Friday, May 18, 2012

HB 61 - Cat Food Retirement Plan - Open Letter to Sen. Elbert Guillory

To: / (337) 943-2457

Dear Senator Guillory:

Thanks for your diligent work on retirement reform.

I have but one unanswered question: Will you have to apply for "food stamps, welfare and other government programs" as a retired state employee in order to survive?

This morning’s Baton Rouge Advocate states: “'We cannot protect people from making bad decisions in their lives,' Guillory replied. He said a retiree may have to apply for food stamps, welfare and other government programs."
"Pension changes advance"
By Marsha Shuler, The Advocate, May 18, 2012

The problem is NOT with the lump-sum payment and retirees being irresponsible. The problem is that the state will only pay 4 % into the retirement fund and this is less than the 6.2 % that every private company is paying into Social Security. HB 61 is an immoral bill, a bad decision by the Louisiana Legislature. It is NOT a bad decision being made by Louisiana state employees. The plan will lead future rank-and-file workers into welfare and eating cat food (if they can afford it) during their retirement years.

Without Social Security benefits, HB 61 might as well come with death panels. This is the fact of the matter.

I am posting this online and sending it to all Louisiana senators and representatives, as well as other friends and colleagues. The proposal is reprehensible, the “Cat Food" Retirement Plan. I have said for months that HB 61 and its ilk would lead state workers into abject poverty during their retirement years without Social Security benefits, and now you have confirmed it. Furthermore, Louisiana will be known as the worst place to work in American higher education.

I am writing this as a concerned Louisiana citizen. I have been consistent in my opposition to this and several other retirement plans, and I am being up front in letting you know this is an open letter. My retirement piece is posted on The Political Desk today: "Seeking Safety: The top 10 reasons to worry about public retirement" It offers a strong retirement commentary.

Thank you for your service, and I hope to hear from you soon.




Dayne Sherman, Writer, Speaker, Scholar
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***This message speaks only for the writer, a citizen, not for any present or past employer.***