Finally, finally, finally, someone got the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) issue right. Thank you for the editorial on April 18.
There have been so many letter to the editor and editorials complaining about the PERS system and all the public employees who retire within it. But the problem is not the police officers, teachers, firefighters, counselors, social workers, and public health officials, almost all of whom worked for far less money than they could have made in the private sector, with the knowledge that they would have a good retirement at the other end of their working lives.
The problem is actually the same problem as every other retirement system, public or private: the folks who made the most get the most, with no “cap” on how much they can take. So Mike Bellotti, the former football coach, will literally take millions of dollars out of PERS at taxpayer expense. He doesn’t need it. He already has millions of dollars. The same being true for a couple of hundred other folks, who drive up the coast of the PERS system to us all. Is a football coach more valuable than a teacher or firefighter? Not!
And then there is a second problem: calculating private income into PERS public system. Now that’s really off base. Coaches make millions of endorsement deals, and this should not be part of the calculation.
So let’s quite complaining about PERS and get our legislators to adopt a cap, and stop adding in privately made money.