Few collect big retirement

Reader Input
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If I used the Auburn Journal’s recent articles on public employee pensions as my only news source, I would believe that most public employees get big pensions at the expense of taxpayers. I wish the Journal could be a little more realistic and less sensational on this subject, so the public would get the whole story. The average public employee retiree benefit in California is $25,000. More than half of those retirees receive $16,000 or less, and 78 percent receive less than $36,000. And we’re talking about people who have worked for 30 or 40 years in public service. The people mentioned who make over $100,000 in retirement represent less than 2 percent of the total public employee retirement workforce, and most of them come from long-term police, fire and top-level management positions. They are the exception and not the rule. In all fairness the Journal should compare those pensions with pensions and stock options of mid-management retirees from AT&T, HP, Shell Oil or Ford. The public would be shocked to see pension figures for management in those companies. And just like in public service, the large majority of workers for those big companies do not receive the same type of pensions as their managers. But mark my words, there are already new laws being proposed to attack public employee pensions, and a huge majority of the people who will be hurt by those laws will be retirees earning less than $25,000 a year. That’s just wrong. Jim Knox, Auburn