Posted Date: December 18th, 2015 | Categories: State Employee Disability (OPERS & STRS)
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Spending data from the state’s largest public pension fund will soon be publicly available online through OhioCheckbook.com.
The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System voted Wednesday to provide financial information for the spending database, a project established in December 2014 by Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel.
“A pension system that is responsible for the stewardship of member and employer contributions must always operate in full view of the public,” OPERS Executive Director Karen Carraher said in a statement. “We already present extensive financial information on the OPERS website, and in working with the treasurer in this manner we continue our 80-year legacy of transparency.”
OPERS provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits for public employees, serving more than 1 million members, including more than 203,000 retirees and beneficiaries.
OhioCheckbook.com displays billions of dollars of state agency expenditures dating back to July 2007. In April, Mandel asked 3,962 municipalities to put checkbook-level expenses online.
Earlier this year, Mandel publicly called on the state pension funds to add their expenditures to the state database. He singled out OPERS for not committing to the project in September after he pitched it to board members three months earlier.
OPERS made its announcement ahead of a Mandel call with press planned for Friday.
In response to OPERS’ announcement, a Mandel spokesman sent this statement from the treasurer:
“I believe the taxpayers and retirees of Ohio have a right to know how their tax money is being spent,” Mandel said. “My vision is to create an army of citizen watchdogs who are empowered to hold public officials accountable.”
OPERS spokeswoman Julie Graham-Price said Mandel’s request came as OPERS was preparing to launch a new supplemental Medicare insurance system for more than 203,000 retirees and their dependents.
Please call Jones Law Group at (614)545-9998 if you or someone you know needs assistance filing an OPERS disability claim.