Serafini explains pension system shortfall to colleagues

January 18, 2011|By ANDREW SCHOTZ |

Del. Andrew A. Serafini, R-Washington, is trying to keep his legislative colleagues informed about the state's pension system shortfall.

Serafini has made the pension gap one of his top issues since he became a delegate in 2008.

As of June 2010, the state's pension system was funded at about 64 percent — well below 80 percent, which is considered a safe level, according to a report prepared by a commission studying the issue.

On Tuesday, Serafini gave an informal presentation on the state pension system to a group of delegates in Annapolis.

He sent around an invitation to all state lawmakers and announced the meeting on the floor of the House on Monday and Tuesday.

About 20 delegates attended Tuesday's meeting, including two other Republicans from the Washington County delegation — LeRoy E. Myers Jr. and Neil Parrott.

Serafini told them that "the perfect" storm of enhanced pensions and a poor return on Wall Street investments helped create the hole.

Serafini said after the meeting that lawmakers have asked him to explain the basics of the issue. As a financial advisor, he deals with pensions more often and in more depth than they do, he said.

Serafini has spoken on and organized panels about the state's pension system.

He has planned another meeting Thursday morning in Annapolis. Casper R. Taylor Jr., the chairman of the state Public Employees' and Retirees' Benefit Sustainability Commission, is expected to be there.

On Jan. 27, Serafini has invited people and groups that spoke before the commission to talk about the issue further.

The Public Employees' and Retirees' Benefit Sustainability Commission issued a report with its recommendations last month.

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