Where is "smooth transition" bonus for state retirees?

April 07, 2011

In its coverage of the reactions to the negotiated changes to the state's pension plans ("State workers decry new pension plan", April 6), the changes described the financial help given to state employees due to the increase from 5 to 7 percent in their withholdings for pension contributions. Not mentioned in this increase is that deductions are pretax and part of the increased withholding will be offset by a reduction of payroll withholding taxes to this increase. But we also read that employees will be receiving a $750 bonus to help "smooth the transition" to the new plan.

Later in the article, it mentioned that retirees will be faced with not only an increase in prescription drug costs, they will also be hit with a 25 percent increase in their portion of their health insurance premiums (increase from 20 to 25 percent of the premium shared with the state) and this premium will increase further as health costs increase.

Where is the "smooth the transition" bonus for state retirees? How can funds not be available for a bonus to retirees to help with this new increase? We have enough to give state employees more holidays. Isn't that what you call it when buildings are closed "for several days" and employees still get paid? Use the funds added to pay employees for these new holidays to help retirees adjust to higher medical coverage costs.

Charles Herr, Perry Hall

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.