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Monday, March 16, 2015

Raiding Md.’s pension piggy bank

WHEN THE big bond-rating agencies took Maryland’s financial temperature last month, they found the state in robust health — with the notable exception of Maryland’s undernourished pension fund. The fund needs a sustained infusion of cash if the state is to meet its long-term promises to retired teachers, police, judges and other public employees — a $20 billion infusion, to be precise.

So how did Democrats, who control the state legislature, respond to this red flag? A week after it was raised, they advanced a plan to make the situation worse — to raid the fund in order to forestall cuts in next year’s budget proposed by Gov. Larry Hogan (R). By grabbing pension dollars to plug immediate budget holes, lawmakers would risk the state’s future knowing that most of them will no longer be in office when the bill comes due.

At the turn of the century, Maryland’s pension system was fully funded. But the pile of cash proved too tempting for lawmakers, who began skimming from the state’s annual contributions in 2002. Thus short-changed, and then ravaged by the recession, the pension fund’s value fell to less than two-thirds of its long-term obligations by 2011. That’s when then-Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) struck a deal to add $300 million to the state’s annual contributions in return for workers agreeing to pay more of their wages into the system and accepting lower benefits for newer hires.



Anonymous said...

As someone who earned a very small pension from the state at a time when they wouldn't even allow employees to buy into 401 I will SUE if they take mine away.


Anonymous said...

Someone better let jimbo know who really did this before he puts Hogan signs up all over town.

Anonymous said...

can you say DETROIT! They lost theirs, or half of it.

HOW in the Hell can you pay into a retirement, then have the state take it back?

Are they wanting a revolution?

Anonymous said...

You never ever mess with employee's retirement/pension or health benefits.

lmclain said...

Your "representatives", your "leaders", ("your guy", too)
SPENT every dime they could get their slimy hands on, robbing dollars from every "dedicated" fund they could find, taxing everything under the sun (including the rain, God help us), raising fees, fines, tolls, surcharges, and "permits" as fast and as high as they could without starting civil insurrection, and playing every financial shell game imagined with OUR MONEY.
Now, they are prepping the citizens for the biggest ripoff of all, the old "yeah, we PROMISED you a pension, but we spent it, so now your screwed. Have a nice day".
You know how you can tell when a politician is lying? His lips are moving.
Keep cheering.

Anonymous said...

12:52...if you haven't figured that out by now, you are one lost soul....

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much MSEA for allowing O'Malley to steal from the teacher pension fund. As a union, you should have a stuck up for Maryland teachers. After all, the teachers stupid enough to belong to your Union are paying for YOUR fat pension. Funny how teachers never heard a word about this until it was too late but now that Hogan is in office you will blame him for this too. MSEA sucks!

Concered Retiree said...

Unions have allowed this. They also backed it by pushing every election for a LIBERAL DEMOCRAT.
As someone drawing the pension check, I say "I paid into it every working year including all the mandated contributions even when raised."
I was a Union member until they started robbing my pension fund. All I heard from the Unions were They are going to pay it back with interest.
Now does someone believe me?

Concerned retiree said...

I want to add that have screwed us over ever year on our Health insurance. Granted it is better than some but is on the verge of being in the worst category. Again I am told there is no way. Lets find out again when it is to late.