The pension fund for Baltimore’s elected officials outperformed those for city workers and police and firefighters in 2017, according to new reports.
Last fiscal year, during a sustained stock market rally, the fund for city politicians grew in value by 14.2 percent — compared to 11.8 percent growth for the pension funds for city workers and police and firefighters.
The pension fund for Baltimore’s elected officials is now funded at 167 percent of long-term costs and is carrying a nearly $10 million surplus.
By contrast, the Fire and Police Employees' Retirement System is funded at just 71 percent of long-term costs and is carrying an unfunded liability of more than $1 billion.
The Employees' Retirement System — on which thousands of rank-and-file workers and retirees rely — is funded at 73 percent of long-term costs and has an unfunded liability of $644 million.
City Councilman Eric T. Costello recently attended a hearing on the fiscal health of the pension funds called by Council Vice President Sharon Middleton in the finance committee. He said he feels confident that pension managers have the fund for city workers on the right path.
“The health of ERS is in a good place and they’ve got a long-term plan to address it,” he said. “They want to get to 100 percent funded by 2031.”
Costello noted the funds for elected officials and city workers share the same pension board. He said the fund for elected officials is “overfunded” in part due to “the small number drawing on the fund, and that they have taken a more conservative approach over the years once it was overfunded.”
City police and firefighters pay 10 percent of their salaries into their pensions. Other municipal workers pay 5 percent of their salaries into their pension plans.