Unions representing retired school employees are putting pressure on Ohio lawmakers not to freeze or cut cost-of-living allowances in their pensions.
About 200 members of the Ohio Association of Public School Employees marched at the Statehouse telling state lawmakers to keep their hands off pensions.
A Republican-backed bill would allow cuts to cost-of-living increases to the pensions of members of the School Employees Retirement System, which includes cafeteria workers, secretaries and custodians. Reductions to or elimination of the cost-of-living adjustment in public pensions has been proposed as a way to save money and keep those pension plans solid.
The board of the much larger pension plan representing teachers, the State Teachers Retirement System recently voted to freeze cost-of-living increases for five years.
Five years ago, lawmakers adopted a major overhaul that affected all five of Ohio's public pension plans by requiring employees to work longer and making cuts in benefits.