Letters to the Editor

Debbe Bailey: Learn more about public employee pensions for spouting off

I have a couple of questions for the writer of the letter “Just get rid of all public pensions” (Dec. 7).

Are you in line to receive Social Security benefits? Most (not all) public employees are not. They were specifically excluded from participating in Social Security when it was established. So eliminating other public pension programs as advocated would leave most public employees with no retirement benefits of any kind.

Social Security employee contributions are 6.25 percent of salary, up to a cap. Employee contributions to public pensions are, for the most part, higher than that with no cap.

Pensions aren’t a gift from taxpayers any more than employer sponsored pensions or contributions to 401(K)s for employees are a gift from the employer’s customers.

So explain again why public employees should be treated as second-class citizens with no retirement benefits after decades of serving the public?

Debbe Bailey, Turlock

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