The presiding officers of the Maryland General Assembly will each receive $41,000 in annual pension benefits when they retire.
According to a public pension calculatorfor the states created by Public Sector Inc., a project of the Manhattan Institute’s Center for State and Local Leadership, Speaker of the House Michael Busch, and Senate President Mike Miller will have get a little under $4,000 per month once they leave the legislature.
According to Public Sector Inc., defined benefit public pensions, which guarantee retirees a fixed payment through their retirement, are coming under increasing scrutiny due to their rising costs and generous benefits relative to what most taxpayers receive.
Using the Maryland pension calculator we can calculate how much both Speaker of the House, Michael Busch, and Senate President Mike Miller will receive in pension benefits (monthly and annual) when they retire.
The calculator works using the metrics of age of retirement, years of service and final average salary (average of 5 highest consecutive annual salaries.)The calculator also provides the amount of money you would need in retirement savings to yield the same annual income as their public pension.
Assuming Mike Miller retires after his next term ends in 2018 he would be 76 years old, and have 47 years of service, and his final average salary would be $60,935.
According to the pension calculator Miller would receive $3,385 in monthly pension benefits or $40,625 annually.To yield the same benefits as this pension, at retirement a male would need to have saved $453,675, and a female would need to save $503,487.
Speaker of the House Mike Busch, using the same 2018 retirement date, would be 71 with 32 years of service, and a have an average final salary of $60,935.Busch’s monthly pension benefit would equal Miller’s, who has 15 more years of service. A male would need to save $551,357, and a woman would need to save $613,985 to yield this amount of pension benefits.
The senators and delegates earn pensions worth 3% of the salary of current members for every year of service, capped at two-thirds of salary after 22 years and three months of service. They are entitled to some retirement benefits after eight years (two terms) in office. Employees earn pensions worth 1.5% per year, but with no cap. Employees hired before 2012 are vested after five years of service; newer employees are vested after 10 years. But unlike state employees, who receive pensions based on their lifetime earnings and any cost of living adjustments, legislative pensions go up based on the current salaries of legislators. This means that retired legislators would also see their retirement pay go up 16% from 2015 to 2018.
There are currently 174 retired legislators with an average age of 74 who get an average pension of $17,376 per year. There are 57 people receiving survivor benefits as spouses or dependent children averaging $9,200 a year.
The average salary for current state employees is $47,030 and about 41,000 retired state workers receive an average pension of $12,000 a year.
Both Miller and Busch are paid the same salary. In January the General Assembly Compensation Commission recommended, and the legislature approved a 16 percent pay increase over the next four years for legislators and the presiding officers. Miller and Busch currently earn $56,500, and according to the report their salary would increase $2,218 per year over the next four years equaling an average final salary of $60,935.
The Public Sector Inc. calculations do not include the pension Busch would receive from Anne Arundel County for his job as an administrator for the county’s Department of Recreation and Parks, a job he’s held since 1979.