MD Pension Fund Suffers $27B 2008 Setback

January 26, 2009 ( - Maryland taxpayers will have to pay an additional $215 million into the state's pension system on top of the already budgeted $1.3 billion, due to market losses, lawmakers were informed last week.

A Baltimore Examiner news report said Maryland has lost 15% of its investments in the past three months and nearly 29% in 2008 for a total year-end loss of $27 billion.

To counter losses, pension system chief investment officer Mansco Perry said he has increased the level of cash available to 10% of the pension fund’s holdings. Officials from the State Retirement and Pension System included the loss details in testimony before the state Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.

The pension officials said without a market turnaround, the state will either have to up its contribution or ask employees to chip in more, the newspaper reported.