State Pension System Launches County Outreach On Liability Accounting

The State Retirement Agency will be reaching out to all counties that participate in the state retirement and pension system as members of the municipal pool. Eleven counties’ employees are members in the state retirement and pension system. Other counties in Maryland have county-based pension systems.

The State Retirement Agency’s Executive Director, R. Dean Kenderdine, is seeking to personally meet with elected officials in each active county about the implementation of GASB 68, a recently adopted accounting guideline that requires more specific reporting of net pension liabilities by all public pension plans, including multiple- employer, cost-sharing plans such as Maryland’s. The data concerning each participating employer’s share of the plan’s net pension liability will now appear on the face of the employer’s financial statements, whereas previously, such data has been found in the supplementary information for the statements.

The State Retirement Agency has provided guidance to county government members regarding their share of the State pension system allocation. MACo has raised concerns with the State’s initial guidance and has requested an analysis of other methods of calculating the county net pension liability on behalf of participating units.

The State Retirement and Pension System Board of Trustees, which oversees the operation of the pension system and the State Retirement Agency, is currently reviewing the System’s own financial reporting. Should this review result in changes in System reporting, any effect on future guidance of the Agency to participating governmental units under GASB 68 will be communicated to all participating governments by Mr. Kenderdine.

Executive Director Kenderdine may be reached at (410) 625-5600 or dkenderdine@sra.state.md.us.

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