Meeting slated on retirement plan

March 13, 1998


Staff Writer

A meeting will be scheduled to give Hagerstown police and fire personnel a chance to question consultants about a new retirement plan being considered, city officials said Tuesday.

Councilwoman Susan Saum-Wicklein said there wasn't enough time during a one-hour discussion between the council and consultants on Tuesday for the roughly 42 police and fire personnel in the audience to comment.

City officials must decide by the end of March whether to withdraw public safety personnel, and possibly other employees, from the state pension system.


The council is considering starting a separate pension plan for the 153 eligible police and fire employees. That plan would allow them to retire after 25 years of service instead of 30 years and with better benefits. A new plan would require employee contributions.

Council members have said they don't want a separate plan to cost the city's general fund more money than is paid now for the state plan.

The city's annual contribution to the employee pension fund managed by the state was $777,000 this fiscal year, said Eric Marburger, city personnel manager.

That's up from $694,000 during fiscal year 1996-1997 because the city's first payment on a $7.5 million pension deficit was due this year, he said.

Marburger said start-up costs for legal and financial work for a separate pension plan could be between $30,000 and $50,000.

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