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BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | July 29, 2005
Maryland's State Retirement and Pension System announced a second consecutive year of strong investment returns yesterday, a development officials say is a sign that retirement benefits for current and former state employees are secure. In the fiscal year ending June 30, the system earned a 9.5 percent return on its invested assets, an increase of more than $1.9 billion over the previous year, according to a news release from the system. In all, the system's assets have grown by $5.3 billion in the past two years.
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NEWS
May 20, 2014
Concerning the recent discussion in The Sun about seniors leaving Maryland to live in retirement elsewhere ( "Why I love living in Maryland," May 18), I have noticed that some of my friends and acquaintances who are retired school teachers have moved to Delaware. They did not chose to retire to Delaware to be nearer family members, and they certainly not to move to a better climate. They made this decision due to the significantly lower tax rate. Delaware has no sales tax, and their income tax and property tax rates are about two-thirds Maryland's rate.
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NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | July 17, 2012
Declining to follow the footsteps of Baltimore County's pension plan, Maryland's state employee retirement system decided Tuesday to leave unchanged its assumption about how much it will earn on investments. The 14-member pension board voted 11-1 to keep the rate at 7.75 percent, in the middle of the pack for public retirement plans nationwide. By keeping the rate where it has been for almost a decade, Maryland will avoid the roughly $12 million gap that a change might have created in next year's state budget.
NEWS
By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | May 19, 2014
The city pension board is requiring about 2,000 school employees to begin contributing to the municipal retirement system, a plan met with resistance by school officials, who say the district won't be able to meet the July 1 deadline. The school system was informed this year that some of its employees would have to begin contributing to the city's Employees' Retirement System for the first time in decades. The school employees affected include paraprofessionals, school police, cafeteria workers and central office staff.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | February 6, 2013
A Baltimore County police union is suing the county retirement system's board of trustees over a $25 million loan the county took from the pension fund to update recycling facilities in Cockeysville. In a lawsuit filed last week in Circuit Court, the Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 4 claims the deal reflects a breach of duty, and the board did not get enough advice on the consequences of the loan or obtain adequate security. "We have a responsibility to the people we represent, and quite frankly, all county employees should be concerned about this," said union President Cole Weston.
NEWS
By Scott Wilson and Scott Wilson,SUN STAFF | July 17, 1996
For the first time in months, the County Council is stepping out from the shadow of the Gary administration, to the applause of demoralized county employees.In the past week, red-and-white bumper stickers have appeared on fenders and at bus stops that read: "Want to meet a disgruntled employee? Call 911."The grim message is the result of the Republican administration's months-long campaign to cut personnel costs, which account for 75 percent of county spending. Public safety unions won next to nothing at the bargaining table last spring.
NEWS
Marta H. Mossburg | April 10, 2012
State legislators often prioritize important legislation the way kindergartners rank vegetables among the food groups. They focus on media-friendly social legislation instead of structural reform requiring time and effort to understand and craft. Why, for example, did they pass gay marriage and a law regulating how long a child must face rearward in a car seat but not figure out the budget until the absolute last minute? And why didn't they spend time this year on how to pay the pensions of the 373,000 people in the state retirement system?
BUSINESS
By Ivan Penn and Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF | February 20, 1999
In a move to cut fees charged to Baltimore's retirement system, the city's Board of Estimates approved the transfer of nearly $3 billion in accounts this week from Mercantile Safe-Deposit and Trust Co. to Pittsburgh-based Mellon Bank.Under the new contract, Mellon Bank will manage the assets from the Employees' Retirement System, the Fire and Police Retirement System and the Elected Officials' Retirement System.The retirement systems serve about 27,000 active and retired workers.City Comptroller Joan M. Pratt said Mercantile, which had held the management contract for 21 years, was too costly because the Baltimore-based bank had to hire subcontractors for some of its services.
NEWS
November 27, 1993
In yesterday's editions, a graphic accompanying an article about state pensions gave the wrong percent for the formula used to compute the annual basic retirement allowance under the old retirement system. The correct number is 1.8 percent.The Sun regrets the error.
NEWS
By Mark Bomster and Mark Bomster,Evening Sun Staff | November 8, 1990
Baltimore paramedics have won a victory from the city's Board of Estimates, which cleared the way for them to join the same retirement system as city police and firefighters and retire after 20 years of service.The move is a victory for Baltimore Firefighters Local 734, which has been battling to get its paramedic members into the same retirement unit as their fellow firefighters. The unit represents 143 paramedics.Those workers will "get a better pension over the long haul" than they would under the Employment Retirement System that applies to other civilian city employees, said Lonnie D. Jackson, an official with the union.
NEWS
May 14, 2014
The announcement this week that University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. Kirwan is retiring after 12 years on the job comes just as the state is preparing to welcome another gifted leader in the field of higher education, former Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, as the new president of the University of Baltimore. Over the years both men have distinguished themselves as educators and public servants of uncommon ability and proven accomplishment, and we wish them both success as they embark on the next phase of their careers.
NEWS
March 5, 2014
Gov. Martin O'Malley is now trying to take my money. That's right, my money. I worked 40 years putting money into the state's retirement system, and now because Governor O'Malley can't manage Maryland's budget, he is going to take what I've worked for over 40 years ( "Franchot, Kopp fight transfer of pension money," Feb. 26). He already bankrupted the state's transportation trust fund by "borrowing" funds to balance the budget and then turned around and raised taxes on gasoline and raised tolls.
NEWS
September 21, 2013
There has been recent discussion of having certain Western Maryland counties secede and become a separate state. In addition, the governor of Texas is running ads touting his state as a better place in which to live and do business. This brings to mind a recent trend that I have noticed. At least some of the people that I know are "voting with their feet. " As a retired school teacher, many of my friends and acquaintances are retired school teachers. In recent years, some of these retired school teachers have moved to Delaware.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | July 22, 2013
The Maryland state employees' pension system reported last week that it grew to more than $40 billion during the 12 months that ended June 30 as it posted a 10.6 percent return on its investments. That performance exceeds both the state's assumption that it would earn 7.75 percent and the 8.6 percent average performance for the types of assets that the fund owns. Pension fund officials pointed to the showing as vindication of its investment strategies, which have been criticized by a conservative think tank.
NEWS
April 26, 2013
Susan Reimer 's recent column on Social Security Dilemma completely missed the mark ("Don't blame boomers for Social Security dilemma," April 22). Neither Baby Boomers nor the lack of new workers has anything to do with the current Social Security dilemma. The problem lies with Congress and the politicians in Washington. Social Security was originally set up in the 1930s as a "pay as you go" retirement system. Money was collected from workers and supposedly invested and saved for their retirement.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | February 6, 2013
A Baltimore County police union is suing the county retirement system's board of trustees over a $25 million loan the county took from the pension fund to update recycling facilities in Cockeysville. In a lawsuit filed last week in Circuit Court, the Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 4 claims the deal reflects a breach of duty, and the board did not get enough advice on the consequences of the loan or obtain adequate security. "We have a responsibility to the people we represent, and quite frankly, all county employees should be concerned about this," said union President Cole Weston.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | November 29, 2012
Baltimore County sold $256 million in pension obligation bonds this week to fund its retirement system, and officials say the borrowing will cost less than they expected. The county borrowed the money at a 3.43 percent interest rate, compared with the 4.25 percent to 4.5 percent originally projected. Officials said Thursday they expect to save $343 million over the next three decades, compared with the $250 million they previously estimated. The county plans to pay the funds back over the next 30 years.
NEWS
By Michael K. Burns | March 27, 1991
A state Senate committee considered emergency legislation yesterday to bail out about 1,400 state employees who were hit with unexpected federal taxes when they withdrew their money from the state retirement system and put the funds into Individual Retirement Accounts.The bill, which is expected to gain swift legislative approval, would allow those employees to transfer back into the state retirement system the money they had withdrawn and put into IRAs, avoiding heavy taxes.The Internal Revenue Service, in an unusual move, has already agreed to allow this transfer-back and forgive taxes on the withdrawals, said Herbert L. Dyer, head of the Maryland State Retirement Agency.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | November 29, 2012
Baltimore County sold $256 million in pension obligation bonds this week to fund its retirement system, and officials say the borrowing will cost less than they expected. The county borrowed the money at a 3.43 percent interest rate, compared with the 4.25 percent to 4.5 percent originally projected. Officials said Thursday they expect to save $343 million over the next three decades, compared with the $250 million they previously estimated. The county plans to pay the funds back over the next 30 years.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | October 22, 2012
In a decision that could affect thousands of active and retired Baltimore County employees, a federal judge ruled that the county's pension system discriminates against beneficiaries because older workers were required to pay more toward their retirement than younger workers. U.S. District Judge Benson Everett Legg sided with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, finding that the county system violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. It is unclear what the financial impact on the county could be because the court has not determined damages in the case.
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