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Bill tightening pension policy to get hearing


The County Council has scheduled a hearing tonight on a bill that would sharply increase the time an elected or appointed official must serve to qualify for a pension.

The bill, sponsored by Councilwoman Maureen Lamb, would require elected and appointed officials to serve eight years before being eligible. Currently, they qualify immediately, she said.

The Annapolis Democrat said she drafted the bill because former state officials who came into county service during the last administration were "able to collect retirement when they left here."

"So we will have to pay for that retirement for the next 50 years," she said.

The bill would not apply to the current council or to members of County Executive Robert R. Neall's staff but would begin with their successors.

The bill also cuts the amount of pension a retiree with 10 years of service or less can collect from 2 1/2 percent of the final earnings for each year of service to 2 percent. An employee would receive an additional 2 1/2 percent of final earnings for each year of service after 10 years.

"We feel the people who have been here the longest time should get the most money," Ms. Lamb said.

A companion bill that would require continuous service for county employees to qualify for longevity pay also is scheduled for public hearing tonight.

The council is scheduled to vote on a bill to allow positions in county government to be reduced from full time to part time with prorated benefits by an agreement between the employee and a county official.

The bill is designed to give Mr. Neall more flexibility as he reorganizes government.

The council will meet at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Arundel Center in Annapolis.

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