Turn retirement systems over? Unconscionable

To the editor:

At the end of 2010, some long-time central Pennsylvania lawmakers retired from the state legislature. Their lifetime pensions were more than generous and in one case, the yearly amount exceeded the annual salary of an active legislator.

However, what is even more egregious is that these pensions, like those of all retirees covered by the state’s two largest employee retirement systems are not subject to Pennsylvania taxation. This is extremely unfair to those retirees whose much smaller pensions are taxable.

This is something that demands attention by the legislature before any changes are made to the state’s employee retirement systems because any revenue generated by new taxation could be used to make those plans solvent for many years into the future.

Additionally, when that new revenue is no longer necessary to keep these retirement agencies financially sound, it could then be used to increase aid to public education to lower property taxes for all taxpayers.

Turning the state’s two long-time employee retirement systems over to the vultures on Wall Street would be just unconscionable.

David L. Faust