Get unlimited digital access to baltimoresun.com. $0.99 for 4 weeks.
News Opinion Readers Respond

Mossburg fails math on pensions

Marta Mossburg once again gets it wrong on public employee pensions, incorrectly claiming the state pension system suffered a poor rate of return ("On state pensions, 'Everyone else is doing it' is no excuse," Feb. 13). She does this by cherry picking a few numbers and willfully ignoring the most important facts.

The fact of the matter is our state pension system earned nearly 8 percent over the past 25 years, earning 20 percent in 2011 and 14 percent in 2010. Why is it important to look at long term performance vs. year-to-year? Because that is how benefits are paid out — over the long term.

Saying the pension system is broke because we could not pay 100 percent of expected benefits right now is like saying every homeowner is broke because they can't pay the entire amount of their 30 year mortgage right now. We pay our mortgages off over a period of many years. It is the same with our pension fund. We both invest contributions to gain returns over a long period and we pay out benefits in monthly increments to retirees over a period of years.

The long and short of it is this: Our state pension fund ain't broke, and hard-working public employees don't need Ms. Mossburg to fix it.

Patrick Moran, Baltimore

The writer is president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 3.

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts
  • Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
    Related Content
    • State pension returns are on target
      State pension returns are on target

      In her recent column, Marta Mossburg opines that the state pension system's assumed rate of return of 7.75 percent is unrealistic, pointing to last year's earnings of 0.36 percent as proof ("On state pensions, 'Everyone else is doing it' is no excuse," Feb. 13). Interestingly, she failed to...

    • Needed: a city rainy day fund for snowy days
      Needed: a city rainy day fund for snowy days

      Isn't there a rainy day fund for residential emergencies like the one brought on by the recent cold snap ("Water outages, frustration mount," Feb. 25)?

    • Bottled water tax repeal could hurt the environment
      Bottled water tax repeal could hurt the environment

      Commentator Robi Rawl of Sugar Free Kids Maryland recently called for repealing the state's 6 percent tax on bottled water ("Repeal water tax," Feb. 23).

    • MTA bus app a win-win
      MTA bus app a win-win

      "Alice In Wonderland" was an Oscar-winning documentary compared to your article, "MTA real time bus data 'hacked' and offered on private mobile app" (Feb. 25). Your story reported how the Maryland Transit Administration's success in making actual bus schedules available to riders online was...

    • Overdoses not just about substance abuse
      Overdoses not just about substance abuse

      I do believe that reversing the overdose epidemic does take a comprehensive approach as noted in the many examples put forth in the recent commentary "Reversing overdose epidemic" (Feb. 27). Unfortunately, it can't be comprehensive if the focus is only on substance use.

    • Hampden parking: Where's my space?
      Hampden parking: Where's my space?

      The Baltimore City Council took a final vote and passed a controversial parking plan for Hampden, a place where parking is already a challenge ("Hampden parking plan a disaster," Feb. 14). But the measure left out two addresses on Elm Street including the Hampden Hill Apartments in the 3700...

    • Hogan's flawed charter reform
      Hogan's flawed charter reform

      Gov. Larry Hogan is proposing significant changes to state charter school laws in House Bill 486 ("Hogan's school reform has potential — and pitfalls," Feb. 27). While the political rhetoric associated with the charter school movement is complex, it should be noted that conservatives...

    • Why the speed limit should stay at 65
      Why the speed limit should stay at 65

      There are many inaccuracies in letter writer D. Keith Henderson's argument against raising the speed limit to 70 mph in Maryland ("Pick up the pace of Md.'s absurdly low speed limits," Feb. 27).

    Comments
    Loading