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Baltimore police, fire fighters pay plenty for pension benefits

Interior PolicyPension and WelfareStephanie Rawlings-Blake

In her State of the City address Monday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called for employee contributions to the current non-contributory pension system for "civilian employees," and while I agree and understand the subtle distinction made, my fear is that I may be in the minority of taxpayers ("Trash fee, job cuts urged," Feb. 12). Perhaps lost in the "civilian employees" reference is that the "other employees" are Baltimore's public safety (fire and police) employees, who currently contribute 9 percent of their wages, which will rise to 10 percent (twice the 5 percent amount by elected officials) on July 1, 2013.

That 10 percent contribution rate will put Baltimore's fire and police personnel at the high end of the contribution scale for public pension funds, and the citizens of Baltimore should have been made aware of that distinction.

Stephan G. Fugate, Baltimore

The writer is former president of the Baltimore Fire Officers and former chairman of the Baltimore Fire and Police Employees Retirement System.

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