Md. House Panel Will Examine Pension Proposals

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A group of House lawmakers are looking over proposals to reform Maryland’s pension system.

Maryland faces a $19 billion gap to cover pensions for state workers and another long-term, $16 billion gap in covering other retiree benefits, including health care costs.

Efforts to fix those shortfalls drew thousands of union protesters Monday night to Annapolis.

Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposal would give employees the choice to either increase their contributions from 5 percent to 7 percent or take a cut in how much the state contributes. It would also raise from five to 10 years the time it takes before workers are vested in the state plan, and increase the early retirement age from 55 to 60.

The panel meeting Thursday will also consider an alternative submitted by House Republicans.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • whatnow

    This does not sound like much of a hardship compared to what people in the private sector have had to endure. This isn’t laying off workers en masse, cancelling retirement, etc. like previous posts have claimed. Police and firefighters will still be answering 911 calls. Frankly, I don’t see what all the fuss is about. This is one of the few things OweMalley has proposed that actually makes some sense. No one really suffers here but some money is saved. And believe me, it pains me to give OweMalley credit for anything.

  • Wheres common sense when you need it

    I would be ok with the idea as long as the state is forced by law to fully fund the pension program from now on, no excusses. But it seems that the problem is the state takes the money and puts it to other pet projects, like the ones that get their re-election campaign rich, instead of putting the money where it is suppose to go. Look at New Jersey where they face the same problem. But 12 out of the last 13 years the state didn’t put the money into the pension program like they were suppose to. This is not the fault of the workers so why should they pay the price. Everyone needs to take their anger out on the public officials that have mismanaged the tax money, not on the people that just work for the government.

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