, Salem, MA

September 17, 2013

Letter: Pension is earned, not gifted

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

In response to Jim Prato, who frequently writes about public pensions (”Ideas to deal with public pension shortfall,” Sept. 3):

Your most recent analysis displays very little knowledge of the Massachusetts retirement system.

If many of the retirees were to have their monthly checks cut, as you have suggested, they would be forced into a position of extreme hardship.

What about the pension survivors? Have you considered the families of police and firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty? What about the judges who receive a pension but did not contribute?

The target of your reform seems to be the most senior of our retirees.

The pension that I receive and others like me receive was earned. Not a gift from any state, county, or municipal government.

Thomas K. Hawes

Retired school adjustment counselor