Neil Jones: Public Employee Pensions Are Out Of Control

Last modified: Friday, January 03, 2014
To the editor:

I read with interest the recent incident at the Northampton police department.

What sticks out to me is the annual salary of $100,000-plus and the retirement and health benefits for life.

I think now would be a great time to do a story on public versus private sector salaries and benefits. For example, what if you did a comparison for an employee starting in 1985 and go through 2013, which in this case is a retirement year. Show the average annual salaries, amounts that each needed to contribute to their retirement, etc.

The differences that exist now between the private and public benefits are alarming.

In the private sector, pensions have all but been eliminated, pay cuts are the norm, and retirement benefits most likely include working part time.

In the public sector, statistically, won’t most retirees be collecting for longer than they actually worked? Especially those that are able to retire in their 40s or 50s.

Any information that can be shown that highlights the trends and changes that are happening in the public and private sectors would be helpful. Taxpayers need to decide if the current system is realistic now and in the years ahead.

Neil Jones