Edward Siedle: State Teachers Retirement System Of Ohio Resorts To Pension Theatre To Defend Costly Secretive Investments

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Cindy Murphy

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Sep 10, 2021, 10:42:09 AMSep 10
to STRS Ohio Watchdogs
September 10, 2021
State Teachers Retirement System Of Ohio Resorts To Pension Theatre To Defend Costly Secretive Investments
By Edward Siedle, Contributor, Forbes

Fully two and a half months after my firm, Benchmark Financial Services released a report commissioned by the Ohio Retired Teachers Association entitled The High Cost of Secrecy: Preliminary Findings of Forensic Investigation of the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio,” the staff of STRS finally prepared an analysis of the BFS report “for discussion at the STRS Board meeting” on August 19, 2021. This first in-person meeting of the pension board in over a year was open to the public and hundreds of angry Ohio retired school teachers showed up to let it be known they had lost confidence in pension managers.

“This was not a board response. To my knowledge, the board was never told staff was drafting such a response.” Newly-elected board member Dr. Rudy Fichtenbaum, an economist, said, “It appears to me to be neither an official response of the pension nor its board.”

I encourage anyone with an interest in public pensions generally, and Ohio’s public pensions specifically, to read the BFS Report, the so-called STRS Response, and the final BFS Response to STRS Staff, to gain an awareness of the troubling issues which are emerging related to the management of these severely underfunded funds. Come to your own conclusions about whether secrecy, pervasive conflicts of interest, abusive Wall Street business practices, hidden and excessive investment fees, and potential violations of law may be undermining the financial performance of these retirement funds. Whether you’re counting on public pensions for your retirement security or supporting them as a taxpayer, understand your money is at risk.

Click here to read Siedle's full article.


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