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Special Audit Planned For Ohio Teachers' Pension Fund

Retired teachers hang a banner during a meeting of the State Teachers Retirement Fund board in September. The teachers hired Ted Siedle to do an audit of the fund, and his report has been cited as a reason for the special audit.
Karen Kasler
/
Ohio Public Radio
Retired teachers hang a banner during a meeting of the State Teachers Retirement Fund board in September. The teachers hired Ted Siedle to do an audit of the fund, and his report has been cited as a reason for the special audit.

The state auditor is planning a review of the pension fund for Ohio’s teachers. This comes as the board for the State Teachers Retirement System gets together for its monthly meeting Thursday.

A letter obtained by the Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau said the auditor’s office is considering a special audit based on a report by Ted Siedle, who was hired by retired teachers questioning STRS’ stated fund performance and management fees.

Siedle, a former SEC asset management lawyer and head of a firm called Benchmark Financial Services, wrote a report that blasts STRS for lack of transparency and legislative oversight and mismanagement of billions he said could restore a cost of living adjustment suspended in 2017.

“One of the key problems that STRS has that they've lost the trust of their participants. Schoolteachers don't trust them anymore," Siedle said.

STRS blasted Siedle’s report as baseless and said it’s handed over 22,000 pages of documents, and has also said the pension fund has outperformed the market over the past decade.

STRS has confirmed the special audit and said it's cooperating with the auditor's office.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.