Backstretch Pension Plan May Receive a Financial Boost

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Board of Directors voted unanimously Aug. 28 to increase the amount of money devoted each year to the Backstretch Employee Pension Plan pending Maryland Racing Commission approval.

An overview of the plan by MTHA President Tim Keefe indicated that the annual $400,000 contribution from the Maryland Thoroughbred Purse Account for the plan hadn’t been increased since 2013 and before that not since its inception in 1988. Keefe recommended an increase for the plan beginning in 2019.

The MTHA Board approved an amount not to exceed $500,000 from the Maryland Thoroughbred Purse Account for the 2019 contribution to the pension plan if authorized by MRC.

Maryland law states that the Commission may direct a deduction from open purse money of 0.25% of all mutuel pools to be paid to the Maryland Backstretch Pension Fund, which equates up to slightly over $1.5-million.

Sign-ups for the Pension Program are conducted each spring at Laurel Park and Pimlico. At that time, employees must register to receive benefits based on the previous year.

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