Thank you so much for carrying the worthy and truthful article on the front page of the Sunday Tribune, “Evidence of pension burden is lacking,” by Kevin G. Hall.
It detailed the truth of public retirement systems as I know and believe them to be. Why all this sudden protest of public employees and public pensions? What are the protesters trying to hide? What is their real goal?
I am a PERS retiree, and because of that I only receive a portion of my also earned Social Security. I don’t receive a fortune. With the two I get $22,000 a year, no medical insurance and no one to help support me. I was injured twice and finally took my service pension rather than deal with constant, unending pain.
I worked as an accounting technician for city governments and a transit agency, and I paid my 7 percent into PERS. These government agencies match and pay into Medicare, but not Social Security. Instead, they pay into PERS. I helped with payroll and PERS payments and none of the agencies I worked for were overburdened by pension payments.
When PERS has a good investment year, that savings is passed on to the employers and their payment share is reduced.
I worked for government agencies — not for the pay, as it was normally lower than private companies offered — but because I knew I would have paid medical insurance, a retirement system, paid vacation, sick leave and overall good working conditions, plus I felt I was making a contribution to my community. I enjoyed the workings of government and being a part of it.
I have to say that I do not think police or fire safety officers in San Luis Obispo County should make more than officers in the Los Angeles area — the risks are not the same. And I think some of the benefits are over the top. Plus, whatever is approved for these workers is also what management usually gets (or more).
Again, thank you for carrying the truth and putting it where anyone can see and read it.
Sharon Roberts lives in Cayucos.