Letter: Give a bit back to state retirees

Monday, April 16, 2018

The men and women who have worked for state and local agencies faithfully for years, and those who have retired, have reached a decisive point. During those years they were told that the various government agencies could not afford to pay them what their services were worth but would provide them with a good pension and health care, as part of the compensation package.

In the last decade, the Legislature has made more than 90 changes to the N.H. Retirement System, which has resulted in employees working older and longer and for less, having to work for more years and to an older age before becoming eligible to retire.

Meanwhile, retirees have been forced to pay a higher percentage of the cost of health care and seen increased deductibles and higher co-pays for medications as drug companies raise costs to the highest of any region of the country. These retirees have been caught in a vise-like grip and have not seen a cost-of-living adjustment since 2010.

Now some relief is proposed. House Bill 1756, as recommended by the recent Decennial Study Commission, and sponsored by Rep. Stephen Shurtleff granting a $500, one-time supplement to those retired for more than five years and receiving a pension under $30,000 yearly. It would then disappear the next year. The second section would grant a 1.5 percent true cost-of-living adjustment for all retirees of five years or more permanently. That would be $15 per thousand dollars of pension increase per year.

Please support this well-deserved, modest increase.