Letters: Reform pensions gradually
With respect to the column by Lane Filler, "A bid to stop pensions from going bust" [Opinion, Jan. 22], when one applies for a job, one considers the pay, the benefits and the pension.
If the job offer is accepted, there is a "contract" between the employer and employee, whether binding or not in court. The employee is working for the whole package. If the pay is $X per week, the employer cannot pay half of $X on payday. The same should apply to other benefits. There is a moral contract.
Therefore, where can governments cut expenses? The answer is simple: with new hires. If the health and pension benefits offered today are half what someone retired is getting, the prospective employee can still decide whether to take the job. This is where cuts can be made.
Those who are retired or near retirement age have saved and planned during their working years based on the assumption that they would receive what they were promised.
Clifford J. Watins, Commack
The negotiators and arbitrators for municipal contracts can very easily give modest wage increases if the unions agree to revise how they calculate members' pensions. The calculation should be based solely on base salary and nothing else.
How many retirees have received pension packages in excess of their base salaries? I would like elected officials to publish this.
I also would like to see a pie chart showing these school expenses: payroll, pension and benefits, school building maintenance and student programs.
Ed Kollar, Lindenhurst