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COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates and Guidance

The County is taking a number of actions to keep residents safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19. Find status information for County operations and services.

Benefits

All applicants for retirement must be approved by the Board of Trustees prior to receiving a benefit. The Board meets the second Tuesday of every month.

Membership

Applicable to employees hired on or after January 1, 2014. A service credit for employment during the 60 days prior to membership is not eligible for purchase. Membership is irrevocable as a condition of employment.

Full-Time

Membership is optional within 60 days from the date of employment, after which it becomes mandatory. Membership is optional if hired after the age of 55. Membership is mandatory for police officers and firefighters.

Part-Time

Membership is optional within 60 days from the date of employment. Membership is forfeited after the 60 day period unless an employee is later reclassified to a different position that is full-time merit, making membership mandatory. 

Vesting

Employees can become vested after 10 years of creditable service (CS).

Transfer of Service

Employees must be hired by Baltimore County without a break in employment with the previous Maryland State, local or municipal employer. The employee must submit a transfer of service claim form and deposit total accumulated contributions and interest from the prior system within one year of membership in the ERS.

Service Retirement

Service retirement can be effective upon either age eligibility plus 10 years of CS, or completion of CS years regardless of age. Upon retirement, the employee will receive the percentage of base pay shown as bi-weekly payroll contributions.

Employee TypeAge Plus CS YearsCS YearsBase Pay
General GovernmentAge 67 and 10 years35  7 percent
Correctional Officers
and Deputy Sheriffs
Age 67 and 10 years25 10 percent
Sworn PoliceAge 60 and 10 years2510 percent
Sworn FirefighterAge 60 and 10 years3010 percent

Disability Retirement

Accidental

Immediate upon membership, resulting from an injury sustained in the performance of duties, which renders a member totally and permanently disabled from performing the job duties of the position.

Ordinary

10 years of CS, resulting from personal illness, which renders a member totally and permanently disabled from performing the job duties of the position.

Termination Benefit

Monthly Vested Benefit

10 years of CS in ERS. Employees leave money in ERS and collect pension at normal service retirement age.

Return of Contributions

Non-taxable direct rollover to an IRS approved plan (IRA, etc.). Taxable cash payment is subject to mandatory Federal and Maryland State taxes.

Death Benefit

The death benefit can be effective after five years of CS.

Beneficiary Designations

Retirement beneficiaries are designated on the initial Retirement Membership Application. As life changes occur, update your retirement beneficiaries. Designation of beneficiaries for life insurance will not update your retirement beneficiaries as they are independent.

Occupational (Line of Duty) Death Benefit

Immediate upon membership, resulting from an injury sustained in the performance of duties.

Non-Occupational Death Benefit

  • 100 percent of annual salary—Five years of creditable service
  • 100 percent of annual salary—One year of CS (Fire and Police)
  • Refund of contributions and interest—All members

Prior Active Duty Military Credit 

The military credit can be effective after 10 years of creditable service. Employees receive up to four years of prior active duty military service (DD-214 required) and are prohibited from receiving benefits elsewhere for the same period of active duty service.

Unused Sick Leave Credit

Retirement Credit

Unused sick leave balances at retirement will be prorated and converted to months of CS, increasing the amount of the monthly retirement benefit

Sick Leave Conversion

  • General County employees—22 days equals one month of CS
  • Sworn Fire and Police (certain conditions apply)—16 days equals one month of CS
 
Revised July 30, 2019         

 

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