Baltimore Lawmakers toTake up New Pension Bill

June 7, 2010 ( – Baltimore lawmakers are scheduled to consider a new bill reforming the city’s police and fire pension system. reported that the new version would create significant changes in employee contributions, retirement age, and benefits.

Under the bill, retirement eligibility increases from 20 to 25 years of service, and those who have 15 years in will be grandfathered or allowed to retire after 20 years. Retirement pay increases would no longer be tied to the stock market.

The proposal says that those under 65 would get a 1% increase every year, and those over 65 would get a 2% percent yearly increase. Employee contributions would increase from 6% to 10% under the new plan, and instead of calculating retirement pay based on the last 18 months on the job, it would be base on the last 36 months.

The new bill replaces a pension reform measure currently before the City Council. The police and fire unions objected to that one because it sets a minimum retirement age of 55. Currently, there is no minimum retirement age.

The measure comes on the heels of a federal lawsuit by the city’s public safety unions that demands millions in underpayments of retirement benefits and seeks an injunction against changes in the current pension plan (see Unions Sue Baltimore for Underfunding Pension Plan).