Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

February 15, 2013

Private and public pensions - no comparison

(Continued)

Rip, political corruption and health care/public pensions should provide you with unlimited journalistic fodder. Let me relate one example: I retired from General Tire in 1996 with over 30 years of service and, as you know, was well compensated. I also taught eight years part-time at Akron University plus one year on Green City Council and eight years as mayor. This totaled for pension purposes nearly 16 years.

"This entitled me to a public pension plus health care benefits for me and Judy. This pension increases by 3 percent each year AND they reimburse me for my payment to Medicare, over $100 per month. My pension from PERS (acronym for Public Employee Retirement System) exceeds my GTR pension by nearly $300 per month!

"This just ain't right. And the public pension will continue to increase for the rest of my life. In 10 more years, the public pension will exceed the GTR pension by 50 percent! Truly unbelievable!   Dan”

I work out with a union leader that represents faculty and employees at a large university. You would probably be amazed to find that we agree on a lot of things in the area of treating people with dignity and health care being provided for all our citizens. I admire the guy for raising five kids and sacrificing to see that they are all well educated in professions with a future. I suspect a lot of credit goes to Mom also. I jokingly tell him that he is a good father because he married over his head. We discuss issues from time to time.

I broached the issue of my colleague’s email with him and he rightfully reminded me that most of the items were copied from the public sector. I explained to him that he was probably right, but the items that almost put General Motors and other companies out of business caused change because the customers were not willing to pay for them and their unions lost over 300,000 jobs as they fled to China and elsewhere.

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