Columbus Dispatch: Editorial: Pension blazes trail for transparency
October 5, 2015
The Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund got grief from members two years ago when it asked them to face fiscal reality and accept larger contributions and smaller cost-of-living increases.
But facts are facts, and changes have helped put it on more solid footing.
It’s not a surprise that that the fund has become the first in the nation to post its checkbook-level expenditures online. Fund officials have an interest in showing members that they are being transparent and doing what’s needed to keep the fund healthy. The partnership with Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s OhioCheckbook.com was announced Thursday; the site puts detailed financial data in a searchable and sortable format.
“Public-employee pension funds have a particular need to make their information easy to find and understand because of their obligations to thousands of retirees,” said Dennis Hetzel, executive director of the Ohio Newspaper Association and a supporter of the online-checkbook initiative.
The pension fund joins a growing list of municipalities and public organizations that are using the treasurer’s site, which has received national acclaim since launching in late 2014. Franklin and Delaware are among the Ohio counties that have committed to putting their checkbook information on the site.
Kudos to the police and fire fund. The other state pensions should follow suit.