Re: Joel Kurth’s Feb. 11 report, “Detroit may tailor pension cuts to ages, incomes”: Personally I know there is going to be some kind of reduction in my pension money and every other person or qualifying spouse still alive and retired from the city. As a non uniform disabled retiree who is Medicare eligible, and receiving Social Security, if I am left with enough to pay for my wife’s medical insurance, which the city has cut off completely come the end of the month, it will be difficult to budget for but I think we’ll be all right.
But the surviving spouse living on a $10,000-per-year survivors pension would be cruel, not only to her, but for all the widows of Detroit police officers and firefighters who were killed in action while working for the city. That select group of people should be treated as retirees and not as dependent survivors.
There is, in general, a problem being a Detroiter. With stagnant income and the taxes on everything (property, utilities, income), it is rapidly becoming too expensive to stay and too expensive to leave if you own your home clear of a mortgage.
Mark Durfee, Detroit
Blame where due
Like other Detroit retirees, Ronald Booker earned his pension by doing a job and playing by the rules as he understood them to be … just like retirees elsewhere. Ronald Booker and other Detroit retirees are victims, not perpetrators. If future generations of workers are being mistreated, it is not because of the career, work-related actions of retirees like Ronald Booker and myself. Try placing the blame where it belongs: on government policies (both Democratic and Republican) which, for years, facilitated the wholesale exportation of manufacturing and jobs overseas.
Michael Daisy, Wyandotte
Ronald Booker has his $55,000, plus his wife, also a Detroit Police Department retiree, who likely has close to the same amount. Strange that The News chose to profile him. There are thousands who are currently working 40 or more hours for less than either one of them and probably no pension ever. Also most retired singles likely have one-fourth of their over $100,000 combined income. Why is it those with the most whine the most?
Claire Wilkins, Royal Oak
Keep this promise
Adding up some of these numbers — $55,000 a year plus health benefits — makes one say wow. Just multiply the $55,000 collected for 25 years (retire at 55 and live to 80) and Robert Booker’s pension was worth over $1.37 million. Not too shabby. Whether you agree with it or not, I don’t see how you take away something that was promised and planned for by these people. If you knew you had $55,000 a year coming you wouldn’t even save much for retirement. And now you would be left high and dry if it were taken away.
Robert Pascarella, Canton