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Md. House Panel Will Examine Pension Proposals

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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.)

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