Which agency is the best for Maryland?
The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) voted to add two new agencies to its insurance portfolio this year: an agency that provides health care coverage for people with disabilities, and an agency for pension funds.
The Maryland Public Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) is now the second-most-profitable state agency for the first time in a decade.
It has grown to $1.4 billion, more than double the $832 million that MPSERS had in fiscal 2017, and now has more than 10,000 employees and an annual payroll of $3.4 million.
It has also been a major beneficiary of tax credits.
In 2018, MPSES received $1 billion in federal tax credits for investments in its retirement savings program.
The state also got an $850 million federal grant to build a new medical-technology research center at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
It was a huge investment in Maryland’s future.
But it also comes at a time when the state faces huge financial pressures.
The state budget is about $3 billion short of a surplus.
It is facing an ongoing state budget crisis that has prompted a state government-wide review.
The MPSERs move to add an additional state agency will make the state one of the few in the nation with multiple private-sector pension funds, according to the Association of Retirement Administrators.MPSER’s investment portfolio includes the $2.4-billion Maryland Pension Investment Fund (MPLIF), which has been a private entity since the 1990s and is now a publicly traded entity.
The $852 million MPSERC has received from MPLIF is its largest single-year payout of any Maryland retirement fund.
The MPSRC is also the largest beneficiary of a $2-billion federal tax credit for investments made by MPLIFS.
This is the first such grant in nearly 50 years, according the MPSEC.
“We are going to have a large number of private sector funds that are invested in MPSIER, and we want to be the provider of the funds,” said PSC Chairwoman Donna L. Tomsic.
She said that while private funds are a “huge draw,” they should not be seen as a substitute for the public pension funds that the state has been providing.
“When the public fund is down, it’s time to cut back,” Tomsi said.
Tomsi called MPSers investment in MPLITS investment “a big part of why we have a surplus.”
“It’s a win-win situation for both parties,” she said.
Maryland also gets tax credits from the federal government to help with investments, which can be used to purchase bonds or invest in other assets.
It also gets federal matching funds to invest in the retirement systems it oversees.
The PSC will vote to add a new agency, the Maryland Retirement and Retirement Planning Authority (MRRBPA), this week.
It will oversee about 3,000 retired people who make at least $85,000 a year.
It also has a $7.8-million federal grant.
Talks have been underway for months between the state and the MRCP, which is based in New York City.
The new agency is expected to have its first meeting in September.
“As a matter of fact, we’re already working on this,” Topsic said.