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As the nation fell deep into the Great Recession in 2008, Omaha’s Warren Buffett urged calm, assuring Americans that blue-chip companies’ plunging stocks were sure to eventually ride high again. But the trustees and administrator overseeing the Omaha Public Schools’ pension fund didn’t listen to the hometown investment sage.

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The close, curious and conflicted relationship between Atlantic and OSERS is a key to understanding the mistakes and bad decisions that are now forcing OPS to slash its budget to make millions in catch-up payments.

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The ripple effects of the Omaha School Employees' Retirement System shortfall could be felt for years by students, teachers and, with the possibility of higher property taxes on the table, taxpayers.

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In 2015, a family of financial swindlers got its hands on some of the OPS pension fund's money. Instead of supporting OPS retirees, millions of dollars were lost to crooks who spent the cash on a California mansion, fancy cars, expensive jewelry and more. Here's how the OPS pension fund fell victim to the scam.

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There are plenty of other states and school districts trying to stabilize pension systems so that budgets can be balanced and employees can be guaranteed the benefits they were promised. Solutions have included increased contributions from current workers, cuts to current benefits through reduced cost-of-living adjustments and increased contributions from taxpayers.

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There is much blame to go around for the debacle that transformed one of the nation’s best performing pension funds into one of the worst, including the trustees and chief administrator of the Omaha School Employees' Retirement System, their paid investment adviser, district leadership and the unions whose members count on the pension system for their retirement security. 

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Henry Cordes and Erin Duffy recently completed a six-part series diving into OPS's $771 million pension shortfall. The investigation has generated a number of questions. You can read some of those answers below.

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Until former OPS Superintendent Mark Evans arrived in Omaha, he admits he had never heard of OSERS. He wasn’t the only one. Most people in Omaha likely have never heard of the pension fund that’s now costing the school district a bundle. Here’s a quick OSERS primer.

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Last week's "How to wreck a pension fund" report sparked questions. Here are some answers. 

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The system has a troubled history, but the retirement board's president says he doesn't think the inquiry is cause for concern.

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The World-Herald's occasional series investigating the $771 million OPS pension shortfall continues to ignite questions. Staff writers Erin Duffy and Henry Cordes have the answers.

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Such a change could help OPS deal with the $771 million shortfall in its pension plan. But the senator introducing the bill made it clear: He’s not interested in the state taking on the plan’s massive liabilities.

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These 10 members served as trustees for the Omaha School Employees' Retirement System during key years when investments were shifted from the …

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The people serving on the OSERS board during a year when the trustees voted to stick with an adviser under new ownership and the fund got take…

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The pension board needlessly lost $16.2 million to swindlers after no proper checking was done about an investment firm.