In a climate where public and private entities are attempting to cut defined-benefit pension plans, Maryland educators continue to lead the fight to ask legislators to protect the retirement security of educators and public employees.
Recent proposed cuts under the guise of sustainability created a two-tier system and implemented a Teacher Tax through a cap on reinvestment from the “savings” generated by the cuts. Thanks to these changes, employees hired after July 1, 2011 entered the worst pension system in the nation. MSEA will continue to fight for educators’ retirement security and seek improvements to the system.
MSEA staff members in research and government relations continuously track State Retirement and Pension System activities and follow trends around the country.
MSEA’s Keep the Promise campaign drew 15,000 educators and other Marylanders to rally in Annapolis to urge elected officials to prevent devastating cuts to public education and pensions. Legislators received well over 100,000 unique contacts from members—phone calls, emails, petition signatures, and personal visits urging them to protect educators’ pensions.
Although MSEA presented a compromise solution which would have maintained a sustainable pension system, protected educators’ retirement security, and met the same fiscal targets and savings as the governor’s proposal, elected officials chose to pursue far deeper cuts than were necessary to make the system sustainable.
MSEA forms Pension Enhancement Task Force to explore the feasibility of pursuing pension enhancements in the future.
MSEA’s Push for Pensions campaign mobilized tens of thousands of members who lobbied legislators around the state for an improved pension benefit. Despite Governor Bob Ehrlich’s lack of support, legislators unanimously passed an improvement providing a benefit increase of thousands of dollars for school employees. MSEA vowed to continue its work to raise Maryland educator pensions to the national average.
MSEA’s efforts on pension reform see progress when the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act mandates pension legislation for educators and state employees be introduced in 2006 General Assembly. Pension improvement is slated as MSEA’s highest priority for the 2006 General Assembly session.
MSEA introduces new pension enhancement legislation that brings the inadequacy of the pension system to the attention of legislators.
MSEA creates Task Force on Pension Issues to study Maryland’s poor pension and its effects. Task Force hosts pension education events throughout the state and at MSEA’s Convention 2001.
The General Assembly passes MSEA-initiated legislation mandating the first-ever improvements to the TPS. MSEA’s member-activists support campaign with lobbying and letter writing.
MSEA creates task force to recommend pension enhancements for the 1998 General Assembly. MSEA member Carl Lancaster is joined on the State Retirement Board of Trustees by newly elected MSEA member Bill Brown.
The non-contributory Teachers’ Pension System (TPS) replaces the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) created in 1927. TRS is closed to new employees.