State Retiree Benefits Fact Sheet – Ohio

  • December 18, 2007
Ohio has done a very good job keeping up with required contributions for its public employee pension system. Employer contributions to the teachers' pension fund have generally kept up, but have fallen short of the total required in the last several years. Ohio has a significant long-term bill coming due for its retiree health care and other nonpension benefits—about $32 billion. But the state is a national leader in setting aside money to cover these costs. It started saving back in the 1970s, and today it is one of only six states on track to fully fund its non-pension obligations. One of just 13 states with any assets set aside as of the end of 2006, Ohio had $11.1 billion—an amount far higher than any other state. (Alaska had the next highest amount set aside with $2.2 billion.) Ohio also has made efforts over the past 20 years to contain these costs, such as introducing wellness programs, capping lifetime benefits and increasing deductibles and co-payments.