Heather Beyer

In response to the recent changes to the state pension statute passed last week, Stow Service Director Mike Miller announced his retirement at Thursday’s city council meeting.


“There probably is no easy or good way to inform council of this but I will be going down to the Ohio Public Employment Retirement System tomorrow, I have an appointment and I intend to retire before the end of this year,” Miller said.


Miller said he isn’t certain of when the exact date of his retirement will be yet.


“At this point in time whatever council needs me to do or the mayor needs me to do in the city’s best interest that is what I am here for,” Miller said. “Whatever it is that needs to be discussed for transition, for the future, I am open to discussing those options. It is the mayor and council’s decision on how they want to proceed at this point. I just wanted to let council know that is the direction I am headed.”


Miller said he has certainly enjoyed the four years that he has worked for the city and hopes that there will be more years to come.


Mayor Drew said that there might be a number of Stow employees who will be making the decision to retire soon because of the new pension reform and for council to expect more retirement announcements. Under the new statute, Stow employees will be incentivized to retire before Jan. 1, 2013.


“As a future retiree, I appreciate that and I know that it will all be beneficial for all of us down the road,” Mayor Sara Drew said. “It does however create the reality that people who are at a certain level of years of service must make a decision before the end of the year if they are going to retire to capture some of the benefits that they can get from retiring at this time or if they are going to continue to work and lose some of that benefit.”


The new statue will include a number of changes to eligibility and cost of living adjustments.


Those affected by the statute will be retirees of the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund, the School Employees Retirement System, the State Teachers Retirement System, the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and the Highway Patrol Retirement System.


Teachers, police officers and firefighters will have an increase on their pension contributions. There will also be a raise on retirement eligibility ages and new guidelines set for cost-of-living adjustments.


“We just really need to be as flexible and as nimble as possible when we react to the organizational changes and challenges that we are facing now short term and long term,” Mayor Sara Drew said.