COLUMBUS, Ohio — The executive directors of the five Ohio state retirement systems, whose combined assets total $115 billion, sent joint letters Nov. 20 to Gov. Bob Taft and legislative leaders opposing parts of a bill approved by the state House.
Specifically, the executive directors of the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, Highway Patrol Retirement System, Police and Fire Pension Fund, State Teachers Retirement System and School Employees Retirement System opposed sections of HB 227 that would impose investment and trading mandates on the funds; appoint the state treasurer to the boards of all five systems; and give the treasurer the power to hire and fire the executive directors of all five state retirement systems, with consent of the respective boards.
In their letters, the five retirement officials wrote that restricting investment authority to in-state firms could cost the systems an estimated $180 million.
They also said giving the treasurer the power to hire and fire executive directors "would disrupt the checks and balances that exist in the current board structure by concentrating too much power with one person, especially for the investment of retirement funds. Furthermore, empowering the state's treasurer with these appointment responsibilities impedes board members' fiduciary duty."
The treasurer, who doesn't sit on the boards now, would replace the attorney general.