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Retirement Issues Update - February 2021

Welcome to our first monthly update on retirement issues! This update contains information for retired and active members of the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS), the School Employees Retirement System (SERS), and the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS).

Sign the petition to restore the COLA

Respect Ohio's Retired Teachers, Restore Their Promised COLA. The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is suspended for all retired teachers indefinitely. STRS board members said they will not review that decision until May of 2022. It is only through a COLA that  retired teachers can keep up with inflation. Learn more.

Retirees rally for COLA restoration

Retirees from across Ohio will attend the June 21 STRS Board meeting to urge restoration of the cost-of-living-adjustment to their pensions. We encourage members to attend the meeting to have your voices heard and see firsthand how your retirement board operates - we want you to be informed. The board meets 9 a.m. June 21 at STRS, 275 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215. 

STRS eliminates COLA to protect pension

Faced with massive unfunded liabilities, the State Teachers Retirement Board in April voted to eliminate cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) starting July 1. Health care premiums for those covered by STRS are expected to increase as cost trends continue to go up. 

SERS seeks legislative change to protect your pension

The pension fund for non-teaching school employees, SERS Ohio, is drafting a bill that would give that pension board the authority to change the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for retirees; that authority now rests with legislators. While the pension fund is currently within the legally required 30-year funding liability period, gaining the authority to make changes itself would allow the board to be more agile in protecting your pension.

National Public Pension Coalition

The National Public Pension Coalition (NPPC) was established in 2006 by the AFT and other labor unions to act as an early warning system and make strategic assessments of policy proposals that threaten defined-benefit pensions. Find out more.

Retiree chapters keep OFT members informed, involved

As OFT members transition to retirement and the close of your career, you won't leave OFT. We have three active retiree chapters to keep you informed about issues impacting retirement and pensions. Retiree chapters are also a good way to stay in contact with friends and colleagues.

For info on joining the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers retiree chapter, Local 1520-R, call 513-961-2272. For info on joining the Cleveland Teachers Union retiree chapter, Local 279-R, visit  or call 216-861-7676. For info on joining the Toledo Federation of Teachers retiree chapter, Local 250-R, call 419-535-3013.