There is a malaise going ‘round that can no longer be ignored.
It is called gotminegetyourownitis.
This disease is particularly prevalent among older workers who have vested in their pension or are already collecting. It comes from the mistaken belief that a benefit you have been granted will never be taken away or even reduced. These unfortunate persons suffer from the delusion that their Social Security and/or pensions are safe just because it is too late to fire them before they begin collecting.
When your former employer decides that the employer no longer wishes to fund the benefit, and the fund does not have enough money to pay perpetually, the employer will send you a letter and inform you that your benefit is being reduced.
They can’t do that you say! Really? They made the rules. They can change the rules and they are trying to do just that.As you smugly think you are secure from the disaster that threatens the future of active public employees by naively believing nothing can happen to your pension, think again.
They can’t do that. I have a contract. Contracts are breached every day. All you have to do is hire a lawyer and in about 10 years a jury made up of people who do not have pensions will decide whether your heirs should get the money.
How could this happen? Easily. When the current employees and future employees are placed in defined contribution plans, the existing pension funds will begin to dry up when new money is not going onto the funds. If all the funds have to depend on are good investment return years and no employer or employee contributions, they will soon show signs of financial anemia. You will receive less than promised. If it gets bad enough, the plans will be dissolved, and you will get your share of what is left. This ain’t rocket science. It is reality.
How do you combat this?
• You could die soon to avoid the future. That seems a bit harsh, but it is an option. Your spousal beneficiary may or may not approve of that option.
• You can stop supporting right wing causes that support destroying your future. This is a real threat to you. The government taking your guns away so you cannot fight a civil war and making you have an abortion are not worth worrying about. You are too old. Get over it.
• You can lend your years of experience in politics to try to defeat the right wing nutjobs who want to use political opportunism to harm you and your family. You are the ones who fought to get these rights. Now get in the fight to keep them for yourselves and others.
If you are too busy in retirement to help your brothers and sisters as they fight to keep their pensions and collective bargaining rights, you will not be too busy to look for a job after you get the letter telling you the pension check is not coming next month.
And oh yes, have a nice Day?
Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
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