Baltimore County Sues Consultant Over “Illegal” Pension Advice

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Baltimore County was recently on the losing end of a $19 million lawsuit accusing the County’s pension plan of discriminating against older workers by making them pay more into their retirement plan.

[Read about the case here.]

But the County says it structured the plan that way based on advice allegedly given by Buck Consultants. Now, the County is suing Buck for the allegedly bad advice.

From the Baltimore Sun:

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, the county claims Buck Consultants gave bad actuarial advice that led to the defeat in court, and wants the company to pay for the millions the county is likely to owe former workers.

“The county’s pension system is based upon the advice received by Buck over the years, and the contract makes clear that Buck is responsible for any advice that may be illegal,” said county spokeswoman Fronda Cohen in a statement.

A spokesman for Buck countered that the company has provided “sound, industry-proven service.”

“This lawsuit is disappointing, and an unfortunate attempt by the county to deflect (from) the dispute that the county has been involved with the EEOC for the past eight years,” said Carl Langsenkamp, a Xerox spokesman.

[….]

The county filed its lawsuit against Buck Consultants in January. Immediately before filing the suit, the county ended its contract with Buck and hired another firm, the Baltimore-based Bolton Partners, on a short-term contract worth $25,000 — the maximum amount for a contract not needing approval by the County Council.

The County is suing Buck for the costs of the damages – $19 million – incurred as a result of losing the discrimination lawsuit.

The Baltimore City Council will decide on Monday whether to give Bolton Partners a contract extension.

 

Photo by  Lee Haywood via Flickr CC License

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