I wanted to respond to the March 14 letter "Pension Toughness." The writer talked about the "huge unfunded pension problem facing all taxpayers" and goes on to say that the decision to switch from defined benefits to defined contribution is "not easy." The writer makes the teachers and government employees sound as if they are to blame for the shortage.
It needs to be public knowledge that school districts have not been mandated to pay their fair share into this pension fund for the last several years, while all the employees have still been paying their 7 percent per pay to the fund. This decision is a major player in the pension shortage and should not be overlooked.
When the market was good and the fund was making enough money just from investments, the employers did not pay in. Now that there have been losses and less earnings, they need to play "catch up." While it is "shameful that private industry employees" may be faced with higher taxes to make up for this, we need to make sure that the culprit is clear.
Go vote! You, Joe Public, put in place the school boards and other government officials who let the school districts slack off in this situation.