Speak Out: Raises for retirees?

Dozens of retirees flocked to Legislative Hall Tuesday to urge lawmakers to raise benefits for pensioners.

Although state employees received pay bumps of either $1,000 or 2 percent in each of the past two years and the governor’s recommendations include another 2 percent raise, pensioners have seen comparatively little. Retirees received a $400 bonus in 2018, the same year active workers got not just the raise but also a $500 bonus.

The last permanent increase came five years ago, he said, causing an “erosion” of benefits for more than 13,000 retired educators. Since retiring almost 19 years ago, Mr. George said, his pension’s purchasing power has gone down by 28 percent.

Readers reacted:

• It seems as if the retirees who worked hard and long for their pensions are out of sight and totally out of their minds. Sad being kicked to the curb so to speak. — Holly Hitzig

• They’re retired. They’re paid what they worked for. Sorry your raises stop when you retire that easy. — Cody Waters

•I worked for years and paid into the pension fund for my retirement. The pot you say that I am dipping into is my own money. Out of my monthly earnings I still pay state and federal taxes along with deductions for my health care. I deserve a small cost of living raise just as everyone does. — Arlene Foraker-Walton

• I know you paid into your pension. So did the state of Delaware. My feeling is when you’re done working for the state of Delaware, they should not have to give you a raise on income that you made and saved in the past. You retired.— Amy Walton

• Pensions are a “defined benefit plan”. The benefits are defined when you retired. How could you expect a raise when you are no longer working? — Yvonne Cole Herrmann

• They can’t afford us now! — Loretta Pramick

• You may have gotten a pension but you should have also invested in your own retirement. Not the responsibility of the taxpayer. They are getting retirement plus Social Security if of age. — Jeff Grzeszczak

• It’s hard to “plan better” for retirement when you’re working a job with sub-living wages or wages that barely allow you to get by. — Eric Morrison

• What many fail to understand is that pensions were based on what a person might need based on the estimated prices. In 1920 bread was $.20, in 1980 it was $.50, now it’s $2.75. Houses went from $4,000 to $65,000 to $450,000! So while they may have adjusted for inflation, there was no way they could account for the astronomical differences in the costs of goods. Aging population is limited in what they are allowed to make while on Social Security and many companies refuse to hire those over 60. So no way to increase income even though the output is so much higher. — Lisa Bell

• So true, all of it. But, they could have supplemented the pension, correct. I am not trying to be trite. I have to wonder how a municipality can do it any other way? — Tracey Miller