Monday, January 11, 2010

More positive public service pension letters to the editor of the Toledo Blade.....

From John Curry, January 11, 2010

Pension fosters public service

The Jan. 3 story "Government cutbacks spare public pensions" unfavorably compared the defined pensions of public employees with 401(k)s and other nondefined pension substitutes that have taken their place in the private sector. The story implied that if private sector employees had to take these cutbacks, public ones should too.

Private sector employees have a defined retirement program to fall back on that their public sector brothers and sisters in Ohio and seven other states don't - Social Security.

I have worked for government agencies all my life. Were I to retire without a defined pension, I would not have Social Security to fall back on. It is ironic that The Blade, a stalwart defender of libraries and their funding in Ohio, has published a deeply slanted article that not-so-subtly advocates a retirement system for public employees that would discourage them from pursuing public service.

The Blade seems to have joined others in advocating a race to the bottom for American workers. Your coverage acknowledges that it's hard to draw across-the-board comparisons but tends to lump all public employees in with double-dipping politicians. In the future, The Blade should deal with these issues in a more sensitive and less inflammatory manner.

Linda Koss
Association of Public
Library Employees
UAW Local 5242
East Northgate Parkway

Windfall act hurts public retirees

My husband retired a few years ago after working under Social Security for 16 years and 28 years for the Toledo Board of Education. When he started getting his pension his Social Security was cut by two-thirds. Not everyone who works for public schools comes back and works and also collects a pension, but we are all punished for it.

If I retire at 65 after working for 30 years I will only make $900 per month. Under Social Security I was supposed to get $500, but I will only get two-thirds of that after working under Social Security for 20 years.

If The Blade wants to punish those who go back to work and also receive a large pension, do it just to those who do that. Not everyone can afford to have his or her pension reduced.

Joyce Carter
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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