An editorial in this newspaper recommended that voters vote yes on Question 4 on the ballot this November (“Our View: Vote yes on Question 4 to back change to state pension,” Oct. 9). If passed, the editorial notes, a future Legislature will not have to renege on current promises to pay pensions to state retirees.

Gov. Paul LePage and the Legislature should first fix promise reneged on because of the economic downturn in 2008. It was a difficult time for everyone, but the economy has rebounded. The benefits that were decreased at that time should be returned to the level that was formerly promised.

The Legislature, to cope with the downturn, halted cost-of-living increases for a time, reduced the maximum possible annual cost-of-living increase from 4 to 3 percent and reduced the maximum pension amount that the cost-of-living increase applied to from the actual amount to $20,000. I and many other state employees retired or will retire after having earned a pension that is substantially more than $20,000. Over time, due to compounding, that change will have a significant impact. That change is just plain wrong and should be reversed.

The promise to pay me cost-of-living increases on my entire retirement was in the statute when I went to work for the state and still there when I retired. I made plans based on that promise. It is no more right for the state to unilaterally decrease the amount of money it will pay me than it is for me to stiff a plumber I ask to do work for a certain price.

I worked hard for the residents of Maine as a state employee. I earned my retirement. The state should pay me what it promised.

Anne P. Schaad


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