Online Pension Signups Start April 1

Virtual sign-ups for the Maryland Backstretch Pension Plan have been a success the last three years and will again be available beginning April 1 with a deadline of June 1, 2023.

Those employed in the care of horses on the backstretch at Laurel Park, Pimlico Race Course or the Fair Hill Training Center, including trainers, are eligible to participate. However, the eligible employee must have worked a minimum of 1,000 hours during 2022 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. More about about the program, including qualifications, is available at:

Given the large number of people that sign up each year, you are encouraged to take advantage of the online signup portal at The easy-to-use form is available in English and Spanish.

A photo of your Maryland Racing Commission license badge is required along with a photo of your tax form that proves income. The photos can be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please note that if you are changing your pension beneficiary, you must complete a short form that is available at the horsemen’s offices at Laurel and Pimlico. A photo of the completed form can be emailed along with the badge and tax form.

Please take advantage of the two computers located in the Laurel Recreation Room. The signup process takes less than 10 minutes.

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Board of Directors last year reaffirmed its support for the Backstretch Pension Program when it approved $1 million in pension funding for this year’s program. The annual contribution has more than doubled over the past six years.

If you need assistance filling out the online form in English or Español, call 410-902-6844.


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