OBERLIN — Oberlin Schools Treasurer Diane Wolf plans to retire at the end of this year instead of next year, saying the move will protect the 3 percent per year cost-of-living increases in her pension.
The school board will meet 6 p.m. Dec. 18 at the board meeting room to consider hiring Wolf for seven months after her retirement to give the district time to search for a new treasurer.
Wolf, who served nine years as treasurer in Oberlin, said she will not permanently stay on and “double dip.”
She said she served 30 years as Wakeman Township clerk, and she plans to retire under the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System rather than the Ohio School Employees Retirement System.
Wolf said retiring this year also will ensure her husband is able to receive spousal benefits for health insurance, which will be gradually eliminated under a new law affecting OPERS.
The Ohio Legislature enacted numerous changes that take effect on Jan. 7, according to OPERS spokeswoman, Julie Graham-Price.
Under the new law, cost-of-living increases in their benefit will be tied to inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index, up to a maximum of 3 percent a year.
To achieve full benefits, the new law requires 32 years of service to retire at age 55, or five years of service to retire at 67 for most OPERS members.
Currently, employees covered by OPERS may retire at any age with full benefits after 30 years of work or at age 65 with five years of service.
Another change would calculate retirement benefits based on the average of the five highest years of salary, instead of the current formula that averages the three highest years.
Graham-Price said lots of people nearing retirement are eyeing the changes.
“It’s a little too early to determine if there’s a rush to the door,” she said. “Certainly we’ve seen an increase in requests for information.
Wolf earns $85,490 this year and the school board would set a salary if she is rehired for a portion of 2013, said Oberlin Superintendent John Schroth. He said she will be missed.
“Diane is seen as a great resource to all of our employees,” Schroth said. “She’s extremely open and willing to help anyone who has any kind of question or problem dealing with financial aspects or benefits — her knowledge of the system is going to be sorely missed.”
The district will be fiscally secure until 2017 if two renewal levies pass on the Nov. 6 ballot, Wolf said.
Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or email@example.com.