The auditor’s office said STRS could be more transparent about its investments and noted in their report that the ORSC failed to meet the minimum standards of an independent actuarial review and a separate audit at least once every 10 years. The actuarial review was conducted in 2009 and not again until May 2022, and the audit was conducted in December 2006 and not again until May 2022.
“If the STRS Board and Retirement Study Council had managed this and not let other people get out in front of them, they would not have some of these incorrect public perceptions,” Faber said. “Certainly, all members of the STRS board should have access to full, accurate information about the true fees and expenses in management of the plans on a regular basis.”
Both the STRS board and the Ohio Retired Teachers Association applauded the findings, in very different ways.
STRS Ohio Executive Director Bill Neville said he appreciated the thoroughness of the special audit, and he called it noteworthy “that the special audit’s findings refute much of the inaccurate information circulated about STRS Ohio over the past two years.”
“I want our members to know that STRS Ohio remains steadfast in our dedication to ensuring the sustainability of the pension fund and providing financial security to current and future generations of Ohio’s educators,” Neville said.
Robin Rayfield, executive director of ORTA, pointed to an upcoming STRS election as a key.
“For years, the board’s bad policies have yielded bad results for teachers, who are working longer and paying more for less, while enriching STRS staff,” Rayfield said. “The only way to change bad policies is to change the STRS board, which teachers will do in this spring’s election.”