The Conversation on State Pension Funding and Policy Continues

There is a continuing public discourse regarding Maryland's public pension system. About half of Maryland's counties participate in Maryland's public pension system, meaning county employers are members of the System and county governments provide the System with contributions for those employees. Since 2012, all Maryland counties also share in the funding responsibility for Maryland's teacher pensions, one of the plans within the Maryland public pension system. This article excerpts from letters to the editor published…

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2019 End of Session Wrap-Up: Pensions

An overview of MACo’s advocacy on pensions issues in the 2019 General Assembly.  Half of Maryland's counties participate in the State's pension system, and the other half support their employees through local pension systems. MACo's pension advocacy includes defending local authority to define the elements of county-run pension systems, and protecting the interests of county governments participating in the State's pension system. Follow links below for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database.  MACo opposed legislation…

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Live Long and Prosper. . . from Your Government Pension

A policy analyst at the Reason Foundation describes how longevity in the public workforce, if not factored into cost predictions, can create difficulties for local government pension plans.  A recent study found that workers in certain government professions, especially teachers, tend to live longer than those retired from the private sector or the general public. Local governments that support pensions for those government employees, therefore, need to ensure that they are using updated mortality projections…

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2019 Legislative Handbook Series – An Indispensable Reference

The Department of Legislative Services has released its quadrennial Legislative Handbook Series, a deep and useful reference series that encapsulates nearly every issue of government at the state and local level. The series may be downloaded or viewed online for free at the links below: Legislative Handbook Series: Vol 1 – Legislators Handbook Vol 2 – Government Services Vol 3 – Revenue Structure Vol 4 – Budget Process Vol 5 – Personnel, Pensions & Procurement…

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Preview the 2019 Session “Big Picture”

A compilation of Issue Papers previews major fiscal and policy issues facing the General Assembly in the year ahead. This resource is a handy guide to the top issues that your legislators will be tackling in the year ahead – a great preparation document for county officials in advance of meetings with their local Delegations. Developed by the Department of Legislative Services, the 2019 Issue Papers are an annual staple for the Annapolis policy-inclined population.…

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Pension Report Sees Growing Divide Between Best, Worst-Funded State-Level Systems

A report by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence shows the best-funded state pension plans are receiving better ongoing commitments than the lesser-funded ones. Maryland rated in the middle section of this study. The report, tracking though FY 2017, shows the evolving state of pension plans across many states. Their key finding is that the spread between the best-funded and more poorly-funded plans has grown dramatically in recent years - as evidenced by…

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Update on County Pension Rates and Teacher Pension Costs

Contribution rates increase for county members of the State Pension System, and the State and local governments share teacher pension costs in fiscal year 2020. At the most recent meeting of the Board of Trustees for the Maryland State Pension System, the Board heard a presentation of the annual actuarial valuation of the System from its consulting actuary, Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Company (GRS). The valuation is conducted each year in order to determine the…

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Investment Strategy Explained in Response to Recent Report on State Pension System

A statement from the State Retirement Agency's Chief Investment Officer responds to the most recent critical report of the Maryland Public Policy Institute. About half of Maryland's counties participate in the State Pension System for pension coverage for their employees. Those counties pay employer contribution to the System. All counties provide funding for teacher pensions, also a part of the State Pension System, through contributions to local Boards of Education. Maryland counties and municipalities have…

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Article Offers Practical Solutions to the Public Pension Crisis

A retired Harvard-educated lawyer argues for sharing risk as a fix to underfunded pension systems. An article on MuniNet Guide offers a model pioneered in New Brunswick as a solution that could be implemented by states and local governments throughout the US. The shared-risk model would bring employees and employers to the table to define a set of sustainable pension benefits, including pension payments computed solely on base salary, and contribution costs shared proportionally by…

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Round-up of the 2018 Session for Counties

MACo’s legislative efforts earned an 80% success rate – and as usual, the counties’ voice makes a difference in Annapolis. Bills we support are more likely to pass, and bills we oppose are more likely to fail. MACo’s legislative initiatives, priorities, and positions are directed by its Legislative Committee. This body comprises elected representatives from all of MACo’s members – the 24 county jurisdictions (including Baltimore City). The “one county, one vote” system of deciding…

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