$500,000-plus DROP payments for some Balto. Co. police retirees
Several top police officers in Baltimore County retired this year with lump-sum payments of more than $500,000 under a program started seven years ago for public safety veterans.
The Deferred Retirement Option Program lets employees who delay retirement receive the one-time payments when they leave, in exchange for smaller annual pensions. Three police majors who retired this year received more than $500,000.
The Sun requested figures on retirement payments for county employees who have retired since June 1 of this year. Click here to see a list of retirement information from the county.
One police major, who retired June 1, left with a DROP payment of nearly $520,000, plus more than $101,000 for unused vacation and comp time. The major’s yearly pension will be more than $158,000.
Another seven police retirees got DROP payments of more than $400,000.
Union officials emphasize that while the numbers are high, the beneficiaries are getting reduced annual pension benefits.
The County Council approved DROP in 2004 in a move meant to keep experienced employees on the job longer. The optional program was part of an agreement reached in 2001 by then-County Executive Dutch Ruppersberger’s administration and public safety unions.
Public safety employees hired after 2007 aren’t eligible for DROP.