Ohio’s public pension funds have invested $234 billion. Here’s how they did in a tumultuous 2020

In 2020, each system exceeded its target. Returns ranged from a high of 14.3% at the Ohio Highway Patrol Retirement System to a low of 9.2% at the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund.

The five systems have collectively invested $234 billion for nearly 2 million public servants, retirees and beneficiaries.

Ohio’s retirement benefits and contribution rates are largely set by state law — not union contracts. As a general rule, public employees and their employers do not contribute to or receive social security benefits, so pension systems are their main retirement income.

Pension systems are legally and financially distinct entities that are governed by elected and appointed trustees.

Public Employee Retirement Systems in Ohio

Ohio Highway Patrol Retirement System

Director: Carl Roark

Creation: 1941

Assets: $1 billion

2020 returns: 14.3%

Expected rate of return: 7.25%

Members & retirees: 4,300

Ohio Police and Fire Department

Director: John Gallagher

Creation: 1965

Assets: $17 billion

2020 returns: 9.2%

Expected rate of return: 8%

Members & retirees: 61,000

Ohio School Employees Retirement System

Director: Richard Strensrud

Creation: 1937

Assets: $16.5 billion

Returns 2020: 12.99%

Expected rate of return: 7.5%

Members and retirees: 240,000

State Teachers’ Pension Scheme:

Director: William Neville

Foundation: 1919

Assets: $86.9 billion

2020 returns: 12.26%

Expected rate of return: 7.5%

Members and retirees: 500,000

Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

Director: Karen Carrher

Creation: 1935

Assets: $98.4 billion pension; $13.4 billion healthcare fund

2020 returns: 12.02% pension funds; 10.96% healthcare funds;

Expected rate of return: 7.2% pension fund; 6% healthcare fund

Members & retirees: 1,118,199

Sources: Ohio Retirement Study Council; pension systems; Search the Dayton Daily News