Virtual sign-ups for the Maryland Backstretch Pension Plan are necessary this year because of ongoing physical-distancing requirements issued by state government officials because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Anyone employed in the care of horses on the backstretch, including trainers, are eligible to participate. However, the employee must have worked a minimum of 1,000 hours during the specified year, and provide documentation to that effect (with a W-2 or 1099 form, or tax return).
Benefits become available when the employee reaches the age of 65, or at age 55 with 25 years of service. To learn more about the program including qualifications click here.
The MTHA Board of Directors earlier this year continued to affirm its support for the Backstretch Pension Program when it approved an increase in pension funding to $900,000 from $750,000.
Eligible participants should follow these steps to enroll in the program: