Reader reaction to “Retirement Debt: What’s the problem and how does it affect you?

I just finished reading the CALmatters article about public pensions. It has a lot of detail, and seems reasonable. However, it is not complete.

I am a retiree in the County of Ventura retirement system. Our system does not pay for health benefits, but I sure wish it did. I am paying hundreds of dollars monthly for health insurance premiums, and I am even in Medicare. I suspect there are other local systems that also do not pay retirees health insurance premiums. I think you should make your report more balanced by noting those agencies that do not pay premiums.

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Also, not every system is near failure. Again, the County of Ventura system is achieving a good return on their investments. I suspect others are too. I encourage you, when you update this report, to provide some needed balance to the story. As written, anyone not familiar with how the systems work, in total, will think that all systems are in trouble. That is just not true, but a lay person might think that after reading this report.

That said, I do hope the state will get its act together soon. They seem to be the proverbial gorilla that could bring us all down because of their out of control pension costs.

Dick Baldwin
Feb. 22, 2018