Letter: The Many Serve the Few in N.H.
To the Editor:
One of the big issues facing New Hampshire is playing catch-up on the unfunded portion of the state employee pension fund. While it may seem a state-level issue, the state is avoiding responsibility and downshifting the bill to local cities and towns, and it ends up on the local property tax bill.
My experience when contacting New Hampshire politicians is that there is little to no interest in doing the right thing for the taxpayers. There are about 75,000 public employees in this fund, and about 26,000 are now retired and drawing benefits.
The rest of New Hampshire’s taxpayers are being forced to use their savings and, in the case of non-public-employee retirees, their own pensions and Social Security to fund public employees’ retirements. This is happening to retirees when they have also lost a chunk of their investments in the recession, not to mention experiencing the disappearance of interest and dividend income. While non-public retirees have no fall-back to guarantee their retirement savings, they still must ante up to guarantee public pensions!
To me, it appears as if New Hampshire politicians are looking after 75,000 public employees and ignoring the rest of the state’s residents on this issue. It is time to move public employees to a defined-contribution plan, following the lead of private companies.