Preble County Retired Teachers Association PCRTA
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JUNE 13, 2017
Members in attendance at the June 13 Preble
County Retired Teachers Association were welcomed by President Harold Niehaus, who conducted a short business meeting. Five Preble County teachers have retired this year, and have been invited to
join the group. Collections continue for the “Tools for Schools” program, which provides school supplies to Preble County Schools.
Bonnie Norris, Association Member Benefits Advisor, explained the many discounts and insurance plans available to ORTA members.
The next PCRTA luncheon will be on September 12 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Ingomar. All retired teachers and school personnel are urged to attend. Newsletters are available at www.pcrta.org.
Preble County Retired Teachers Association to Meet June 13
All retired educators and school support personnel and their spouses are invited to join PCRTA members for the June 13 meeting. The featured guests will include Jim Cain and Bonnie Norris, ORTA member benefits administrators, who will share important information about health care, dental, long-term care and many other benefits of ORTA available.
Lunch is served at noon at St. John's Lutheran Church, Enterprise Rd., in Ingomar (near West Alexandria). The menu includes creamed chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, peas, perfection salad, dinner rolls, pie, and beverage for $10. Reservations are requested by June 9 to Darrell Meeks(email@example.com), by phone (456-5340) or by mail (5091 Monroe-Central Rd., Eaton, OH 45320).
A short business meeting will follow the lunch, to update members. Please join us for a fun and informative afternoon. More details about the organization are available at www.pcrta.org.
Submitted by Sharon Norman, PCRTA Corresponding Secretary
PCRTA Meets in Ingomar
The April 11 meeting of the Preble County Retired Teachers Association was the first meeting of 2017, and featured students from Eaton and West Elkton sharing their knowledge of technology and music. President Harold Niehaus called the meeting to order and welcomed members and guests, and all shared a delicious meal prepared by the ladies of St. John's Lutheran Church. Reports were approved as written in the newsletter. Paul Ellison, membership chair, informed the group that we have 195 active members. Judy Looker, community service coordinator, reported that 4793 volunteer hours were completed by PCRTA in 2016, with 25 members participating. Of those, five had more than 300 hours each, and will be awarded a free meal from PCRTA. They are: JoAnn Hoffman, Harold Niehaus, Brenda Wright, Betty Brenner, and Marilyn Eyler. Liz VanTine, ORTA west regional representative, congratulated the group on dedicated volunteering, and shared news of STRS funding challenges. The business meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be June 13. More information and a summary of the meeting are available at www.pcrta.org. Click here for the photos from this meeting.
MEETING PLANS FOR 2017 ANNOUNCED
Preble County Retired Teachers Association President Harold Niehaus announced the following meeting dates for 2017: April 11, June 13, September 12, and November 14. All meeting dates are on the second Tuesday of the month, and all begin at noon at St. John's Lutheran Church, Enterprise Road, Ingomar, near West Alexandria. All retired educators are encouraged to attend. In addition to socializing and a great meal, PCRTA shares news of interest to all retirees, information regarding STRS and ORTA benefits, legislation, local community and school interests, the Tools for Schools initiative, entertainment and much more. For more information, please see the website, www.pcrta.org.
Highlights from the November 8, 2016 PCRTA Meeting
The November meeting of Preble County Retired Teachers Association was held at St. John's Lutheran Church in Ingomar. Nancy Wright greeted 40+ members. After Betty Brenner offered the blessing, a tribute to veterans and the pledge of allegiance, President Harold Niehaus led the group in thanking the ladies of the church for preparing the Thanksgiving meal. During the business meeting, new members and visitors were introduced, and drawings were held for a number of door prizes provided by JoAnn Hoffman and Darrell Meeks. Secretary and Treasurer reports were approved as they appeared in the newsletter. Judy Looker, volunteer coordinator, collected volunteer hours and awarded a certificate for a free PCRTA lunch. Phyllis Marling reminded the group to be vigilant against various scams, and to notify the police regarding any suspicious activity. Paul Ellison reminded members to update membership for 2017, and to check the website, pcrta.org, for news updates, information, and photos. Vice President Bob Fox told the group the April 2017 meeting would showcase Preble County students with music and technology students joining us. He then introduced the featured entertainment by Spittin' Image, a musical comedy duo, Blain and Brian Swabb from Greenville. Click here for the photos from the meeting
PCRTA NOVEMBER LUNCHEON SCHEDULED
All retired educators are invited to join President Harold Niehaus and PCRTA members at the November 8 lunch and meeting. Vice President Bob Fox has invited the musical comedy group Spittin' Image to entertain us. The menu is a traditional turkey dinner, to be served at noon at St. John's Lutheran Church, Enterprise Rd., Ingomar. The cost of the meal is $10, and reservations are requested by Nov. 4 to Darrell Meeks (dpmeeks@embarqmail), by phone(456-5340), or by mail(5091 Monroe-Central Rd., Eaton, OH 45320); checks payable to PCRTA, or pay at the door.
There will be a short business meeting after lunch, with updates and door prizes. Reminder to members: bring your volunteer hours estimated through December to be eligible for the drawing for a free PCRTA lunch. Be sure to check the website, www.pcrta.org, for more details, newsletters, photos, and information about PCRTA.
Highlights of September 13 PCRTA Luncheon
President Harold Niehaus welcomed 40+ members including six first time attendees. Business meeting highlights: Judy Looker asked members to bring their totals for 2016 volunteer hours to the next meeting to be entered in a drawing for a free PCRTA meal. Phyllis Marling explained how to create a secure online password and how to customize it for every site you visit. Rosalie Doran and Jean House shared their experience shopping for the “TOOLS FOR SCHOOLS” program, funded through PCRTA donations.
STRS Health Care Representative Kelley McChristy spoke about changes coming in 2017, including increases in premiums for non-Medicare enrollees, increased co-pays for ER and Urgent Care, and decreased partial payment incentives for Medicare enrollees. Click here to see the photos from the meeting.
The next PCRTA meeting will be held Nov. 8 at noon, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Enterprise Rd. and will be a Thanksgiving feast. We welcome “Spittin’ Image” from Greenville as our program.
STRS Representative to Speak to PCRTA
President Harold Niehaus invites all retired educators to join him and PCRTA members as we look forward to the September 13 meeting. Our program features Kelley McChristy from STRS, who will discuss the latest updates on health care, and answer questions.
PCRTA meetings begin at noon at St. John's Lutheran Church, Enterprise Rd., in Ingomar. The menu includes pork roast and dressing, corn, 7-layer salad, pie and beverages. The cost of the meal is $10, and reservations are requested by Sept. 9 to Darrell Meeks (dpmeeks@embarqmail), by phone (456-5340) or by mail (5091 Monroe-Central Rd., Eaton, OH 45320.) Checks should be payable to PCRTA, or pay at the door.
There will be a short business meeting prior to the program, with updates and door prizes! Check out the website-www.pcrta.org for more details, newsletters, photos, and information about this organization.
1869 One-Room Schoolhouse
There will be an Open House for the 1869 One-Room Schoolhouse Saturday, June 25th and Sunday, 26th from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The school is on the property of Ed & Vickie McWhinney at 4939 New Westville Road, New Paris, Ohio. The school was lovingly restored by Norlan and Carolyn McWhinney. The event will be hosted by Ellen Hall, a retired National Trail teacher.
PCRTA MEETS Preble County Retired Teachers Association met on June 14 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Ingomar, with 39 members in attendance. Members were greeted by Larry Russell. The welcome by President Harold Niehaus preceded lunch, which was prepared by the ladies of the church and enjoyed by all. After lunch, the business meeting was held. Sharon Norman recognized first time attendee, Bernita Conrad, a 39-year National Trail teacher. Judy Looker reminded members to continue to track volunteer hours, and congratulated all on how high the number of hours were for last year. Phyllis Marling related a computer scam that is in current use in the area, and how to avoid being scammed. George Henry stated that STRS will be announcing changes in medical coverage for next year. Many door prizes, including zippered bags, tote bags, and coin purses were provided by Phyllis Miller. Betty Brenner read a heartfelt plea for accepting diversity in honor of the American lives lost in Orlando. Anyone who didn’t receive the most recent e-mail newsletter is urged to contact Harold, so that his list can be updated. Also, anyone able to assist with the newsletter should also contact him (firstname.lastname@example.org). The business meeting was adjourned. Bob Fox introduced our guest speaker, David Baker, from the Ohio Humanities Council, who shared many stories and poems in his presentation, "My Ohio". The presentation was entertaining, thoughtful and relaxing as he shared his experiences teaching and writing poetry. He spoke of the art and music of words to create poetry, and how important it is in our lives. Sharon Norman, Corresponding Secretary
David Baker to Speak at PCRTA
David Baker, professor and poet, will be the guest speaker at the June 14 Preble County Retired Teachers Association meeting. He is the author of eleven books of poetry. His presentation, My Ohio, will draw from his life in Ohio for more than thirty years, and his poetry springs directly out of his life and experiences here.
PCRTA Meetings begin at 12 Noon at the St. John’s Lutheran Church, Enterprise Road in Ingomar. The menu includes creamed chicken & noodles, mashed potatoes, peas, perfection salad, homemade pie and beverages. The cost of the meal is $10. Please make your reservation by June 10 to Darrell Meeks(dpmeeks@embarqmail), by phone (456-5340) or by mail (5091 Monroe Central Road, Eaton, OH 45320). Checks payable to PCRTA or pay at the door.
There will be a short business meeting prior to the program. A collection for the “TOOLS FOR SCHOOLS” program will take place. Check out the website - www.pcrta.org for more details and information about the organization.
STRS May Board News Posted May 20, 2016
Board Reviews Preliminary 2017 Health Care Premiums; Amends April Reduction in Subsidies for Non-Medicare Benefit Recipients
At its April meeting, the Retirement Board approved changes to the health care program for 2017, and some of these changes impact the premiums that enrollees will pay next year. At its May meeting, the board got a first look at proposed health care premiums for the 2017 plan year. Staff conferred with health care consultants and actuaries to determine the expected costs for the self-insured and fully insured programs.
Due to action the board approved in April to reduce the subsidy multiplier to 1.8% per year of service (from 2.1%) for non-Medicare benefit recipients, proposed premiums climbed sharply for this group. Following discussion during the May meeting, the board voted to amend its action taken at the April meeting, changing the subsidy multiplier to 1.9% per year of service for non-Medicare benefit recipients — a move that reduces the proposed premium increase for this group. Next month, the board is expected to vote on health care premiums for the 2017 plan year. Once approved, the premiums will be posted on STRS Ohio’s website.
The STRS Ohio eUPDATE is designed solely to provide timely and accurate news and information about legislation, benefits and other issues affecting the STRS Ohio membership.
If you wish to comment on a topic, please either email email@example.com or call the Member Services Center toll-free at 888‑227‑7877.
State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio
275 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
STRS April Board News
Posted: April 22, 2016
Board Approves Health Care Program Changes for 2017; Long-Term Health Care Funding Discussions to Continue
At its April meeting, the State Teachers Retirement Board approved changes for the 2017 health care program that are designed to help reduce STRS Ohio’s long-term plan costs and extend the solvency of the health care fund. Due to increasing claims costs and the lack of a dedicated source of funding, STRS Ohio is facing significant health care funding challenges. The approved changes do not provide a long-term funding solution for the health care fund. The changes are projected to extend the solvency of the health care fund by two to three years beyond the projected 15-year solvency period reported last month in Segal Consulting’s annual actuarial valuation.
The board is exploring long-term funding solutions for the health care program that would allow STRS Ohio to continue a health care program that is of value to members. Throughout the discussion of possible options, STRS Ohio will use its website, newsletters and eUPDATE email news service to keep members informed.
Following reviews that took place during its February and March meetings, the Retirement Board approved the changes outlined below to the STRS Ohio Health Care Program for 2017:
Plan design changes for 2017:
Eligibility changes for 2017:
Subsidy changes for 2017:
STRS OHIO www.strsoh.org
PCRTA Luncheon Welcomes New President
Members in attendance at the April 12 Preble County Retired Teachers Association welcomed Harold Niehaus as the new president of the group. Some 45 members and guests were in attendance for the luncheon. Niehaus conducted a short business meeting, and the group then enjoyed a presentation. “Buckeye Boys and Girls” was presented by Susan Talbot-Stanaway, through the Ohio Humanities Council speakers bureau. She discussed how we have learned about Ohio children from the 1800’s to early 1900’s by examining art, toys, photos, books, postcards and inventions.
The next PCRTA luncheon will be on June 14 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Ingomar. All retired teachers are urged to attend. Newsletters will be mailed/ emailed to members in May.
Submitted by Sharon Norman, Corresponding Secretary
March 18, 2016
|Solvency Period for Health Care Fund Drops to 15 Years; Board Exploring Options to Preserve Plan|
|At the March meeting of the State Teachers Retirement Board, Paul Snyder, deputy executive director — Finance and chief financial officer, presented results of Segal Consulting’s annual actuarial valuation of the Health Care Fund. The report shows the funded ratio for the Health Care Fund dropped to 63% from 74% last year. This means STRS Ohio has 63 cents on hand for every dollar needed to continue the current plan indefinitely. The valuation projects the Health Care Fund to remain solvent until 2031, a decrease of four years from last year’s valuation — and a decrease of 33 years from the 2014 valuation. The projected 15-year solvency period is an estimate — in actuarial terms, there is a 50% confidence level that the Health Care Fund has at least 15 years of solvency. Depending on the strength of financial markets, the amount of health care claims and whether additional funding is available, there is a chance the life of the fund could be 10 years or less.|
|The primary reasons for the decrease in the solvency period are: STRS Ohio no longer allocates 1% of the 14% employer contribution to the Health Care Fund, and 2015 investment returns did not meet STRS Ohio’s 7.75% assumption. The decision to discontinue the 1% allocation to the Health Care Fund was made in March 2014 so the 1% could be used to strengthen the pension fund.|
|The Health Care Fund is valued on a calendar-year basis. During 2015, the Health Care Fund earned a 2.5% rate of return. Costs for the health care program are paid out of the Health Care Fund, which is currently funded through premiums charged to enrollees, government reimbursements and investment earnings on these funds. The balance of the fund as of Jan. 1, 2016, was $3.26 billion, nearly $200 million below the $3.45 billion reported in the Jan. 1, 2015, valuation report. Benefit payouts during 2015 totaled $690 million, an average of more than $1.8 million per day.|
|The Retirement Board identified health care funding challenges as a key area of focus for 2016 during its annual planning meeting in January. The board identified several steps for staff to pursue while continuing to study potential funding solutions. These steps included:|
|As in years past, STRS Ohio staff is working with the board to set 2017 coverage features, program eligibility and premium subsidies. In February, staff presented potential changes for the board to consider for the 2017 plan year. The board is reviewing these options, as well as working with staff regarding how to extend the solvency of the health care program. These potential changes can be found in the February Board News, under “News” on the STRS Ohio website at www.strsoh.org. STRS Ohio will continue to share information on these discussions, along with any actions taken — via the system’s website, newsletters and eUPDATE email news service.|
NEW OFFICERS SELECTED
New officers were elected at the regular November meeting. Harold Niehaus was elected President to succeed Janet Crelin. Bob Fox was elected Vice President and Janet Crelin was elected Recording Secretary. The new officers begin their duties on December 1, 2015 for term of two years. The other officers will continue in their current officers. Click here to see the complete list of officers.
PCRTA NOVEMBER MEETING ANNOUNCED
The Preble County Retired Teachers Association will hold the last meeting of 2015 on Tuesday, November 10, at noon at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 2139 Enterprise Rd., Ingomar. (Click here for a map showing the location) Our lunch will be a traditional Thanksgiving Feast, including homemade pie, for $10. Reservations are due Nov. 6 to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Darrell Meeks at 456-5340. There will be a short business meeting following lunch to present the slate of new officers. A musical program will follow, presented by PCRTA member and musician Sheryl Mabry and friends. Please join us for a great afternoon! New members are encouraged to attend.
THE MEDICARE FLAP
Individuals who are receiving STRS only, or any other pension that is not Social Security, could be hit with a major increase in our premium for Medicare Part B. It is anticipated that a cost of living adjustment for Social Security will not occur in 2016. ( Which has now happened) Under current law, if Social Security benefits do not increase, Medicare premiums may not increase either. Thus,
approximately 70% of Medicare beneficiaries are protected from any Part B increases. However, the 30% not eligible for this protection includes STRS retirees. Under current law, Part B premiums for other beneficiaries must be raised enough to offset premiums lost due to the hold harmless provision. Based on current economic assumptions, the estimated monthly premium for this group would increase from $104.90 to $159.30. An approximate increase of 52%!
The latest on this issue. Action taken by the Congress and signed by President Obama will affect the amount of the premium increase that is described above. The information below is from the AARP bulletin of 10/28/15.
Limits Medicare premium deductible increases. With no Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2016, 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries will see no increase in their monthly Part B premiums next year, despite the program’s increased costs. But because of a wrinkle in federal rules, the burden of paying for the increased costs was to fall on the other 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries through an increase in premiums from $104.90 to $159.30. The budget deal softens the blow to $120 a month.
The reduction is financed by a $7.5 billion loan that will begin to be repaid through an additional $3 monthly surcharge on many of these same beneficiaries and a surcharge of up to $12 a month on higher-income beneficiaries. In years when there is a Social Security COLA, all beneficiaries will be subject to the surcharge. The loan is expected to be repaid within five years.
Limits the deductible increase in traditional Medicare. The deductible for everybody with traditional Medicare, which had been projected to increase by more than 50 percent in 2016, from $147 to $223, will be held to $167.
Replenishes the Disability Trust Fund. The fund that pays Social Security disability benefits was expected to run out of reserves late next year without a fix. Eleven million Americans — 7 out of 10 of them age 50 or older — would have seen a nearly 20 percent decline in benefits.
The budget deal prevents this cut by diverting a larger share of payroll taxes over the next three years to the disability fund, allowing it to pay full benefits through 2022. Currently, workers and employers pay a total of 12.4 percent of wages in the Social Security tax, most of which goes to retirement benefits. But for the next three years, 2.37 percent of wages — an increase of .57 percentage points — will be allocated for disability benefits.
Congress has approved similar reallocation of the payroll tax in other years.
PCRTA September Meeting Announced
Author and motivational speaker Randy Overbeck will join Preble County Retired Teachers Association members at the September 8 meeting, as he presents a tribute to teachers. Jenny McCarty from the Once Around Shop will also speak.
We will meet at noon at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 2139 Enterprise Rd, Ingomar. Lunch will feature a delicious homemade meal of pork roast, dressing, corn, 7- layer salad, pie and beverage, for $10. Reservations are due by Sept. 4 to dpmeeks @embarqmail.com or mail it toDarrell Meeks 5091 Monroe Central Road, Eaton, OH 45320.
Current members will receive the complete newsletter later this month, and details will be posted on the PCRTA website(PCRTA.org).
Come join your friends for a good meal, a fun afternoon, and a pleasant drive in Preble County! New members are always welcome and are encouraged to attend.
Attention: Retired Teachers
Jim Cain to Speak at Preble County Retired Teachers Association Meeting on April 14
Retired teachers, we have a program to answer your questions about Medicare, including STRS Aetna Advantage Plan. Jim Cain, the District Manager for AMBA, the Benefit Administrator for Ohio Retired Teachers Association, will join us at our next PCRTA Meeting. He will detail the discounted group benefits available through ORTA, and will be addressing and providing a possible solution to resolve issues of STRS plans “Network” not having physicians in Preble County and surrounding areas. In addition to Medicare, he will outline additional plans for long-term care and other health issues. If interested, you may also reach him at email@example.com.
Heidi Bortel will also speak with us about Preble County’s Senior Home Repair Program through the HIT Foundation. There are opportunities for members to benefit from the program as well as volunteer to assist.
The April 14 meeting will be the first of four for 2015, and will be held at 12 noon at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Enterprise Road in Ingomar. We offer a delicious lunch with friends for $10 per person. The menu includes lasagna, green beans, tossed salad, homemade pie and beverages. Please send reservations by April 10 to Darrell Meeks, 5091 Monroe Central Road, Eaton, OH 45320 or firstname.lastname@example.org or call (937) 456-5340 with questions.
If unable to attend the lunch, join us for the program portion outlined above, beginning at approximately 1 p.m. You may attend any of our meetings as a guest, or you may join the group at any time to find out the latest information for retired teachers. Newsletters will be mailed/emailed to current members by March 30. For more information about PCRTA, or to read the newsletter, check out our website: www.pcrta.org.
The Preble County Retired Teachers Association met for lunch April 8 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Ingomar. President Janet Crelin and Dona Mowry welcomed members and guests. Betty Brenner asked the blessing, and Marti Eley Paul provided three homemade cake rolls for door prizes. Darrell Meeks reminded members that dues for 2014 are $10 and should now be paid. (Lifetime dues are $100.) Paul Ellison reported that the PCRTA website is available at PCRTA.org. Rosalie Doran talked about the “Tools for Schools” program, to help provide needed school supplies for Preble County students, and a collection was taken. Phyllis Marling discussed the importance of shredding items of mail that might give clues to your interests as well as identity.
Our featured speaker, Matt Gurwell, (www.keepingussafe.org) a retired Ohio State Highway Patrolman and National Trail graduate, spoke about how to help older drivers and their families assess one’s driving abilities. His organization offers group presentations, private assessments, and a comprehensive workbook.
Additional meetings for 2014 are June 10-STRS Medicare and Healthcare, Sept. 9-Betty Ingram, A Matter of Balance, and Nov. 11- Eric Loy, Musician. We hope all retired teachers join us for one or more meetings.
We need a secretary…contact JANET CRELIN-937-344-6584 or at JJCRELIN@yahoo.com to offer or to suggest someone.
Important information: If you no longer desire to receive our newsletter or if you have a change of address, telephone or email, please mail these changes to PCRTA Member Information,639 E. Lakengren Drive, Eaton, OH 45320 or email them to email@example.com
To see photos of the meeting and of the speaker, click here
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Past newsletters are available below. Click on the file to open or downlaod. You must have Adobe Reader, or some other pdf reader, installed on your computer in order to open the document.
copyright © 2016 Preble County Retired Teachers Association, All rights reserved.