Ohioans Public Employees’ Pensions in Danger

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By a Lake County Lobbyist

Ohioans Public Employees’ Pensions in Danger

Main stream media has failed to cover news out of the Governor’s office and the Ohio Retirement Study Council (ORSC).

On June 24, 2024 AON, the consulting firm hired by the Ohio State Teachers’ Retirement System (STRS) notified STRS it would be terminating its contract with STRS.

AON was hired to govern and clean up the embattled retirement system and give stability to the STRS board.

AON informed STRS that it would even waive $16,250.00 if STRS would be amenable to an early release date of May 1, 2024 according to a public records request.

This termination notice shook nearly all state offices and prompted a suit against STRS board members with the Attorney General’s office.

Several state offices were notified: Governor’s office, Ethics Commission, Attorney General, State Treasurer, and State Auditor to name a few.

Why would a termination agreement send waves across Ohio State offices?

Research has uncovered that STRS has approximately $90 billion in assets. QET pitched a plan to STRS to take 2/3 of the fund, equating to $65 billion dollars, and instead of investing the money it would take the money and give it to the Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs.

To give a brief summary of the sales pitch, QET would take the assets from the retirement system and convert it to hard cash with the Goldman Sachs then sell treasuries at a premium.

Research uncovered that the people pitching the idea have worked for Josh Mandell, the former Ohio Treasurer and Goldman Sachs. Seth Metcalf has worn multiple hats within various public employee retirement systems boards including OPERS.

Again, why would a consultant termination agreement cause such alarm within statehouse offices?

Wall Street wants the largest fund out there, not to mention that public employees’ retirement systems are not insured. QET offered a pilot investment solution as a proof of concept proposal. It called for $250 million up front money with a return of $4 billion in payments, which would be an unlikely return on the investment.

QET is not a registered broker and has little assets and institutional money under its control.

Why did the STRS Board entertain this idea, and who else is involved, and why was 10 State offices notified of AON leaving the bag in someone’s hand with its termination agreement.

AON consultant clearly was brought in as a fixer, but could not “wash the dishes”.

Here are the supporting documents mentioned in the article:

Categories: Lake County - General, State of Ohio, Uncategorized


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