiscal year 2017 was strong investment returns achieved by STRS employees investing their collective monies. Nehf said solvency as a retirement system has improved but still has more improvement necessary. He reported at this time 90 percent of retirees will see no increase in health care costs in 2019.
GCRTA meets quarterly at United Memorial Presbyterian Church in Xenia. All retired Greene County educators are encouraged to attend. Any questions can be directed to Jim Beaver, membership chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-237-8657. The next meeting will be held 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22.