Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On the Edge: Baltimore City Fire and Police Retirement

The people who protect and serve your city are running scared.

Due to Baltimore City's $121 million budget crisis causing drastic changes in the city's infrastructure, fire and police officers have been sitting on the edge since the beginnning of this year. The reason why: those changes could possibly result in layoffs and a reduction of their retirement benefits.

Imagine this: you decide to to become a police officer at the tender age of 21. Some of the benefits you plan to enjoy include: steady pay increases, moving up in the ranks, and stacking your pension in order to retire at 41 with at least a $100,000 lump sum payment. All of this will allow you to move to Florida and spend your days on the sandy beach with your family.

Then, someone changes their mind and decides to make you work harder and longer in the present only to gain half of that pension in the future.

Baltimore City's Fire and Police Retirement System is currently one of the most generous contributory retirement plans that exists. Fire and Police staff, at any age, can retire with 20 years of service, or at the age of 50 with 10 years of service.

There is also a seperate account, called the DROP (Deferred Retirement Option Plan), that allows Fire and Police to contribute earnings which gain interest for a term of three years of their service. Fire and Police can sit back and watch this account grow with thousands of dollars until they are ready to retire.

On July 1st, this all might be taken away.

What are Baltimore City Police Officers saying about it?

"Oh, it's about to get real ugly!" says one officer.

Coming Up: What will happen on July 1st and what citizens think about a shortage of officers in the city...

No comments:

Post a Comment