Md. must address OPEB debts

Originally published in the Baltimore Sun

Carol Park Jul 17, 2019

Unhealthy eaters generally care more about satisfying their immediate appetites than their long-term health. The same attitude can also explain why Maryland government owes $11 billion in future retiree health care benefits, also known as Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB).


In May, a Moody’s Investors Service report criticized Maryland’s Montgomery County for not fully funding OPEB for two years in a row. Last year, the county diverted $65 million away from its OPEB trust, and it’s shifting another $90 million away from the fund this year.


According to Moody’s, this reduction in prefunding OPEB is “credit negative” because “the county will accumulate assets more slowly and thus carry higher unfunded liabilities.”


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