Professing Importance of Pitching & Patching Pensions At #MACoCon

On Wednesday, December 6 at the MACo Winter Conference, county administrators, budgets officers, government relations officials and a number of other government professionals dug deep into the challenges of executing successful pension plans in light of funding difficulties and a workforce with evolving priorities.img_0603

Public pensions can provide a reliable and robust benefit for government employees. At the same time, some public pension systems are facing funding difficulties. To address these difficulties, organizations look to reduced payment packages for new hires, delays to employee eligibility, and improving investment income. For county governments who are members of the Maryland Pension System and those who offer their own pension plan, there are also challenges in marketing the merits of this traditional form of benefit to a millennial and generation Z workforce who are looking for portable investments such as 401(k)s.

Kristopher E. Seets, FSA, EA, Actuary, Bolton Partners, Inc. provided a very robust and detailed look into the future of pension plans and pros and cons of defined benefit plans versus defined contribution plans. Robert Goff, Retirement Benefits Manager for Montgomery County Employee Retirement Plans discussed his county’s plans, and Jim Harkins, Trustee for the Maryland State Retirement & Pension System discussed the details of the State’s system.

During the question and answer portion, discussion centered around Anne Arundel’s proposal to offer its employees the option to participate in a defined contribution plan – offering employees faster vesting with less risk to the County than its existing Employee Retirement Plan.

The Honorable Barry Glassman, Harford County Executive moderated the session.