The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Maryland Surplus Should Go for Pensions

Oct 29, 2018

At the end of July, the state of Maryland announced a budget surplus of 504 million dollars.

At the same moment, every single jurisdiction, every county and Baltimore City, all are running deficits in funding their pensions, in part because the state has cut back on what it contributes. Maryland’s state employee pension fund is only funded to 68% of what is needed; the city of Baltimore is only funded to 65%; Baltimore County is only funded to 61%.

These shortages mean either pension benefits could be cut, as was done already with teachers’ pensions under the O’Malley administration. Or else the jurisdictions could ask everyone, not just the public employees, to pay higher taxes. Already state workers, teachers and Baltimore city workers were asked to pay a higher percentage of their earnings into the pension system.

If the state is running a surplus, why aren’t the politicians making good on their pension promises?