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STRS Ohio holds informational meeting for local educators

Local retired and active teachers had plenty of questions and concerns.

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, or STRS, is one of the largest public pension funds in the country. There was an informational meeting in Maumee Tuesday and it was a full house. It was standing room only for the meeting.

Retired and active local educators had plenty of questions about their pension fund. Robin Rayfield is the Executive Director of the Ohio Retirement for Teachers Association.

“This is important because it allows those who can’t drive to Columbus for monthly STRS meetings to ask questions of management about why things are the way they are,” Rayfield said. “We have a management system, who has through their actions, shown they don’t care about retirees or actives.”

Rayfield is just one of a number of people who had questions and concerns. Those concerns included things like how investments are handled and staff expenses.

“We exist solely to pay benefits to public educators in Ohio,” Bill Neville, the Executive Director of STRS Ohio said.

Neville says STRS Ohio has a total investment of about $90 billion in the pension fund and includes about 500,000 educators both active and retired.

“We pay about $7 billion a year in benefits to retired teachers and educators and a little over $400 million in health care on top of those $7 billion in benefits,” Neville said.

Neville said he understands the concerns and passion people have when it comes to their retirement and adds meetings like this inspire him.

“Each time I leave one of these meetings, I am more energized and focused on our members,” Neville said.

According to STRS, there are more than 10,000 active teachers and retirees in Lucas County alone who are members. In 2022, STRS leaders say retirees in Lucas County received more than $200 million in pension benefits.



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