COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Bob Taft sent a letter to the state's five biggest pension funds on April 9, urging them to adopt pension fund reforms in the absence of legislative action.
The letter — sent to executive directors of the Public Employees Retirement System, the School Employees Retirement System, the Police & Fire Pension Fund, the State Highway Patrol Retirement System and the State Teachers Retirement System, with assets totaling $115 billion — asked the officials to voluntarily adopt six proposals that do not require legislative action.
Those proposals are: requiring senior and investment staff to file financial disclosure statements with the Ohio Ethics Commission; adopting ethics policies for boards and staff; adopting travel and compensation policies; adopting requirements for board education and training; hiring an internal auditor who reports to an internal audit committee; and conducting fiduciary performance audits on a periodic basis.
Since late last year, the Ohio House and Senate have been trying to reconcile two pension reform bills but have been unable to do so.
Officials at the $58.7 billion public employees fund and the $54 billion teachers fund said in separate news releases that they supported the governor's efforts and had implemented many of his recommendations. Officials at the other three systems were not available.