History of the ERS

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (Commission) Employees' Retirement System (ERS) covers employees of the Commission, a body corporate of the State of Maryland, established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1927. The Commission is the bi-county agency empowered to acquire, develop, and administer a regional system of parks in the defined Metropolitan District, and to prepare and administer a general plan for the physical development of a defined Regional District for Montgomery and Prince George's Counties. The Commission established a single employer defined benefit pension plan (the Plan) effective July 1, 1972, in accordance with the Trust Agreement between the Commission and the ERS Board of Trustees. Prior to that date, Commission employees were covered under the Maryland State Retirement System (Maryland State System). Employees who were covered by the Maryland State System were given the option of remaining with that system or transferring to the Plan.

Revisions to the Social Security tax structure and other fiscal considerations made it prudent to develop a new retirement plan, based on the principle of Social Security excess. Therefore, effective January 1, 1979, the Plan became The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Employees' Retirement System, encompassing three defined benefit plans: Plan A, the original plan; Plan B, for non-police, integrated with Social Security; and Plan C, only for Park Police.

On July 1, 1990, a collectively bargained Plan D replaced Plan C, which was closed and all members transferred to the new Park Police Plan D. Effective July 1, 1993, again as a result of collective bargaining, Plan D was closed to new employees, and Plan C was amended and reopened to provide benefits for Park Police hired after July 1, 1993. Pursuant to a 2002 collective bargaining agreement, Plan D members were given a one-time election to transfer to Plan C on or before October 25, 2002.

Fiscal considerations prompted the Commission to establish a new defined benefit retirement plan for non-police employees and appointed officials employed on or after January 1, 2013. This Plan is designated as Plan E. Therefore, effective December 31, 2012 Plan B is closed to new employees.

Today, the ERS consists of five defined benefit pension plans: Plan A, the original plan; Plan B, for non-police; Plans C and D, for park police; and, Plan E, for non-police and appointed officials hired on or after January 1, 2013.