Planned Hawaii Junket Is Bad Idea

Ohio’s retirement systems for public employees have billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities. It may well be that future beneficiaries of the programs will have to be asked to accept changes in their plans in order to keep them solvent.

Officials who administer the pension systems ought to be setting a good example of stewardship.

It seems that thought has not occurred to some of them.

Three members of the School Employee Retirement System, which covers school workers other than professional educators, had planned to use $11,000 in state funds to attend a conference sponsored by the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems – in Hawaii.

Some legislators and the Ohio Retirement Study Council have called for the three to cancel the trip. Of course they should do that. No one else from any of the four public pension programs had planned to take the Hawaii junket.

Why the three didn’t see the impropriety of making the trip in the first place raises the question of whether they have the right sets of priorities to be involved in managing a financially troubled pension program.