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Pension System

NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | November 6, 2001
Maryland Treasurer Richard N. Dixon dismissed as irrelevant yesterday a national survey ranking the state employee pension system last among its peers in investment performance. In his first comments since the rankings were released last week, Dixon said he was not aware of the state's poor rating until it was reported in The Sun. "I don't really consider that information relevant because it's against unnamed peers," Dixon said in a brief telephone interview. The rating by Wilshire Associates measured the investment performance of 38 large public pension systems for the fiscal year that ended June 30. The Maryland system's return on investment was minus-9.
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NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | October 30, 2001
With much of its money tied up in a plunging stock market, Maryland's state employee pension system ranked last among its peers in its investment performance last year, according to a leading tracker of public retirement funds. The State Retirement and Pension System of Maryland lost 11.2 percent of its total asset value in the fiscal year ended June 30, according to a report to be delivered to a legislative committee today. Valued at $33.1 billion at the end of June 2000, the system was worth $29.4 billion a year later.
NEWS
April 28, 2009
Baltimore police officers and firefighters can't keep on receiving the lucrative pension benefits now paid to retirees. The numbers work against them. Police and fire retirees are living longer, which means the city has to pay out much more over the long haul, and other aspects of the pension deals are costing more, too. Poor performance in the stock market has compounded the problem for everyone and put the city on the hook for $82.1 million in the fiscal year that begins in July and a whopping $110 million the next year.
BUSINESS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | August 5, 2004
Maryland's state employee pension system, which had such poor investment returns three years ago that it finished last in a national ranking, now falls among the top half of its peers. The state's 46th-percentile ranking in a Wilshire Associates survey comes after a period of reform in which the system's top officials were replaced and investment procedures were overhauled. The survey results, announced yesterday, compare the system against other large public pension funds for the fiscal year that ended June 30. The pension system's fortunes changed significantly as it posted a $3.5 billion gain for the fiscal year - a 16.16 percent rate of return on investments.
NEWS
By Marta H. Mossburg | June 8, 2010
Bankruptcy and debt default are a real possibility for cities around the country that can't pay their bills, largely caused by lavish retirement and health care benefits for employees that taxpayers couldn't afford even in good times. Los Angeles is headed down that road. Vallejo, Calif., filed for bankruptcy in 2008. Closer to home, Harrisburg, Pa., is exploring the option as a way to restructure bills it can't pay. And last week, Warren Buffet said at a hearing of the U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in New York that his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has been cutting its exposure to municipal debt because he foresees "a terrible problem" with state and local bonds.
NEWS
November 25, 2009
Baltimore County Councilman Kevin Kamenetz deserves credit for drafting legislation that would rein in the council's absurdly generous pension system, which pays any councilman who retires with five terms of service 100 percent of his annual salary for life. That's about to happen for the first time in county history when Councilman Vincent J. Gardina retires after his term ends next year, earning him $54,000 annually, ad infinitum. Not bad for a part-time job. The council has had plenty of opportunities over the years to address a benefit that has grown out of all proportion to its original intent (council salaries were $3,000 a year when it was first established in 1971)
NEWS
By Tim Craig and Tim Craig,SUN STAFF | June 30, 2003
Beginning tomorrow, you will pay more to renew your vehicle registration in Maryland, may find slightly older milk on your store shelf and can, if you like, hunt deer on certain Sundays in some areas of the state. Also tomorrow, Maryland will become the 40th state in the nation with a law that makes it easier to establish a charter school, according to the U.S. Department of Education. In all, 125 new laws will go into effect tomorrow after being passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. this year.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | August 9, 2010
Maryland will play a crucial role in the legal fallout from Toyota vehicle recalls, with the state's public pension fund being chosen to represent the grievances of investors nationwide who blame the Japanese automaker for their financial losses. The Maryland State Retirement and Pension System claims the biggest loss — an estimated $18 million — of any shareholder that vied to be lead plaintiff in the class action lawsuit against Toyota Motor Corp. The system administers retirement and pension benefits for more than 400,000 retirees, beneficiaries and current state employees.
BUSINESS
By MARKETWATCH | December 16, 2005
WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives passed legislation yesterday designed to shore up the nation's defined-benefit pension system, but backers still must resolve differences with the Senate and overcome White House warnings that the legislation isn't tough enough. The House voted 294-132 to clear the Republican-backed bill, with 70 Democrats joining most Republicans in support after the bill's sponsors agreed to change provisions regarding future pension benefit increases and benefits for employees affected by plant shutdowns.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Sarah Koenig and Michael Dresser and Sarah Koenig,SUN STAFF | January 18, 2002
State Treasurer Richard N. Dixon, one of the most powerful figures in Maryland government, said yesterday that he will leave office because of worsening diabetes. Dixon's surprise departure opens one of the three seats on the Board of Public Works, where he often cast the decisive vote on major state contracts. His resignation also ends his rocky reign as chairman of the state employee pension system, which he led through years of growth before it staggered to a $3 billion loss last year.
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