OPERS Ignores Its Own Statements and Misleads the Public (May 13, 2011)

By Matt A. Mayer

If all Ohioans had the same benefit as government workers, it would cost active workers $123 billion per year, or 26 percent of Ohio’s GDP. 

Based on its latest Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), available at www.opers.org/investments/cafr.shtml, the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS) is only 75.3 percent funded, which means for every $1.00 it owes retirees it possesses just 75 cents (CAFR 7).

OPERS admits two funding issues: “Members are living longer in retirement than originally contemplated when the System was created, and [m]any members have more retirement years than contributing years as public employees” (CAFR 9).  Essentially, government workers are retiring at a young age and are living longer in retirement than they did as employees.  OPERS notes that members are living 2.5 times longer in retirement than the original 10-year expectation.

OPERS’ health care plan is even in worse shape than the pension plan.  It is only 36.3 percent funded (i.e., 36 cents for every $1.00 in liabilities) (CAFR 25).

To read the rest of the report, click here.