March 22nd, 2015 | by Barry Rascovar
Once again, the House of Delegate took the easy way out of its budget bind -- and in the process stuck it to future state workers, teachers and taxpayers.
The Senate is on a glide path that follows that same flawed approach.
Instead of facing up to its fiduciary pension obligations, Annapolis delegates opted to play games, placing at risk the safety of state retirement programs
February 25th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick
The legislature's staff is recommending that lawmakers make another major change in pension funding, eliminating extra payments into Maryland's underfunded pension system and returning to full actuarial funding.
The proposal would save $70 million in next year's budget and $2 billion over the next 10 years. But it would ultimately cost taxpayers $2.5 billion more than current plans for pension contributions in the following 13 years
September 25th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick
Persistent critics of the investment performance of Maryland's $45 billion pension fund for state teachers and employees are again slamming the fund for failing to match the performance of other state pension systems, even though its 14.4% return was nearly twice as high as the fund's target
August 3rd, 2014 | by Barry Rascovar
Good news from the Maryland state retirement agency: investment earnings over the past year ending June 30 rose a strong 14.37 percent. Don't get too excited: The agency is still digging out of a deep financial hole caused by the Great Recession, poor decisions by former governors and legislators and poor advice from the agency's consultant. The retirement fund's health, though, is showing solid improvement
July 28th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick
Maryland's pension system for state employees and teachers had another strong investment performance for the fiscal year which ended June 30 earning 14.37%, bringing the value of the portfolio to $45.4 billion, a gain of more than $5 billion.
It was the second year in a row of strong performance due to sharp upturns in stocks, according to Chief Investment Officer Melissa Moye. The fund exceeded its target of 7.7% and its market benchmark of 14.16% -- what its basket of assets would have been expected to earn
March 13th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick
With minimal debate, the Maryland Senate rejected a half dozen Republican attempts to further trim Gov. Martin O'Malley's $39 billion budget Wednesday, and gave preliminary approval to the spending plan that will be sent to the House this week.
The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee ultimately cut $492 million from the current budget and O'Malley's proposal for next year, partly to make up for lowered revenue estimates in both years
March 10th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick
The Senate Budget Committee voted Friday to take $500 million over the next five years from extra payments into the state pension system to balance the budget this year and for the next four
March 7th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick
Much or all of an annual $300 million extra payment into Maryland's pension system is on the chopping block as Senate budgeters seek to balance Gov. Martin O'Malley's $39 billion budget at a voting session Friday
February 27th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick
In unusual joint testimony, Maryland State Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot, chair and vice-chair of the state pension board, pleaded with Senate budgeters not to permanently cut $100 million in state payments to the retirement system. They said the cut proposed by Gov. Martin O'Malley had high long-term repercussions and undermined the state's credibility with bond rating agencies by reneging on promises made in 2011 pension reforms
February 9th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick
It takes quite a bit for the quiet, diplomatic State Treasurer, Nancy Kopp, to criticize her fellow Democrat, Gov. Martin O'Malley. But she gently laid it on the line in opposing O'Malley's $100 million budget cut for state pension contributions.
"It's a question of trust," Kopp said