According to the Maryland Reporter, Maryland’s state pension system earned a blistering 0.36 percent over the past year. The numbers came in just a wee bit off their target of 7.75 percent:
The results “look like a minor disaster for fiscal 2011,” said Jeff Hooke, an investment banker who is chairman of the Maryland Tax Education Foundation and a persistent critic of the pension system.
These are numbers that make even California’s 1 percent return look good.Meanwhile, in other, completely and totally unrelated news, last month the Maryland pension board rejected a proposal to lower its expected rate of return from 7.75 percent to 7.5 percent, a figure which is still well above one ratings agency’s suggestion for a more realistic rate of return: 7 percent.Clearly, Maryland politicians and public union leaders would rather lie to their constituents than face difficult truths. We understand the state hopes to contract with the Easter Bunny in case returns continue to lag expectations; Maryland’s financial future appears to rest on the assumption that mysterious baskets stuffed with cash will turn up in the state treasury, allowing the promised pensions to be paid.Good luck with that, folks, but prudent state employees should act on the assumption that they will need extra resources to meet their retirement expenses. Their pension funds are in the hands of irresponsible political hacks.