Common sense would lead us to outrage and anger about pensions being awarded to those who break the law, specifically by milking the system [“Break the law, lose the pension,” Editorial, Jan. 24]. But in proposing to amend New York State’s pension laws, Newsday’s editorial board is ignoring an important part of what a defines a pension.

Pensions are part of a salary agreement, a portion that is deferred until retirement. So with a $50,000 salary, the employee might receive $49,000 annually, and $1,000 will be held in an interest-bearing account until retirement. This is a win-win, as that money is invested with governments and private companies.

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Pensions are really just backloaded salary. The employee is entitled to that money even if he or she breaks the law.

Beth Shapiro, Oakdale

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired schoolteacher.