Columbus Dispatch: All Ohio public pension funds join state online checkbook
The Columbus Dispatch
By Alan Johnson
September 13, 2016
Ohio is the first U.S. state to have all its public pension system financial data accessible to the public online.
Representatives from Ohio's five statewide public pension funds joined Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel on Tuesday in announcing the financial information is now available at OhioCheckbook.com, the state's online checkbook site.
The agencies are the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, State Teachers Retirement System, School Employees Retirement System, Ohio Highway Patrol Retirement System and Ohio Police and Fire Pension Funds. They cover more than 132,000 individual transactions totaling in excess of $720 million in recent years.
"A pension system that is responsible for the stewardship of member and employer contributions must always operate in full view of the public," said Karen Carraher, director of the Public Employees Retirement System, largest of the five.
The teachers system, covering nearly 500,000 active, inactive and retired teachers, is "pleased to partner with the treasurer's office on this transparency initiative to include STRS Ohio's administrative expenses on the Ohio Checkbook," said Executive Director Michael Nehf.
Mandel, who started the online checkbook almost two years ago, said his idea is to "create an army of citizen watchdogs who are empowered to hold public officials accountable."
The checkbook now includes $540 billion in spending over eight years and 148 million transactions.