Summer Sale! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Readers Respond
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.

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 mention...

  • Harbaugh brings integrity and class to the job

    Harbaugh brings integrity and class to the job

    Media critic David Zurawik calls Ravens coach John Harbaugh arrogant ("Harbaugh acted like a jerk, but it's basically a Ravens production," Aug. 30). Really?

  • Missing lesson: respect for authority

    Missing lesson: respect for authority

    Living in Maryland has become shameful. How can a prosecuting attorney charge police officers for putting Freddie Gray in a police wagon uninjured? They did nothing to cause his injuries. It's causing hatred of the disadvantaged toward police ("Rallies set for Gray hearing," Sept. 1).

  • Furnishing a good excuse

    Furnishing a good excuse

    Let's see if I get this picture ("Hogan questions the O'Malleys' purchase of mansion furniture," Sept. 1). Our top elected state official lives in a fine government mansion which should have the best of furnishings. I do not disagree with this. The governor should live in a nice home.

  • Two-party system needs to go

    Two-party system needs to go

    I left the Republican Party when George the First (George H.W. Bush, that is) broke his "no new taxes" pledge and have never looked back. If one wants to vote in a party primary, then join the party. The Elks don't let the Lions vote in their elections and the Masons don't allow the Knights of...

  • O's Jones chirps out of tune

    O's Jones chirps out of tune

    So now Adam Jones would like to "slap the face" of those fans who suggest the Orioles aren't trying hard enough lately ("Orioles notes and observations (Jones, Machado, trades)," Aug. 31).

  • Can Trump run the country and his businesses too?

    Can Trump run the country and his businesses too?

    Has anyone questioned or even thought about how many conflicts of interests Donald Trump would face if he were elected president?

  • How effective is psychiatry?

    How effective is psychiatry?

    With every new mass shooting the politicians and the media recommend that more money be spent on mental health ("Video of deadly Virginia news shooting sends social media shock waves," Aug. 26).