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NEWS
October 2, 2013
It is a shame that an elected leader fails to tell the complete truth on retirement benefits for Baltimore County employees ( "Balto. Co. is seeking to make retirement benefits sustainable," Sept. 30). True, there is a health care review committee. False, the committee doesn't set the cost of health care. The county does and then sends it to the committee for approval. Since at least four of bargaining groups have a proven record of not challenging the county, the committee is a rubber stamp.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | June 4, 2014
After 22 years of teaching in Baltimore County, JoAnne Field says she will be leaving her third-grade classroom this year. She loves the children, has a principal she believes is "wonderful and supportive" and is committed to public education. But because of the rapid changes to the county's curriculum for elementary schools, she doesn't feel she has been as successful with her class this year as she should have been. "If I do what ... the county is now expecting me to do, I can't look at my children in the eyes.
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NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | September 19, 2012
When he evaluated his retirement options five years ago, Assistant State's Attorney Fred Paone settled on a deal to collect his pension while working as a part-time prosecutor. Now, Anne Arundel County has sent Paone a $115,672.50 bill demanding that he repay retirement benefits and a notice that his future pension checks will be cut as long as he works for the county. An internal audit had revealed that Paone, 61, and three other workers at the Anne Arundel state's attorney's office were illegally collecting full pension payments while working part time.
NEWS
May 14, 2014
At the very end of your editorial on Maryland's unhappy residents you brought up a very interesting point but then failed to address it: People retire to Florida ( "Maryland's unhappy residents," May 9). They do it for two main reasons: The weather and the fact that there's no income tax on their retirement benefits. Somehow Florida manages to exist with all those seniors not paying into the system at every whim of the governor and legislature to dip into their pockets. What could Maryland do to keep them here?
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2012
Some Baltimore County employees who retire in the future would receive smaller pensions under state legislation proposed by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz's administration. The measure, which has split the county's public employee unions, would save the county $407,000 annually by limiting benefits for people working for the county after careers in other governments. People who participated in retirement systems that didn't require employee contributions — as Baltimore County does — would get less under the plan.
NEWS
By Kevin Kamenetz | September 30, 2013
Several years ago, Baltimore County government realized that the runaway costs of employee health care and pension benefits needed to be reined in or our taxpayers would be stuck with a huge bill to pay. The county remains committed to providing quality health care to its employees and retirees, including family benefits with low deductibles. However, in order to control rising health care costs, the county decided that each employee should pay the same cost for health care as every other employee and retiree.
BUSINESS
By New York Times News Service | September 19, 1990
Eastern Airlines cleared a critical hurdle yesterday in its attempt to reorganize under bankruptcy laws by reaching an agreement to have Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., a federal agency that oversees pension plans, take over the payment of the retirement benefits of Eastern employees.But to satisfy the agency's concerns, Continental Holdings Inc., the parent of Eastern Airlines, must secure the payments with its assets -- a liability that some officialssaid could total more than $500 million-plus interest because of a shortage in the financing of the pension plan.
NEWS
By Josh Mitchell and Josh Mitchell,sun reporter | April 14, 2007
Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. is expected to present a budget Monday that calls for pay raises for all county employees and maintains government services without raising taxes. The proposed spending plan for the fiscal year that begins in July is also expected to include contentious changes to employees' retirement benefits that are designed to cut costs. While not discussing specifics, Smith said yesterday that he hoped to present to the County Council "a well-balanced budget, meeting the community's needs and maintaining fiscal responsibility."
NEWS
By Jill Hudson and Jill Hudson,SUN STAFF | December 8, 1996
Howard County police officers have overwhelmingly ratified a three-year union contract that cuts 15 positions from the department, offers earlier retirement benefits and changes the work schedules of patrol officers.Union officials said Friday that the 202-17 vote marked the largest turnout for a contract decision in county history. Of the county's 327 sworn officers, 260 are in the union."For many years, there's been somewhat of a general feeling of apathy about voting for union contracts," said Cpl. John Paparazzo, president of the local police union.
NEWS
By JOHN A. MORRIS and JOHN A. MORRIS,SUN STAFF | October 17, 1995
A 1989 law to enhance retirement benefits for appointed and elected officials in Anne Arundel County was a deliberate "grab" by those in power at the time, aides to County Executive John G. Gary said last night.They urged the County Council to approve a reform bill proposed by Mr. Gary to strip those benefits from 58 current and former employees. The bill was scheduled for a vote late last night."We're not talking about people who were in the merit system," said County Attorney Phillip Scheibe.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | May 9, 2014
— The federal agency best known for paying retirement benefits is shutting down a curious side business it began nearly 70 years ago: helping people connect with long-lost relatives. Since the end of World War II, the Social Security Administration has offered a letter-forwarding service to genealogists, investigators and people who lost track of family members as addresses and phone numbers changed or were forgotten. Sometimes the missing are owed money from retirement plans and wills.
NEWS
By Amanda Yeager, ayeager@tribune.com | October 18, 2013
Earlier this month, County Executive Ken Ulman introduced a bill to the County Council expanding retirement benefits for volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel. The benefit package, called the Length of Service Award Program, or LoSAP, will have an increased monthly benefit for retired volunteers. It does not apply to paid full-time employees or contingents. The new monthly payment will be equivalent to 1 percent of the current starting salary of a firefighter trainee. For an eligible volunteer who has served 25 years and is over the age of 50, that would mean a payment of $460 each month for life, up from the previous monthly benefit of $250.
NEWS
October 2, 2013
It is a shame that an elected leader fails to tell the complete truth on retirement benefits for Baltimore County employees ( "Balto. Co. is seeking to make retirement benefits sustainable," Sept. 30). True, there is a health care review committee. False, the committee doesn't set the cost of health care. The county does and then sends it to the committee for approval. Since at least four of bargaining groups have a proven record of not challenging the county, the committee is a rubber stamp.
NEWS
By Kevin Kamenetz | September 30, 2013
Several years ago, Baltimore County government realized that the runaway costs of employee health care and pension benefits needed to be reined in or our taxpayers would be stuck with a huge bill to pay. The county remains committed to providing quality health care to its employees and retirees, including family benefits with low deductibles. However, in order to control rising health care costs, the county decided that each employee should pay the same cost for health care as every other employee and retiree.
EXPLORE
Letter to the editor | May 30, 2013
Editor: I am trying to figure out why people with good government jobs have to commit crimes. A previous member of the Harford County Sheriff's Department pleaded guilty to misuse of office to gain extra money. An APG employee was sentenced to six months in jail for spending government money for herself. These people lost jobs, income, insurance and retirement benefits in addition to any jail time and/or probation that they may get. To make it worse they put a bad light on the other government employees who are honest and hardworking.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | May 30, 2013
Baltimore County's recent settlements with two firefighters and a police officer who alleged the county violated federal disability law will cost taxpayers more than $1 million — more than county officials had previously revealed. The three settlements include a total of more than $545,000 in back pay, damages and attorney's fees, according to Kathleen Cahill, the workers' lawyer. Together, the two firefighters also could get between about $500,500 and more than $757,000 in retirement benefits, depending on how much longer they work, Cahill said.
NEWS
By John A. Morris and John A. Morris,SUN STAFF | September 29, 1995
A pension oversight group voted unanimously last night to oppose County Executive John G. Gary's plan to cut retroactively the retirement benefits of 44 current and former public officials.Deborah Turner, chairman of the Pension Oversight Commission, said the panel will recommend that the County Council reject proposed legislation that contains the plan. The commission is an appointed panel of citizens and government employees with advisory powers.The council could vote on the plan, which Mr. Gary says will save county taxpayers $4 million, on Oct. 16.The legislation would repeal a portion of a 1989 law enhancing the retirement benefits of elected and appointed officials.
NEWS
By Jill Hudson and Jill Hudson,SUN STAFF | February 4, 1997
Howard County firefighters have ratified a three-year union contract that gives fire and rescue personnel full retirement benefits in 20 years and premium pay for paramedics, truck drivers and employees who work day schedules.The contract's retirement provisions are similar to a contract recently approved by the police union.The department's director, James E. Heller, said Howard County officials have agreed to pay an estimated $500,000 to $800,000 to cover the added cost of the improved retirement package and extra leave and day-work provisions.
NEWS
March 25, 2013
While Congress tosses all kinds of scenarios around about the future of retirement benefits like Medicare or Social Security - while doing absolutely nothing about it - we shouldn't be terribly surprised that real people are feeling as insecure about their post-employment years as ever. The latest survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that despite last year's stock market gains, workers are less confident this year than last that they'll have enough money for a comfortable retirement.
NEWS
By Matthew Hay Brown and Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | February 4, 2013
By resigning ahead of a vote to remove him, former Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold may hold onto his $8,000 county pension, officials said. "I believe this factored into his decision," said Jerry Walker, chairman of the Anne Arundel County Council. The County Council had scheduled a vote to remove Leopold for Monday, his 70th birthday, after he was found guilty last week of criminal misconduct in office. With six of seven members co-sponsoring the measure, it was expected to pass.
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