Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 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 © 2014, 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...

    • Torture robs us of our humanity
      Torture robs us of our humanity

      The CIA's torture tactics were employed in the belief that the ends justify the means, but in reality they make us no better than those we fight and rob us of our humanity ("Report condemns CIA over torture," Dec. 10).

    • Where's the outrage when an officer is shot?
      Where's the outrage when an officer is shot?

      The Rev. Al Sharpton appeared on C-Span last Saturday in advance of his protest rally in Washington and said he doesn't discriminate when he protests shootings.

    • What about Pa. manure?
      What about Pa. manure?

      On an almost recurring basis lately, The Sun has devoted itself to bringing to everyone's attention the Eastern Shore poultry industry's polluted runoff flowing into the Chesapeake Bay ("Larry Hogan has a chance to be a green governor," Dec. 13). Attention should be directed to the Amish...

    • Unaffordable care in Bel Air
      Unaffordable care in Bel Air

      I am 59 years old, have been a practicing family physician for 30 years and I can't wait to pay my new health care premium for 2015. This past year, I paid $680 a month for my wife and me with a $5,400 deductible. With the Affordable Care Act, in 2015, I will be paying $700 a month with a...

    • Chicken industry threatens all other bay businesses
      Chicken industry threatens all other bay businesses

      Dan Rodricks' column on Gov.-elect Larry Hogan and the Chesapeake Bay missed an important fact: Mr. Hogan's pro-poultry industry comments and pledges are actually deeply hurtful to most Eastern Shore businesses ("Larry Hogan has a chance to be a green governor," Dec. 13).

    • Md. needs outpatient commitment
      Md. needs outpatient commitment

      The article by Meredith Cohn, "Involuntary treatment for the mentally ill in Maryland" (Dec. 10) and your editorial, "Refusing treatment" (Dec. 11), are very accurate. I know because I have had to deal with my son's refusal to take any medication for many years. He is psychotic and very...

    • Outpatient commitment law is crucial
      Outpatient commitment law is crucial

      In response to The Sun's recent editorial, "Refusing treatment" (Dec. 11), what disability rights groups omit when they say that "assertive community outpatient services" are better than outpatient civil commitment for the seriously mentally are the following sad and enduring facts.

    Comments
    Loading