Tag: Retirement

Unions, pension board unhappy O’Malley cut $100M in promised payment to retirement fund

The largest unions representing state workers and public school teachers are upset at Gov. Martin O’Malley’s decision to permanently cut $100 million from extra payments into the state pension system. The money came from additional employee salary deductions required by a 2011 pension reform, and was intended to help cure underfunding in the pension system.

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Pension commission will vote on cutting benefits, COLAs

The commission studying changes to state pensions and retiree benefits will vote in two weeks on whether to recommend that the General Assembly and governor raise the retirement age, trim the cost of health insurance benefits, and eliminate cost-of-living increases for at least five years.

Casper Taylor Jr., the former speaker of the House of Delegates who heads the Public Employees’ and Retirees’ Benefit Sustainability Commission, said the goal is not just to make the pensions more sustainable in the long term, but to save $400 million to $500 million in the next fiscal year.

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$1.6 billion budget gap predicted

With a slow economic recovery, increases in retirement costs and the end of federal stimulus funds, Maryland is facing a $1.6 billion budget gap and a $2.1 billion structural gap for fiscal year 2012, analysts from the Department of Legislative Services told a joint General Assembly hearing on Wednesday.

Warren Deschenaux, director of policy analysis for the DLS, said that the $2.1 billion gap is not guaranteed: It could get smaller depending on factors such as the new revenue projections due next month or revenue growth rates, which are exceeding expectations in the first four months of fiscal 2011.

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