The Voice of Ohio’s Retired Teachers Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin
Meet the new President
Bob Dengler of Akron Takes ORTA Helm for 2010
During the teaching part of my career, I was active in my local association. (Akron Education Association) as school representative on the AEA Board of Directors. Before becoming an administrator, I served as treasurer of the association. Also I worked with the NorthEast Ohio Teachers Association. During my teaching and administrative career I was a life member of the Ohio Education Association and served on committees and as president of the OEA ADMINISTRATOR GROUP. As a life member of the National Education Association (NEA), I have attended from thirty to forty NEA National Representative Assemblies and about five to ten NEA-R assemblies. After I retired in 1982 I became a life member of the Summit County Retired Teachers Association (SCRTA) and the Ohio Retired Teachers Association (ORTA). I served four years as treasurer (1997-2000), four years as VP (20012004), and four years as President (2004-2007) of SCRTA. After SCRTA, I served as Eastern Area VP of ORTA in 2008 and attended some fine chapter meetings and met many fine, active retirees. In 2009 I served as president- elect, and now in 2010, I look forward to serving as ORTA President. - Bob Dengler
Vol. 63 No. 1 Winter 2010
Economic Benefits of Retiree Pensions are Huge. . . . . .for retiree / spousal independence, jobs, economy, tax revenues Nationwide, state and local pension benefit expenditures supported more than 2.5 million jobs to other Americans in 2006. Close to $360 billion in total economic output in the U.S. was attributable to state and local pension benefits in that year. Benefits paid by state and local pension supported over $57 billion in tax revenue at the local, state, and federal levels. “Pensions reduce - and in some cases elimiIn supplying a firm source of income to retirees, nate - the risk of poverty and public-assistance state and local pension plans supdependence that some members of society port the national economy. They would otherwise face.” Policy Analyst Ilana also support local economies Boivie of the National Institute on Retirement with jobs, incomes, and tax revSecurity (NIRS) addressed the ORTA board at enue. In these times of financial their meeting in November. Ms. Boivie concrisis and economic instability, ducts original research and analysis regarding public pension plans play a very U.S. retirement issues. As the lead author on important role in providing a “Pensionomics: The Economic Impact of State Ilana Boivie stable, reliable source of income for and Local Pension Plans,” she primarily covretired public servants. These retirement checks ered two subjects at the meeting: the economic are spent in the local economies, so the local, state impact of pensions and the wisdom of Defined and national economy all benefit. Benefit Pension Plans (DB plans). Ms. Boivie’s research presents a strong case Ms. Boivie referred to the Pensionomics for Defined Benefit Pension Plans (DB plans). study that indicated state and local pension She pointed out that DB pension plans provide a critical source The Defined Benefit plans income contributes significantly of reliable income for more have built in economic effito the well-being of older Amerithan 7 million retired Americiencies: (better management cans and also reduces economic cans. She said that these of longevity risk, enhanced risks to women and minorities. plans are also a cost effective returns because of balanced She said poverty and material way to provide retirement portfolio, and professional hardships characterized by relisecurity, a lifetime income, management) -NIRS Study ance on public assistance would and economic protections be much greater if not for the presence of DB penfor the spouses for our nation’s retired public sion income. The DB plans have built in economic servants. efficiencies: (better management of longevity risk, “The economic impact of state and local enhanced returns because of balanced portfolio, government pension plans reaches well beand professional management). The result is sigyond those who earned benefits in these plans nificant cost savings for taxpayers and employduring their working years. Because these ers. Decision makers should continue to carefully funds supply secure income to retirees, they evaluate claims that “defined contribution (DC) provide local economies with stable sources plans will save money.” They do not! of revenue. Retirees are able to spend their Further information on NIRS and their independent paychecks regularly and without hesitation studies on retirement issues can be found on www. in their local economies, no matter what the nirsonline.org. state of the rest of the economy may be, thus providing a boost to local business revenues and local workers’ incomes.”
THE ORTA QUARTERLY (USPS 412-240) Publication and Circulation Office 8050 N. High Street, Suite 190 Columbus, Ohio 43235-6488 The ORTA Quarterly (USPS 412-240) is published quarterly in January, April, July and October by the Ohio Retired Teachers Association, Inc., 8050 N. High Street, Suite 190, Columbus, OH 43235-6488 for $20.00 per year as a subscription of membership only. Periodicals postage paid at Columbus, Ohio and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: ORTA Quarterly, Ste. 190 8050 N. High Street Columbus, OH 43235-6488 Ann W. Hanning, Executive Director Tom Seamon, Editor - Director of Publications Mary Lauer, Administrative Assistant - Treasurer Judy Durst, Administrative Assistant - Membership Deloris Ullmann - Webmaster Ohio Retired Teachers Association, Inc. 8050 N. High Street, Ste. 190 Columbus, OH 43235 Telephone: 614-431-7002 or 877-431-7002 FAX 614-431-7003 - E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.orta.org
OFFICERS 2010 Robert Dengler, President 5644 Myers Rd. Akron, OH 44319 Karen Butt, President Elect 259 S. Kasson Street Johnstown, OH 43031 Bill Phillips, Vice-President, Western Area 510 E. Main Street Troy, OH 45373 David Gynn, Vice-President, Eastern Area 4210 Lancaster Ln. Kent, OH 44240 Edna Hansen, Immediate Past President 307 East 11th Street Port Clinton, OH 43452 DISTRICT DIRECTORS
I. V. Joyce Doust Roger Stagge, Butler 52 S. Meachem Rd. Howard Stahl, Clark Port Clinton, OH 43452 Eileen Young, Franklin II. W. Jerome Holscher Margaret Schwegel, Greater Cleveland 5570 Ross Rd. Linda Beaver, Greene Rockford, OH 45882 III. Darlene Ruzicka Pat Ortman, Hamilton 1946 N. Highgate Ct. Marilyn Decker, Lake Beavercreek, OH 45432 Eileen McNally, Licking IV. June Gilmore Mary L. McAtee, Lorain 6120 Michael Rod. Middletown OH 45042 Suellen Newnham, Lucas V. Sam Harvey William Nitch, Mahoning 516 South Marion St. Nazarean Mayes, Montgomery Cardington, OH 43315 Daniel McCombs, Portage VI. Mary Lou Partee 445 Northridge Rd. Jane Anderson, Stark Circleville, OH 43113-1494 Rebecca Ann Zurava, Summit VII. Jerry R. Webb Ruby Hawkins, Trumbull 101 Nelson Av. Paul Fanti, Tuscarawas South Point, OH 45680 VIII. Martha Sagan Juanita Baker, Washington 5207 Rush Creek Rd. Don Bright, Wood Somerset, OH 43783 IX. Ted Humphrey 14199 Robins Rd. Senecaville, OH 43780 X. Nancy Boomhower 111 Pin Oak Dr. Seville, OH 44273 XI. Patrick Pinney 205 Mansell Dr. Youngstown, OH 44511
From the Executive Director - Ann Hanning NIRS
NRTA: AARP’s Educator Community has joined NIRS (National Institute on Retirement Security) to provide retired teacher associations and their members with timely research about public pensions. NIRS is a research and education notfor-profit organization in Washington, DC. The membership enables active and retired educators to have access to an array of NIRS products and services at no cost that can help strengthen REA advocacy efforts. NIRS was founded in 2007 by the National Council on Teacher Retirement, the Council of International Investors, and the National Association of State Retirement Administrators. The organization was created to fill a gap in information on the value that defined benefit pensions have for insuring retirement security for workers, as well as the value of these defined benefit plans to employers and the local and state economies. NIRS has a diverse membership of organizations including employee benefit plans, state or local agencies that manage retirement plans, trade associations, financial services firms,and other retirement service providers. You may visit www.nirsonline.org. There is also information and a link on the ORTA website.
HR 235 currently has 311 co-sponsors. The bill would repeal the social security penalties applied to the social security benefits of STRS benefit recipients and educators in 14 other states; as well as other public employees in all 50 states. 1. Most of these public employees are teachers, police and fire fighters. 2. Ohio has several thousand retired teachers who qualify for social security benefits or are married to a social security earner. They are being denied their full earned social security benefits. 3. Ohio is one of 15 states where public educators are penalized. 4. If a teacher works for 20 years in the private sector and then enters teaching and teaches for 20 years, that teacher would lose more than ½ of the earned social security benefit. 5. If a teachers’ spouse was a social security earner and benefit recipient, and preced- ed the teacher in death, the retired teacher would lose the spousal SS benefit. The Texas Retired Teachers Association is leading the efforts to have a summit in Washington, DC in March to bring attention to the GPO/WEP inequity and repeal it. ORTA continues to support repeal of the GPO/WEP.
STRS defined pensions are funded by the teachers’ contribution, their deferred compensation (employer contribution) and the income generated by these invested funds.
Defined Benefit (DB) Plans A defined contribution (DC) plan is available when one enters the teaching profession. These plans provide a set cash amount upon retirement. This set amount must provide for one’s healthcare and pension for a lifetime. People relying on a moderately funded DC plan may outlive their assets. As STRS and the other public pension systems in Ohio address the (ORSC) Ohio Retirement Study Council’s directive to make revisions in their benefit plans to provide for long term stability, the viability of continuing defined benefits plans for public employees is being questioned by some legislators, the media and the public. Suggestions have been made to replace defined benefit plans with defined contribution plans, such as a 401(k). ORTA fully supports the STRS defined benefit plan for retired teachers. Retirees in a defined benefit plan can rely on a steady income for life. STRS defined pensions are funded by the teachers’ contribution, their deferred compensation (employer contribution) and the income generated by these invested funds. The reasons for supporting a defined benefit (DB) plan include: • They can deliver the same retirement income as DC plans, but at a substantially lower (46%) cost. This is according to a 2008 NIRS report. • Ohio public employees do not participate in Social Security. They do not receive this benefit, unless they also worked in the private sector. Often their social security is offset (decreased). They are also ineligible for the spousal social security benefit. (See GPO/WEP above). (continued at top of next page)
(continued from previous page) • Ohio’s public pension plans are a critical compo- nent of the local and state economies. NIRS has noted that every dollar received by public retirees, returns $1.33 to the state economy. • Retirees with the stability of a defined pension benefit and an annual COLA (cost of living adjust- ments) are able to support school and library levies and other local programs. These retirees are more likely to be able to volunteer and provide other services to their communities. ORTA continues to communicate with legislators who have to approve any major changes in the pension systems. We have on-going discussions with STRS board members and staff. We talk and listen to our members and work with other organizations. As a member of the Healthcare and Pension Advocates (HPA) Coalition, ORTA makes every effort to bring your ideas and recommendations to the discussions. We’ll keep you as informed as possible. You are encouraged to review the Fall, 2009 ORTA Quarterly articles on defined benefits and pensionomics. You are also encouraged to check ORTA’s and STRS’s websites for up-dated information.
The ORTA staff thanks you for your support and wishes you a PEACEFUL, PROSPEROUS and PRODUCTIVE 2010
President’s Message - Bob Dengler, 2010 ORTA President Dear fellow retirees, As I begin my year as ORTA President, the major thrust I would like to see is increased membership. Increased membership is necessary. Why is it necessary? The more constituents that you have, the more likely legislators will listen to our concerns. One way of getting more members is to sign up OEA-Retired members. OEA-R and ORTA are working toward the same goals. Presently many OEA-R members are also ORTA members and I am sure many more would like to be part of an ORTA chapter. Another way of getting new members would be payroll deduction from STRS. We have been working on this for a long time, and hope there will be a breakthrough soon.
We need to start working on getting members interested in attending our April meetings for each section of the state. (A registration form is on the next page). We will probably need to charge a little more this year to cover expenses. We will probably have to have a dues increase for 2011. ORTA has not had a dues increase since 2001. It might seem that a dues increase would decrease membership, but if put to the member or perspective member in a way that the dues are extremely low for the benefits that they receive, then we will increase membership. I am looking forward working with you in 2010. “There is always strength in numbers. The more individuals or organizations that you can rally to your cause, the better.” Mark Shields political columnist and commentator
Express Scripts Plan Changes for 2010 If you are enrolled in the Aetna Medicare Plan (PPO), Medical Mutual Basic or Plus Plan, or a Paramount plan sponsored by STRS Ohio, you have been advised of the changes to your prescription drug coverage for 2010. Copayments for generic drugs will remain unchanged. Tier 1 generics are still available for $10 at retail (30-day supply) and $25 through home delivery (90-day supply). A 90-day supply of Low-Cost Generic Drug Program medications is also available for $9 through home delivery. In addition, a 28-day supply of over-the-counter proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medications, such as Prilosec OTC, OTC Omeprazole and Prevacid 24HR, is still available for $5 with a prescription at retail. You will pay more for other PPI medications. By utilizing generic alternatives, you save money on your prescriptions and help retain money in the STRS Ohio Health Care Stabilization Fund. ANNUAL DEDUCTIBLE - Beginning Jan. 1, 2010, there is a $150 annual deductible per enrollee for Tier 2 and Tier 3 drugs combined. This means you will pay the full cost of Tier 2 and Tier 3 drugs until the deductible is reached. After the deductible is reached, you will begin paying the applicable copayment/coinsurance for these drugs. TIER 2 COPAYMENTS - After the annual deductible met, the copayment for Tier 2 drugs is $30 ($50 PPI) at retail and $75 ($125 PPI) through home delivery. For example, if you are taking a Tier 2 drug that costs $300 at retail, your cost for the first fill of the year would be $180 ($150 deductible plus the $30 retail copayment). At this point, your annual deductible for Tier 2 and Tier 3 drugs combined has been met, and you will pay the applicable copayment/coinsurance for Tier 2 and Tier 3 drugs at retail and home delivery for the remainder of the year. ORTA Quarterly
TIER 3 COINSURANCE - After the annual deductible is met, you will pay a 50% coinsurance for Tier 3 drugs at retail and home delivery, with a maximum expense of $100 ($150 PPI) at retail and $200 ($300 PPI) through home delivery. For example, if you are taking a Tier 3 drug that costs $450 at retail, your cost for the first fill of the year would be $250. ($450 minus $150 deductible equals $300. Your 50% coinsurance applies to the $300, which equals $150. This coinsurance amount exceeds the maximum expense of $100, so you would pay the $150 deductible, plus the $100 maximum coinsurance, or $250.) At this point, your annual deductible for Tier 2 and Tier 3 drugs combined has been met, and you will pay the applicable copayment/coinsurance for Tier 2 and Tier 3 drugs at retail and home delivery for the remainder of the year. TIER 4 DRUG COSTS - Express Scripts has added a Tier 4 category of non-covered drugs for which you will pay 100% of the negotiated discount cost. Drugs in this category include nonsedating antihistamines, erectile dysfunction drugs, cosmetic-purpose drugs, drugs that promote hair growth or treat male pattern baldness, and drugs that depigment skin. HOW TO CONTACT EXPRESS SCRIPTS - On the Internet, log on to www.express-scripts.com. If you are a registered member, enter your username and password. If you are not a registered member, you will need to activate your account to get started. If you do not have Internet access, call Express Scripts toll-free at 1-866-685-2792, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Whether by Internet or phone, have ready: • Your ID number (on the front of your Express Scripts ID card); • Your prescribing doctor’s name and phone number; and • Your medications or medicine containers.
Website Review- Deloris Ullmann-ORTA Webmaster ORTA continues to and ideas for improvement. A question and move forward with answer session will be included. efforts to meet the Currently, web guidelines from universineeds of its members ties and organizations similar to ours are who use the web as a being compiled as suggestions for the web medium for securing committee. If you have suggestions for web information. We are guidelines, please submit them to: aware that as each email@example.com or mail to: new retiree joins the ORTA, 8050 N. High St., Ste. 190 system, it is highly Columbus, OH 43235 possible that he/she expects to find informaThe committee will select the guidelines tion for retirees on the World Wide Web. that are best suited to ORTA. Thus, we continue to focus upon improving More chapter websites continue to be our web presence. linked at www.orta.org. Several chapters Soon, a committee will be formed to estab- have indicated that they are working on lish web guidelines for chapters that plan to sites that are not yet published. There are link their chapter websites to the one at ORTA. likely some chapters that may never have This committee will establish goals, purpose, a web presence, at least in the near future. methods and simple standards. Webmasters However, many of the sites that are up and and others with website interest and ideas will running continue to be an excellent source compose the committee. Several people have of information for chapter members. indicated an interest in being a part of this At this writing there have been 101,040 group. This commit- ...there have been 101,040 visitors visitors to the site at tee will be announced www.orta.org since we to the site at www.orta.org since developed it two years in the near future. As the committee we developed it two years ago. ago. This number procompletes its work, we plan to use its outcome vides evidence that the web program at as a reference for one of the training sessions ORTA gains importance with time. Thus, our at the area meetings scheduled for the spring focus will continue to be upon web presence of 2010. Webmasters and others interested in improvement while maintaining our written using the web as a medium for disseminat- material at the same time. ORTA strives to ing the news are encouraged to attend these meet the communication needs of all of its sessions. We will be looking for suggestions members.
Services Important Telephone Numbers/web sites for ORTA Members
Medicare.....................................800-633-4227 AARP Ohio........................................866-5653 www.aarp.org/oh Ohio Consumers Council...........877-742-5622 Ohio Department of Aging..........800-266-4346 www.aging.ohio.gov STRS Ohio.................................888-227-7877 www.strsoh.org Express Scripts..........................866-685-2792 www.express-scripts.com Aetna..........................................800-645-5677 Medical Mutual...........................800-854-8139 Paramount Health......................800-462-4589 STRS Dental Plan......................866-349-1286 STRS Long Term Care ..............800-537-8521 STRS Vision Service Plan..........800-877-7195 ORTA..........................................877-431-7002 www.orta.org Member benefit companies AMBA.........................................800-258-7041 www.amba.info PNG Long Distance Service.......866-392-9661 Olson Insurance.........................800-282-5146 WebWiseSeniors........................866-232-7032
2010 Area Meetings Set for April
Dates and locations have been set for the four 2010 Area Conferences. Registration will begin at 9:00 a.m. with the first general session at 9:30 a.m. Coffee and tea will be served at registration. Lunch will be served at noon. The complete schedule of sessions will be or the ORTA website in February, 2010. All sessions will end at 3:00 p.m. Registration form is below.
Wednesday, April 7 Findlay Inn & Conference Center 200 East Main Cross St., Findlay
Thursday, April 8 Roberts Centre 123 Gano Road, Wilmington
Tuesday, April 13 Ohio University Inn 331 Richland Av., Athens
Wednesday, April 14 McKinley Grand Hotel 320 Market Av. South, Canton,
The registration fee is $20.00. Registration can be made through your chapter president. If you wish to register directly with the state office, complete and send the form below along with your check for $20.00 per person to:
ist r due ation s Ma b rch y Name:_____________________________________________________________ 17 ORTA, 8050 N. High St., Ste. 190, Columbus, OH 43235
Mailing Address: ____________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Chapter:___________________________________________________________ Conference Attending:
qFindlay qWilmington qAthens qCanton Winter 2010
The Ohio Retired Teachers Association Thanks Retiring Members of Board for their Dedicated Service With the new board (2010) members present, the 2009 ORTA board members presented their committee reports and reviewed the past year. President Edna Hansen installed the re-elected and newly elected District Directors and Trustees. Past President Ray Troxtell installed the new officers. Ray thanked his colleagues and reminded them to begin the recruiting process of new members, and to mentor successors to positions of leadership. AMBA Representative Rick Billeaud reported that his company considers the partnership of ORTA and AMBA a continuing success. ORTA and AMBA have extended their contractual relationship. Below: Immediate Past President Ray Troxtell congratulating 2010 Bob Dengler after he competed the installation of the 2010 ORTA officers. Next to President Dengler is the 2009 President Edna Hansen, President Elect Karen Butt, Eastern Area Vice President Dave Gynn, and Western Area Vice President Bill Phillips. Above: At dinner the evening before the Board meeting, Edna Hansen presented the traditional clock to Immediate Past President RayTroxtell, as a thank you for his many years on the board and executive committee. Seated at the right is Rayâ€™s wife, Emily.
Below: New or re-elected Trustees - Back: Dan McCombs, Portage Co., Howard Stahl, Clark Co., Jane Anderson, Stark Co., Paul Fanti, Tuscarawas Co., William Nitch, Mahoning Co., Front: Eileen McNally, Licking Co., Ruby Hawkins, Trumbull Co., Eileen Young, Franklin Co., Suellen Newnham, Lucas Co.
Right: New or re-elected Directors Back: Ted Humphrey, District IX Director, Sam Harvey, District V Director (re-elected), Patrick Pinney, District XI Director. Front: Joyce Doust, District I Director (re-elected), Jerry Webb, District VII Director, Darlene Ruzicka, District III Director.
Leadership is action, not position.
Below: Outgoing OCHER Representative Bob Gandee.
Donald H. McGannon
Above: Outgoing Directors - Bill Jabs, District IX, Bill Phillips, District III Director, Jim Antell, District XI Director. Not pictured: Walter Bevins. ORTA Quarterly
Above: Outgoing Trustees: Barbara Pettit, Licking Co., and Lydia Caskey, Trumbull Co. Not Pictured: Doug Wilcox.
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Joe Endry of Westerville and the Franklin Co. RTA was inducted into the Ohio Capital Conference Hall of Fame in September of 2009. Joe was honored for his role in starting the OCC more than 40 years ago. He was a founding father of the league and served as the first president of its executive committee. As the principal at Reynoldsburg in 1966, he called a meeting between his school, Gahanna, and Whitehall to initiate talks to form the league. Westerville and Worthington came on board a few weeks later. Today, the league includes 32 central Ohio teams with four divisions. Joe retired from Reynoldsburg in 1988 as the superintendent of the district. He then served 12 years as the Executive Director of ORTA and 4 years as the retired teacher member of STRS. The OCC Hall of Fame was formed in 1996 to honor administrators, coaches, and athletic directors.
Paul Papanek, retired from Dayton Public Schools, is a member of Miami Co. RTA. Since his retirement in 1992 he has been traveling to Standing Rock Reservation in S. Dakota several times a year. He collects clothing, backpacks, and school supplies for the Lakota Indian children. He also teaches woodcarving there and in December, plays Santa Claus (see above) He is available to speak to groups about his involvement and accepts donations of basswood, knives, sewing machines, and fabric that can be used in the schools. Paul can be reached at 3304 Magnolia Dr., Troy, OH 45373 or by phone: 937667-8401.
Volunteering After Retirement - Is It For You?
By Anna Banks Most people think of retirement as a time when they plan on doing all the fun things that they had to forgo because of the demands made on them by their job. However, there is an increasing number of retirees who view this as a time when they can contribute to society. Hence, they seek opportunities to do volunteer work. Apart from giving retiring baby boomers the chance of using their vast knowledge and skills which they have accumulated over the years, many of them find volunteer work a source of incredible fulfillment, often giving new purpose and meaning to life. On leaving a career, most baby boomers need some kind of new activity to regain the meaningfulness of life. In fact, experts agree that one of the most important factors of aging well is to find this kind of purpose and meaning in life. Some of the ways in which volunteering can add to the meaningfulness of life are: using abilities, wisdom, knowledge and skills in purposeful and new ways; enriching others lives; learning new skills; making a difference for the better to the community or even the world; feeling good about how time is being utilized. Volunteer work can involve any sort of activity like writing letters, answering telephone calls, caring for people, running errands, shopping and deliv. . . experts agree ering things to shut-ins. One of the most fulfilling things that that one of the most you can do is to spend time reading to terminally ill children at important factors of the hospital in your area. There are many people who provide aging well is to find a lot of pleasure to people with visual impairment by reading for recorded books. Another valuable way in which you can this kind of purpose contribute is to help with crisis or homework hotlines. and meaning in life. If you are a retiree, and feel volunteer work is for you, you can find opportunities for volunteering all around you. All you need to do is be open to new kinds of ways of helping other people and know where to look for such opportunities. For example, you could check with the hospitals in your locality, or a VA hospital near you, hospices, nursing homes, charitable organizations, the police, and the fire department. Community and government organizations also require volunteers to help them out in many ways. Also check with your church, they usually recruit volunteers to do various things such as teaching less privileged children, cooking, delivering food or groceries to shut-ins, and so on. The Internet is also a great source of finding a wide variety of volunteering work. Of course, every person will need to look for the organization and offer the kind of volunteering work that suits their interests and skills the best. But you can be assured that whatever abilities or skills you have, there will be some organization either in your locality or some worldwide organization, which will require them. If this kind of activity is new to you, it may come as a pleasant surprise to find out the sense of accomplishment and purpose that you can derive from it. All you need to do is find a niche that you feel you can be the most useful in, and you will soon discover the many ways you have the ability to make that difference that brings so much amelioration and joy to others, which can be such a rewarding and joyous experience for you in return. Senior Daily Living - www.seniordailyliving.com - Reprinted with permission
ORTA Community Service Committee Serves as Your Chapter Volunteer Coordinator
The Community Services Committee is your chapterâ€™s volunteer arm. ORTA chapters in the state of Ohio have in place volunteer activities that continue all year long. ORTA members around the state contribute thousands of volunteer hours each year in their communities. We are extremely proud of the wonderful retired teacher volunteers and their outstanding efforts. Take advantage of your committee by asking the CSC Chairman where you can help. Perhaps you know of a need that is presently going unfulfilled. It may be an op-
portunity to expand your chapters volunteer efforts. The ORTA Community Services Committee stands ready to assist you and/your chapter in finding projects or ideas that might assist your search for community projects. Remember to report your individual volunteer hours to your committee chairman. The yearly report must be sent to the state office, postmarked by 1/15/10 to be included in this years annual report. Winter 2010
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RESTATED BYLAWS TO BE VOTED ON AT SPRING MEETINGS
The Amended and Restated Bylaws of the Ohio Retired Teachers Association are printed on the next 4 pages. (pp. 7 through 10) Over the past several years, the ORTA Bylaws Committee has been working on revisions to this document in order to address: • Legal concerns, and • Issues from the strategic plan of 2006. The Bylaws Committee completed their work and sent the revisions to the ORTA Board on September 9, 2009. The Board then voted to send it to the membership for your perusal and acceptance. Please take a few minutes to read the amended and restated bylaws. Send questions, comments and/or concerns to the state office via email or USPS by March 15. Voting by the membership will be done at the four Area Meetings in April.
AMENDED AND RESTATED BYLAWS OF THE OHIO RETIRED TEACHERS ASSOCIATION, INC (PROPOSED 2009) ARTICLE I – NAME AND PURPOSE 1. NAME: The name of this organization shall be the Ohio Retired Teachers Association, Inc. hereinafter known as the Association. The Association is also known as ORTA. 2. PURPOSE: The primary purpose of the Association shall be to encourage individuals to improve and develop their capabilities to meet the social and economic changes and issues subsequent to their retirement, and to sponsor and support legislation and programs intended to contribute to their well-being - locally, state-wide and nationally. ORTA Quarterly
ARTICLE II – MEMBERSHIP 1. Membership is open to any teacher or administrator retired from the public schools, state and municipal colleges and universities of Ohio; any teacher or administrator retired in any other state but living in Ohio; any spouse who becomes a benefit recipient of State Teachers Retirement System (STRS); and any person in Ohio interested in education and the issues of retirees. 2. Members shall have the right to vote and to receive copies of all periodic official publications of the Association. 3. While ORTA offers only one level of membership, chapters may elect to have multiple levels of membership. ARTICLE III – CHAPTER AFFILIATION 1. The Association shall utilize chapter affiliations to assist in accomplishing the purpose as set forth in Article I. The Association encourages chapters to develop their membership to meet the social and economic changes and issues subsequent to retirement by exchanging information, providing workshops, conferences and leadership training. 2. Chapter affiliates shall follow the purpose of the Association as set forth in Article I and shall assist the Association in recruiting, forming, developing and sustaining membership. ARTICLE IV – ORGANIZATION The state shall be divided into districts as determined by the Board, with a director for each district. Districts are to facilitate and unify the work of the Association, to promote the successful operation of local chapters, and to secure prompt and unified action toward accepted goals. ARTICLE V – OFFICIAL BOARD 1. The corporate powers, affairs and properties of the Association shall be exercised, conducted and controlled by the official Board, hereafter known as the Board. Each person serving on the Board shall be a member of the Association in good standing and shall be an STRS
benefit recipient. Board members shall be Ohio residents. Transportation expenses shall be paid from the member’s permanent place of residence in Ohio to any Board or Committee meeting. The necessary expenses of Board members (and non-members invited by the Board or the Executive Committee) in conducting the business of the Association shall be paid from the Association’s treasury. The Board may adopt bylaws to govern its own proceedings and its transaction of business and any other matters properly within the authority and discretion of the Board, so long as consistent with the State of Ohio, Articles of Incorporation and these Bylaws. 2. The Board shall consist of the President, the Immediate Past President, the President Elect, the Eastern Area Vice President, the Western Area Vice President, the District Directors, and the Chapter Trustees. The Executive Director is a non-voting member of the Board. The Board shall elect a successor to fill the unexpired term of any member of the Executive Committee, except the President who shall be succeeded by the President Elect. An Executive Committee member completing an unexpired term shall be eligible for election to serve an additional one-year term in that office. A vacancy created by any other member of the Board shall be filled in the same way used in selecting the original holder of the vacated position. 3. The District Directors shall be elected by the Chapter Presidents within their Districts under procedures incorporated in the Standing Rules established by the Board and administered by the appropriate Vice President. The District Directors of Districts I, III, V, VII, IX, and XI shall be elected by the fall of the odd numbered years. The District Directors of II, IV, VI, VIII and X shall be elected by the fall of the even numbered years. District Directors shall
be elected for a two-year term or the remainder of an unexpired term and may succeed themselves once. 4. The 10 chapters maintaining the highest paid-up dual membership shall be entitled to elect one Chapter Trustee per chapter to represent them on the Board. Upon submission of the paidup dual membership of each chapter the Executive Director shall determine the top 10 chapters. Trustees may be elected for a two-year term or the remainder of an unexpired term and may succeed themselves once. 5. The duties of the Board members shall be: a. To attend as many Board, committee, and ORTA sponsored meetings as possible. Board meetings will be held semi-annually in the spring and fall. The President is empowered to call emergency meetings of the Board, after approval by a majority vote of the Executive Committee either at an official meeting or by written ballot. b. To receive and review the secretarial, financial, and other reports. c. To promote the planning, developing and implementing of programs in cooperation with the local chapters. d. To work cooperatively with the directors in their respective districts by volunteering assistance and by responding to requests for help. 6. Unless another place is designated by the Board, the place of all meetings shall be the principal office of the Association. However, if necessary, any meeting may be held by telephone or other communications. 7. Written notice of the time and place of each meeting of the Board shall be given to each Board member, either by personal delivery, or by mail, e-mail, telegram or telecopy, at least two days before each meeting. Any Board member may waive notice of the time and place of any meeting of the Board, either before or after the holding of the meeting. Any waiver of notice must be in writing and filed with or entered upon the records of the Association. Business transacted at all special meetings shall be confined to subjects stated in the call and related matters. 8. Except as otherwise provided in these
Bylaws, a majority of the number of Board members shall be present in person at any meeting of the Board in order to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at such meeting. However, if the meeting is held by telephone or through other communications allowing all persons participating in the meeting to contemporaneously communicate with each other (Ohio Rev. Code, Section 1702.01), then such participation shall constitute attendance at such meeting. In the absence of a quorum of any meeting of the Board, a majority of those present may adjourn the meeting from time to time until a quorum shall be present and notice of the adjourned meeting need not be given. Except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws, the act of a majority of the Board members present at any meeting of the Board shall be the act of the Board. 9. Any action which may be authorized or taken at a meeting of the Board may be taken without a meeting if authorized by a statement signed by each of the Board members or if submitted by a Board member by electronic means to a designated officer of the Board. Any such statement shall be filed with or entered upon the record of the Association. 10.Any Board member may resign at any time by giving written notice to the President or Executive Director. A resignation shall take place at the time specified therein or shall become effective upon delivery. The acceptance of any resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective unless so specified in the resignation. 11.Any Board member may be removed, with or without cause, at any time by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the elected Board members. 12.Every Board member shall avoid any conflict between his or her own respective, individual interests and the interests of the Association, and any and all actions taken by such Board member on behalf of the Association in his or her respective capacities. Every Board member shall conduct himself or herself in accordance with the requirements of law, of these By-
laws, and such other policies, including policies on conflict of interest, as may from time to time be adopted by the Board. ARTICLE VI â€“ OFFICERS 1. The elected officers of the Association shall constitute the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall be composed of the President, the Immediate Past President, the President Elect, the Eastern Area Vice President and the Western Area Vice President. The Executive Director shall be a non-voting member of the Executive Committee. Candidates for election to the Executive Committee shall be recommended by the Nominative Committee or nominated from the floor, and shall be elected by the ORTA Board in November for one-year terms. The Executive Committee shall take office January 1 following election. Its members shall be ineligible to succeed themselves in the same office, except that the Eastern and Western Area Vice Presidents are permitted to succeed themselves one year. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for necessary interim action between Board meetings. The Executive Committee shall employ the Executive Director and fix the compensation for that position. The officers shall be STRS benefit recipients, Ohio residents, and members of the Association in good standing. 2. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Association and of the Board, carry out the instructions of the Association and of the Board and perform all the duties, which usually pertain to this office. The President shall appoint all committees. The President and the President Elect shall be ex-officio members of all committees except the Nominating Committee. 3. If the President is incapacitated, the President Elect shall temporarily assume the duties and responsibilities of the President. 4. The two Vice Presidents shall have identical duties in their respective areas of the state, as follows: Winter 2010
a. The Western Area Vice President shall serve as chairman for the District Directors of Districts I through VI. b. The Eastern Area Vice President shall serve as chairman for the District Directors of Districts VII through XI. c. The Vice Presidents shall cooperate fully with the District Directors and Trustees in their area of the state in all phases of the work for the local chapters and for the Association. The Vice-Presidents shall be members of the Legislative Committee. 5. The Executive Director shall be responsible for the administration of the day to day operations of the Association. The Executive Director may employ other staff members as required. The general duties of the Executive Director and other staff members shall be defined in the policies of the Association. 6. It is expected that Executive Committee members will attend as many meetings of the Executive Committee as possible. a. Unless another place is designated by the President, the place of all meetings of the Executive Committee shall be the principal office of the Association. However, any meeting may be held by telephone or through other communications. b. Written notice of the time and place of each meeting of the Executive Committee shall be given to each Executive Committee member, either by personal delivery, or by mail, e-mail, telegram or telecopy, at least two days before each meeting. Any Executive Committee member may waive notice of the time and place of any meeting of the Executive Committee, either before or after the holding of the meeting. Any waiver of notice must be in writing and filed with or entered upon the records of the Association. Business transacted at all special meetings shall be confined to subjects stated in the call and related matters. c. Except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws, four of the Executive Committee members shall be present in person or via technology at any meeting of the Executive Committee ORTA Quarterly
in order to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at such meeting. However, if the meeting is held by telephone or through other communications allowing all persons participating in the meeting to contemporaneously communicate with each other (Ohio Rev. Code, Section 1702.01), then such participation shall constitute attendance at such meeting. In the absence of a quorum of any meeting of the Executive Committee, a majority of those present may adjourn the meeting from time to time until a quorum shall be present and notice of the adjourned meeting need not be given. Except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws, the act of three of the Executive Committee members present at any meeting of the Executive Committee shall be the act of the Execu-tive Committee. d. Any action which may be authorized or taken at a meeting of the Executive Committee may be taken without a meeting if authorized by a statement signed by each of the Executive Committee members, or if submitted by an Executive Committee member by electronic means to a designated officer of the Executive Committee. Any such statement shall be filed with or entered upon the record of the Association. 7. Any officer may resign at any time by giving written notice to the President or Executive Director. A resignation shall take place at the time specified and, unless otherwise specified, shall become effective upon delivery. The acceptance of any resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective unless so specified in the resignation. 8. Any Executive Committee member may be removed, with or without cause, at any time by the affirmative vote of three of the Executive Committee members then in office. 9. Every Executive Committee member shall avoid any conflict between his or her own respective, individual interests and the interests of the Association, and any and all actions taken by such Executive Committee member on behalf of the Association in his or her respective capacities. Every Executive Committee member shall
conduct himself or herself in accordance with the requirements of law, of these Bylaws, and such other policies, including policies on conflict of interest, as may from time to time be adopted by the Executive Committee. ARTICLE VII - COMMITTEES 1. Nominating Committee: The President, at least 90 days before the November meeting, shall appoint a committee of three members to serve as the Nominating Committee and shall notify the Board of the names of the committee members. The Nominating Committee shall develop a resume format and make it available to anyone interested in a position on the Executive Committee. The Nominating Committee shall consider all individuals who submit a resume. The Nominating Committee shall nominate one or more persons for each elective office of the Executive Committee except that of the President, which office will be automatically filled by the current President Elect. As of 2002, the Eastern Area Vice President will automatically be nominated the President elect in even years. The Western Area Vice President will automatically be nominated the President Elect in uneven years. The nominating committee shall report these nominations at the November Board meeting. Nominations may be made from the floor. 2. Finance and Auditing Committee: The President shall appoint this committee. Before the November meeting of the Board, this Committee shall review the annual budget for the ensuing year as submitted by the Executive Director and shall make recommendations to the Board relative to its adoption. This committee shall meet with an outside auditor before the May meeting and receive the report on the previous yearâ€™s financial statements and make recommendations with respect to other policies on financial matters. 3. Bylaws and Standing Rules Committee: The President shall appoint this committee. This committee shall recommend any proposed changes
in the Bylaws and Standing Rules to the Executive Committee for its approval and submission to the Board. This Committee shall also be responsible for preparing the reasons for the proposed changes which shall be published in an official ORTA publication before voting by the membership in the case of the Bylaws or by the Board in the case of the Standing Rules. 4. Other Standing State Committees: The President shall appoint state standing committees to provide periodic training and on-going support for local chapter committees in the following areas: a. Community Services b. Informative & Protective Services c. Legislative 5. Authority and Manner of Acting – Unless otherwise provided in these Bylaws or unless otherwise ordered by the Board, any such committee shall act by majority of all of its members at a meeting at such place or through electronic communication as permitted under the laws of the State of Ohio, or by a statement or statements signed by all of its members. A committee is authorized to take any action or transact any business specifically delegated by the Board. If a committee is delegated complete authority to take a specific action or to transact a specific business matter by the Board, any such action or business transaction of the committee pursuant to the delegation of authority, shall be as effective for all purposes as an act or business transacted by the Board. All committees of the Board shall prepare and file minutes of all meetings with the Executive Director to be filed with or entered upon the records of the Association. ARTICLE VIII – CHAPTERS 1. Chapter officers shall be elected in the fall of the year for terms beginning the following January 1st. 2. Chapter officers and chairs of the chapter standing committees must be ORTA members in good standing. 3. Chapters must have by-laws and other pertinent documents on file with the state office.
4. Chapters must submit annual reports as requested. ARTICLE IX – DUES The Dues of the Association shall be as follows: a. Annual and lifetime membership dues shall be determined by the Board. b. The fiscal year of the Association shall be January 1 through December 31. ARTICLE X – MEETINGS 1. The ORTA shall hold a biennial state meeting in even numbered years at a place determined by the Executive Committee. All arrangements for this meeting shall be the responsibility of the Executive Committee. Expansion of the meeting to more than one day shall occur only by Board action. 2. Biennial one-day meetings are to be held in odd numbered years in the areas defined by the Board. The Board shall set the dates. 3. Biennial one-day meetings are to be held in even numbered years in each of the districts as defined by the Board. The Board shall set the dates. 4. The Executive Committee may change or cancel the above meetings. ARTICLE XI – STATUS The Association is intended to be and remains a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation organized and existing for the mutual benefit of retired educators. The Association and its Board shall refrain from any action or activity which might harm its status as an organization whose receipts are exempt from income taxes. The Association shall be dedicated to education, social, charitable and beneficial purposes. No membership lists or directories shall be available to anyone except for Association purposes. ARTICLE XII – AMENDMENTS The Bylaws of the Association may be amended by an affirmative vote of two thirds of the voting members present at (a) a biennial state meeting; (b) at the area or district meetings; or (c) by a vote by mail of the member-
ship upon direction of the Board. The Board shall have approved the proposed amendment and notice of such amendment shall have been published in an official ORTA publication. ARTICLE XIII – RULES OF ORDER Except as otherwise provided in the Bylaws or the Standing Rules, Robert’s Rules of Order, latest revision, shall govern the Association in its procedures. ARTICLE XIV – SEAL The Association shall have an official corporate seal, in form and content as shown here:
ARTICLE XV – DISSOLUTION This Association may be dissolved only after: 1. An affirmative vote of at least twothirds of the total membership of the Board, and 2. Thereafter, an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the Association casting a ballot, provided notification of each election is announced at least 60 days before the voting takes place. In the event of dissolution, whether voluntary or involuntary or by operation of law, its property and assets shall be given to an Ohio education or charitable organization(s) selected by the Board. Such organization shall be an exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended. ARTICLE XVI – PROHIBITION AGAINST SHARING IN ASSETS No member or employee of the Association shall receive at any time any of the net earnings or pecuniary profit from the operation of the Association, except that payment shall be made for reasonable compensation or expenses for services rendered to or for the Association in carrying out its purposes as fixed by the Board. Winter 2010
Long Term Care Annuity for ORTA Members
If you are like many members who have either passed on long term care insurance (LTCI) due to its high cost, purchased a limited benefit LTCI policy, or are “self insuring” because you feel you have adequate assets to pay your own way in the event that you need long term care services, the following announcement may be of particular interest to you. A new type of annuity is now available to ORTA members, up to age 79. This policy guarantees you a minimum interest rate of 3% and triples your account value in the event that you need long term care services. For example, if a member repositions $100,000 of their assets into a long term care annuity and needs care after 24 months, the annuity will provide over $300,000 in benefits for your care. These benefits are tax free and are payable for home health care, assisted living facility care, and nursing home care. The Pension Protection Act changes, effective January 1, 2010, make distributions from a long term care annuity tax free, as well as the cost of the long term care rider. The cost of a long term care rider attached to a fixed annuity is approximately one-third of the cost of traditional long term care insurance. Because the payment comes from within the annuity, there is no impact on your monthly or annual budget. This is like having your cake and eating it too! Hopefully, you will never need long term care services. However, if you do, a long term care annuity triples your one time deposit. If you are fortunate enough to never need long term care then the full account value will bypass probate and go directly to your beneficiary. By simply repositioning a portion of your assets into a long term care annuity, you will enjoy a guaranteed 3% minimum rate of interest which will grow tax deferred and there is no market risk. Your deposit is secured by an A+ (Superior) carrier, rated by A. M. Best. You will have the peace of mind knowing that if you need care, your account value will be tripled. To learn more about this new ORTA endorsed policy, please call Association Member Benefits Advisors at 1-800-258-7041. ORTA Quarterly
Discounted Local and Long Distance Phone and Dial-up Internet Rate for Members and Families Two new plans that could fit your phone needs are available through Power Net Global, one of ORTA’s benefit providers. The Digital Phone @ Home 100 Plan provides 100 long distance minutes AND unlimited local minutes in domestic USA for only $19.99 per month. (additional minutes are 3.9 cents) The Digital Phone @ Home Unlimited Plan provides unlimited local and unlimited long distance minutes in domestic USA and Canada for $24. 99 per month. Digital service is available to any residence that has DSL or Broadband service. With this service you can use your phone while you are on the computer. Both plans include call forwarding, caller I.D., 3-way calling, speed dial, voice mail, and 14 other features. There are several up-front fees to these digital plans. If you wish to keep your existing number, there is a one time transfer fee of $10.00. Also, there is a one time activiation fee of $29.95 and a shipping and handling fee of $9.95 for the adapter box. If you are already a customer of the PNG regular (not digital) land line long distance plan, you are eligible for a rate reduction. Call Brad Walton at the number below to receive the new rates of 3.9 cents state to state and 5.9 cents to most of Ohio. The regular land line- local and long distance unlimited plan is available for $39.99 per month from PNG. Customers do not need DSL or Broadband for the regular land line services. PNG also has an unlimited enhanced dial up internet plan for $9.95 per month. Call PNG Agent Brad Walton if you have any questions or want more information. Mon. thru Sat.740-392-9661 or 1-866-392-9661.
DELL COMPUTER DISCOUNT
Great discounts are available from Dell through the Employee Purchase Program for Dell products. Call Dell at 866.257.4711 or visit www.dell.com/epp and enter your ID number of PS95750248 to receive your discount. Please note that the web site has changed from www.dell.com/edubuy to the one above. However, this old email address should be OK through February - according to Dell.
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The 2009 Perry Co. RTA Scholarship was awarded to Ashley Folk, a student in the College of Education and Human Ecology at Ohio State University, Newark. Ashley is a graduate of New Lexington H.S. and is preparing to be a middle school teacher. Pictured with Ashley is Dona White, PCRTA President and Mary Todd, Scholarship Chair. Joanne Hoover, PCRTA secretary, r e c e i v e d O h i o ’s Hill Country Heritage Area Lifetime Achievement Award for her 20-year commitment to preserving Perry County history. The award Joanne Hoover recognizes those who have donated significant time and effort contributing to the historic preservation and economic development of the Appalachian Ohio region and outstanding leadership. Paul Mechling, a past PCRTA president, was inducted into the State Fair Hall of Fame on July 30, 2009. Paul worked at the Fair six years and chaired the livestock committee that dealt with tampering issues inPaul Mechling volving the junior fair livestock show. Paul also served as an Ohio Expositions Commissioner for several years, taking the role of chairman of the agriculture committee. Paul is an ardent advocate for youth development and educational programs. He received his plaque at a special luncheon at the Rhodes Center Auditorium in July, accompanied by his family. Paul joins the ranks of other notable recipients including Bob Evans, Dave Thomas and Governors Rhodes and Voinovich.
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Evelyn and Lloyd Barker of Alliance have donated the cost of decorating the Williamsburg Room at the Allliance Area Senior Center. Evelyn retired from teaching in 1987 and is a life member of AARTA and ORTA. The inscription on the plaque in the redecorated room includes these words: ‘In this world, it is not what we take, but what we give that makes us rich.’ Former students of Riverside, Bolton, and North Lincoln schools call themselves the North End - Next Generation. They meet monthly and also hold a yearly reunion. At the reunion in 2009, they recognized and honored their first and second grade teachers at Riverside, Marie Megary Moser and Maralee Gruey. The two honorees are members of the Alliance Area RTA. Sixty former students attended the affair. “It’s a wonderful contibution to the Society,” said co-chair B.J. Abrams of the Salem BiCentennial as he accepted the four volumes containing over 350 News stories covering the Salem BiCentenial. Faye Heim The work was donated by Alliance Area RTA Public Relations chairman Faye Heim. Faye served on the 2003 Ohio BiCentennial for AARTA and saved all articles concerning that event. When Salem celebrated its 2006 bicentennial, Faye obtained every article concerning the bicentennial from June 2006 to May 2008. She wound up with over 200 pages of stories about the event. Abrams called Faye’s work as ‘awesome’ and a ‘treasure.’
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The only blind marching band in the nation is the 17 member band at the School for the Blind in Columbus. Where was the band on January 1, 2010? What Ohio City became the first U.S. city with a paid professional fire department? answers can be found at www.orta.org
Hitting the Road for Dorothy’s Quilt
The Morrow County Retired Teachers Association organized a trip to Vinton County to see the quilts which have been placed on barns in the county. One of the quilts honored one of our members, Dorothy Scott--a long time Vinton County one-room school teacher. Lunch was at Etta’s Lunchbox Cafe which featured over 850 lunchboxes spanning 100 years. A birthday cake recognizing Dorothy’s upcoming 89th birthday was the dessert. Dorothy has written a book “I Fell in Love Every September” which is available from the Vinton County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, PO Box 307, McArthur, OH 45651.
The quilt square honoring Dorothy hangs on the Swan School where she taught. Pictured are: (L-R) Linda Ruehrmund, Mary Jo Peterman, Kay Goodwillie, Phylis Miller, Angie Hamilton, Dorothy Scott, Jan Riddlebaugh, Delores Poast, and Lois Wood.
Dear Editor, Several years ago there was an article in the Quarterly (Winter 2006) touting reverse mortgages as a means of having additional income. I wrote you then and criticized the article and said I felt that instead of telling readers how they can diminish their wealth, you should tell them how they can retain and increase their wealth. In the October 25, 2009 Parade Magazine, there are loud warning signals about reverse mortages. High fees, fraud, bait and switch, and scams have been associated with these mortages, many times resulting in people losing their homes anyway. Taking a home equity line of credit or downsizing are two viable alternatives for those needing to lessen their financial burden, according to AARP. Sincerely, Theodore Sipes, Bowling Green, OH Dear Mr. Sipes, The Parade ‘Intelligence Report” correctly reports that consumer advocates have long cautioned that reverse mortgages should be used as a last resort because of their high fees. At the time of the article in 2006, however, AARP did tout the mortgage as a means of using ones home equity. They even published a FREE 52 page booklet “Home Made Money” that fully explained costs and tips concerning reverse mortgages. Government backed reverse mortgages are not inherently bad, and certainly are not fraudulent. Their disadvantages are high fees and high rates of interest. As you correctly point out, they are only one of several ways to lessen financial burdens. Thank you for your interest, The Q Editor NOTE: Mr. Sipes’ letter has reminded us that today, unscrupulous lenders are at it again, this time with reverse mortgages, not unlike the fraud that occured during the subprime lending boom. Retirees must be extremely careful with the multiplicity of scams during these tough times. If you have a doubt about being offered something that sounds too good to be true, contact your local Better Business Bureau. A company offering something that may be questionable to you can be easily checked through the bureau. On the next page is a list of Better Business Bureau contacts throughout the state of Ohio. Do not hesitate to contact them if you are unsure about a company. If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, call the Attorney General’s office at 800-282-0515. Be extremely careful with your money. Seniors have always been a prime target of scam artists. As with any business arrangement having to do with finances, you should begin by educating yourself, dealing with people you know to be proven trustworthy financial counselors, and by getting consumer safeguard counseling from your bank. Winter 2010
Find a BBB in Your Area BBB of Akron WWW: http://akron.bbb.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (330)253-4590 Fax: (330)253-6249 222 W. Market Street Akron OH 44303 BBB of Canton Regional & Greater WVa. WWW: http://canton.bbb.org Email: email@example.com Phone: (330)454-9401 Fax: (330)456-8957 1434 Cleveland Ave., NW Canton OH 44703 BBB of Central Ohio WWW: http://centralohio.bbb.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (614)486-6336 Fax: (614)486-6631 1169 Dublin Road Columbus OH 43215-1005 BBB of Cincinnati WWW: http://cincinnati.bbb.org Email: email@example.com Phone: (513)421-3015 Fax: (513)621-0907 7 West 7th Street, Ste. 1600 Cincinnati OH 45202 BBB of Cleveland WWW: http://cleveland.bbb.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (216)241-7678 Fax: (216)861-6365 2800 Euclid Avenue, 4th Floor Cleveland OH 44115-2408 BBB of Dayton / Miami Valley WWW: http://dayton.bbb.org Email: email@example.com Phone: (937)222-5825 Fax: (937)222-3338 15 W. Fourth Street, Ste. 300 Dayton OH 45402-1830 BBB of Mahoning Valley WWW: http://youngstown.bbb.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (866)887-9222 Fax: (330)744-7336 International Towers; 25 Market St., P.O. Box 1495 Youngstown OH 44501 BBB of NW Ohio & SE Michigan WWW: http://toledo.bbb.org Email: email@example.com Phone: (419)531-3116 Fax: (419)578-6001 7668 King`s Pointe Road, Integrity Place Toledo OH 43617 BBB of West Central Ohio WWW: http://lima.bbb.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (419)223-7010 Fax: (419)229-2029 219 N. McDonel, P.O. Box 269 Lima OH 45801 ORTA Quarterly
“Social Insurance” Started 120 years ago in Germany Germany became the first nation in the world to adopt an ‘old-age’ social insurance program in 1889, designed by Germany’s Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck. The idea was first put forward, at Bismarck’s behest, in 1881 by Germany’s Emperor, William the First, in a ground-breaking letter Otto von Bismarck to the German Parliament. William wrote: “. . .those who are disabled from work by age and invalidity have a wellgrounded claim to care from the state.” Two reasons Bismarck introduced social insurance: 1) to promote the well-being of workers in order to keep the German economy operating at maximum efficiency, and 2) to stave-off calls for more radical socialist alternatives. Despite his right-wing credentials, Bismarck would be called a socialist for introducing these programs, as would President Roosevelt 70 years later. In his speech to the Reichstag during the 1881 debates, Bismarck would reply: “Call it socialism or whatever you like. It is the same to me.” The German system provided contributory retirement benefits and disability benefits as well. Participation was mandatory and contributions were taken from the employee, the employer and the government. Coupled with the workers’ compensation program established in 1884 and the “sickness” insurance enacted the year before, this gave the Germans a comprehensive system of income security based on social insurance principles. (They added unemployment insurance in 1927.) One persistent myth about the German program is that it adopted age 65 as the standard retirement age because that was Bismarck’s age. This myth is important because Germany was one of the models America looked to in designing its own Social Security plan; and the myth is that America adopted age 65 as the age for retirement benefits because this was the age adopted by Germany when they created their program. In fact, Germany initially set age 70 as the retirement age (and Bismarck himself was 74 at the time) and it was not until 27 years later (in 1916) that the age was lowered to 65. Bismarck died 18 years earlier, in 1898.
Rep. Todd Book, ORSC Chairman, Drops Congressional Run
State Rep. Todd Book (D-McDermott) has announced his intention to withdraw from the upcoming 2010 Democratic primary for Ohio’s Second Congressional District. Rep. Book is the Chairman of the Ohio Retirement Study Council (ORSC). Book, who cited growing Rep. Todd Book commitments in his current capacity as state representative as his deciding factor, leaves David Krikorian as the Democratic candidate in the upcoming May primary. The winner would hope to challenge incumbent Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) in next fall’s election. “The people of the 89th District elected me to be a leader in the statehouse and that is something I take very seriously. It is with that in mind that I have decided I cannot commit the necessary time to run for U.S. Congress. ” Book said. Book is now free to lead House Democratic caucus efforts on two pieces of legislation facing the House. Both involve the Constitutional amendment issues which passed in the November election. One concerns the agriculture standards and the other is the casino issue. Rep. Book is scheduled to be the lead legislator on pension redesign legislation that will be introduced early in 2010. Richard Murray, one of the three Governor’s appointees to ORSC, has resigned from the council to become the Executive Director of the Ohio School Facilities Commission. Mr. Murray is the Mayor of Marblecliff. Sources: The Ironton Tribune Nov. 27, 2009 STRS Legislative News Dec. 2009 ORSC website: www.orsc.org
Gingersnaps Perform at Board Dinner
This high steeping and energetic group of women danced and sang for the ORTA Board members in November. They tap danced to Buckeye Cheerleading numbers, Patriotic songs, and broadway hits. The ladies range in age from 56 to 84 years old.
Winning a Little Red Wagon
Above: Jim Cuchna representing his wife Anna Mae, Nancy Izzi-Dom, Sally Thomas of the Sutliff Museum and Diana Bauman. These former Niles teachers were presented the “Little Red Wagon,” for an outstanding work with young people. The National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA) awards the Little Red Wagon as part of the With Our Youth! program based on projects submitted to them from RTA’s across the country. Trumbull Co. RTA was recognized for the Underground Railroad Suitcase Program.
Above: Gretchen Reed, President of Trumbull Retired Teachers, shows her surprise and delight as David Gynn, Ohio Retired Teachers Association Eastern Area Vice President, presented two awards to the chapter. Mr. Gynn brought the national award from NRTA and a state award for outstanding work in volunteerism by TRTA members.
With the Sutliff Museum curator as the catalyst, three members of the Trumbull Chapter Ohio Retired Teachers Association helped develop an Underground Railroad Suitcase Program for fourth grade students. The Sutliff family, for whom the museum is named, were pioneers in Trumbull County, and were abolitionists active in the Underground Railroad. The curator and volunteers were eager to develop and present this program so that the youth in the community could learn about their local history and the major role which the county played in the anti-slavery movement. The retirees have been presenting the Underground Railroad Suitcase Program for approximately three years. The lessons take place in the classroom, at the Museum and at historic sites within Trumbull County. Retired educators also provide book bags (filled with information and worksheets) to the teachers to help them know more about the history of slavery and the Underground Railroad in their community with the hope that they will weave relevant content into their social studies curriculum. Betty Jean Bahmer, the local community service chair, stated, “The children are especially attentive as symbols of slavery are shown (bull whip, chains, hobble, lanterns, etc.) and stories are told about slaves and what happened when they tried to escape. At the conclusion of the program, the children are eager to ask questions…” The program has reached about 300 students from grade school through high school, and Bahmer added, “we hope to continue this program indefinitely.” In addition to the Suitcase Program, members commit a significant amount of time to other projects benefiting the youth in their community. The retired educators chair and coordinate the county-wide spelling bee at the Trumbull County Fair each year. They are also involved with judging the 4-H booths at the fair and providing evaluations to the youth about their project to help their future entries. Some retirees assist teachers in the reading program while others work one-on-one with students to improve reading skills. In addition to all their volunteer work in their community, each year the Association provides ten $500 scholarships to graduating seniors. That’s how to win a little red wagon!
The Little Red Wagon
A parent tows his child . . . A toddler drags her teddy bear and dolls . . . An older brother pulls his younger siblings . . . Pre-adolescent friends tumble wildly down a grassy hill . . . A teenager hauls his newspapers along his delivery route . . . in a little red wagon. The little red wagon is synonymous with youth. The wagon shares a child’s adventures and responsibilities. The wagon supports the child and, in turn, provides the child with opportunities to support others. A child learns he/she is loved and has the capacity to love. The little red wagon. A symbol of childhood. It could be filled with a child’s hopes and dreams or weighed down with their burdens. Millions of American children need our help to pull that wagon along. Let’s all pull together. Founding Chairman General Colin L. Powell
Above: Gretchen Reed, Ann Hanning, ORTA Executive Director, David Gynn, and Betty Jean Bahmer, TRTA Community Participation chairman were at the October meeting for local retired teachers. Mrs. Hanning updated the membership about changes in health care and the pension system that are on the horizon and other national and state issues. Pictures & legends courtesy of Roselyn Gadd, TCRTA
NOTE: Chapters interested in submitting entries in 2010, can obtain a summary of tips on how to complete a strong NRTA With Our Youth! nomination form from the ORTA office. You can also visit www.aarp.org/nrta and/or www.orta.org for additional information.
It is this comfort, this stability, that America’s Promise seeks to provide every child. In the early years, a child needs to understand that he/she is loved. As they grow, so grows their spirit. Each child must understand that their potential knows no bounds. As they mature, each must learn that service to others is important and as fulfilling as their own needs. They will become a responsible and integral part of their community. They will give and guide, just as each of them has received and followed. We offer the little red wagon to every at-risk youth. In the beginning, we will pull you along, support you, nurture you. Soon, you will support yourself, proudly, independently. And then, you will support others. The little red wagon is a promise, and a challenge. We, your elders, we care. We will give you the tools you need. But you must use them to your fullest potential. Then, we promise, you will achieve your dreams. ORTA Quarterly
NOTE: Membership dues are not deductible as charitable contributions for Federal Income Tax purposes.
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For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning. ~T.S. Eliot,
Changing Economic Atmosphere Calls for Renewed Strength, Purpose and Support
by Bill Jabs ORTA outgoing District IX Director (written November 3, 2009)
As the length of turn of the economy, county chapters our daylight hours continue to increase support of scholshorten and the arships, food banks, shelters, Junior cold nights signal Achievement and many other comthe ending of anmunity projects. other season, so It is very difficult for our retirees this report signals to understand why our savings draw the ending of my one-half percent, CD’s draw one or two fourth year as Dispercent while mailings from our banks trict IX Director. explain that credit card debt might Chapter visits entail interest and penalties as high as within the block of twenty five, thirty or thirty-five percent. eight East-Central Ohio counties continued (The cost of doing business !) into early December. The bond between each The cost of chapter visits, mileage chapter and ORTA appears to strengthen with and meals undertaken to maintain and each visit. Retired members have a growbuild stronger relationships between ing understanding of factors that affect our chapter members and ORTA since healthcare and pension systems. spring will be a gift New faces seem from my family. They know that ORTA is working on their behalf during these times It is imperative that to reaffirm a of great change. every ORTA chapter, chapter’s sense of During this year several chapters every ORTA member purpose and level be made to feel the imhave experienced an influx of new of commitment. portance of their voice. members. New faces seem to reaffirm a chapter’s sense of purpose To this goal we must and level of commitment. All chapters are redouble our efforts. now using name tags that add a degree of Visiting each chapter for the last comfort and strengthen comradeship among time and observing the openness that all members. A number have willingly achas developed among the members is cepted leadership roles. For these trends to very satisfying. It is within this type of exist and continue, a atmosphere that each member begins to great deal of effort feel the strength of their voice and conand support from viction. Upon this base we will have the all members is restrength we need to achieve our many quired. common goals and resist splintering During this downover minor differences.
Elma and Jim Ramsey of Poland celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in October of 2009. Jim is a life member of ORTA and is the public relations chair of Mahoning Co. RTA. His career spanned 35 years in the Youngstown school system as a music instructor and band director. Betty and Bill Davis of Alliance celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Sept. 4, 2009. Betty retired from Marlington Local in 1990 where she was a music teacher. She is a life member of AARTA and ORTA.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. -C. S. Lewis: