Cincinnati USA Regional ChamberGrowing the vibrancy and
economic prosperity of our region

In This Issue:

    September 24, 2013

    What is the future of the pension system?

    Pension_MoneyJarJoin the Chamber and its panel of experts for breakfast next Friday to learn more about our public pension systems and how both the systems and the perceptions around them are changing. The Forum Leaders will discuss both the current statuses and future directions of the Cincinnati Retirement System and the five Ohio pension systems. Register.



    Joining us will be:

    Bethany Rhodes, Director and General Cousel of the Ohio Retirement Study Council
    Bethany Rhodes assumed the role of Ohio Retirement Study Council (ORSC) Director in March 2012; in May of 2013, she also assumed the duties of ORSC General Counsel.  Prior to taking the helm of the ORSC, she served in various capacities for 16 years in both the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate, mainly focusing on the issues of pensions, health, Medicaid, insurance, workers’ compensation and ethics. 

    Paula Tilsley, Executive Director of the Cincinnati Retirement System
    Paula Tilsley joined the City of Cincinnati as Executive Director, Retirement in November 2009.  The Retirement System covers 4400 retirees & beneficiaries, and 4200 active members and provides retirement, disability and health care benefits.  A Board of Trustees, including six appointed independent industry professionals and five elected members, oversee the system and its $2.1 billion of assets.  Since joining the City, Tilsley facilitated the change to the current Board structure, spearheaded sweeping changes to moderate retirement and health care benefits bringing them more in line with public industry standards, and continues to work with the Board, the City Manager, the Mayor and City Council to manage the system and develop retirement policy.

    Jerry Newfarmer, President and CEO of Management Partners
    Jerry Newfarmer founded Management Partners in 1994 after many years of public management leadership in California and Ohio. He is a national leader in local government performance management, and he has led his firm to nationally recognized expertise in municipal development review processes, strategic planning, budgeting and finance, and organizational analysis. Jerry served as City Manager in Fresno and San Jose, California; and Cincinnati, Ohio. He was Assistant City Manager of Oakland, California, which was the Chief Operating Officer role. He has been a key presence in the International City/County Management Association, and was Team Leader of the State-Local Relations Team of the National Performance Review.

    Last Monday, the Chamber released its City Council Candidate Scorecard and announced support for both Hamilton County tax levy renewals supporting the Cincinnati Zoo and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. The Chamber also called for pension reform in the City of Cincinnati, noting that the current system is broken. They also urge City Council to take immediate action in lieu of the proposed charter amendment. 

    The Chamber’s positions on the November 5 ballot issues were determined after thorough analysis, discussions with Chamber membership, and input from the Chamber’s Government Affairs Council, a volunteer committee of local business leaders representing the Chamber’s diverse membership, and by the Chamber’s Board of Directors. 

    According to staff research and analysis, the Cincinnati pension system is underfunded by $862M. This deficit makes it difficult to continue to cultivate a strong business community, and is a liability that we can’t afford. However, the proposed charter amendment is not the best solution. There are too many unanswered questions surrounding the amendment including increased costs to the City and concerns regarding its legality. Therefore, City Council and the Mayor should act before the election to make meaningful and responsible pension reforms.

    Read more about the Chamber's positions or register for the event

    This program is part of the 2013 Legislative Speaker Series, presented by:

    Fidelity Investments


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