City pension move may be legal, but it's wrong [Letter]

It is a disturbing "slippery slope" decision by Baltimore City to change the pension benefits of those who have already retired ("City's pension changes upheld," Aug. 7). The public servants that think it is fair to make these decisions, including the judges, should be prepared to share the pain and have their own retirement packages altered as well. Would they be willing to extend their projected retirement date to compensate for the unexpected change?

At least they are still in the workforce and would have that option. Retirees have already made a major decision to retire based on the expectations and financial sets of circumstances provided by their employers. Now the retirees may or may not be in a position to return to the work force to make up for this after-the-fact adjustment to their income. They worked for years to earn their pensions, often foregoing higher salaries available in the private sector, to secure that pensions for the future. Is the city prepared to offer those retirees who can no longer meet their financial needs due to this change, the option to return to their old jobs? Perhaps those who are unable to rejoin the workforce and can no longer make ends meet will join the ranks of those that qualify for the many entitlements provided by the government. The net result is just drawing money from another government pot.

Changing the rules going forward is one thing. Going after the retirees who have already earned their pensions and are now counting on them, is a retroactive move that may be legal but it is not the honorable thing to do.

Scott Richardson

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