When I was accepted by the Peace Corps as a volunteer in Belize, Central America, I made plans to retire from my position at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

I did not have sufficient years to qualify for a retirement fund, but then I was asked, “How many years did you teach school?” That did it. My years of state service and six years of teaching was enough time. I was accepted as a state of Maine retiree.

Over the years, I have been secure and comfortable knowing that I have a monthly income that allows me to live life as I want to live it. An additional security was the fact that as long as I am around, the state in 1934 had made a contract to “never alter the certain section of the public employee retirement contract.”

When I read a few weeks ago that the Maine Association of Retirees was suing the state retirement system for changing those early rules, I was amazed. Crazy as it may seem, I knew nothing about the history of my retirement fund.

I read more about the issue, met with staff members at the MAR office and slowly I have become better aware of the issue.

Think of the several thousands of teachers, firefighters, game wardens and others who have worked each day to make and keep Maine the positive, unique state it is.

I personally thank the MAR group for carrying out its responsibility to defend its members and assure that financial benefits to each of us will continue.

Katy Perry


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