For 23 years, I worked in public service, most in the Maine Department of Health & Human Services and the last 12 years with MaineCare.

Then I had to retire because of a life-threatening illness.

Now my disability pension is under threat by the governor’s budget plan.

My payments have been frozen at the same level for the last two years; now they would be frozen for three more years. Then any future cost-of-living adjustments would never exceed 2 percent per year for the rest of my life.

Maybe the governor doesn’t realize this, but my pension is my retirement. It’s instead of Social Security. It’s how I pay my bills. It’s how I get by. And it’s my money. Out of every paycheck, I put 7.65 percent into the retirement system.

What’s especially upsetting to me is that under the governor’s plan, retirees would largely end up footing the bill for the new tax breaks he wants to give to wealthy Mainers.

Because illness forced me to retire early, I’m still making house payments, and I am barely getting by on the modest pension I have.

I didn’t enter public service to get rich, but I never expected that my pension — or my disability pension — would pay less and less than I had hoped, even though these “benefits” are nowhere near excessive.

I deserve the pension that the state of Maine promised to provide. Now when I have had to retire, what I earned should not be taken away.

Glenda Goodwin

Augusta

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