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Letters to the Editor: Sept. 24

Sep. 23, 2012 - 02:33PM   |  
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Pension facts

The Aug. 20 article, “21,000 federal retirees earn six-figure pensions,” omitted some facts.

The total assets of the Civil Service Retirement Disability Fund — from both the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System — will continue to grow throughout the next 70 years, according to Office of Personnel Management projections, and will ultimately reach a level of about 4.1 times payroll or about 19 times the level of annual outlay. The fund’s assets will reach $1.1 trillion in 2020, $2.4 trillion in 2040, $6.5 trillion in 2060 and $15 trillion in 2080.

Individuals under CSRS have contributed 7 percent of earnings throughout a lifetime of service. Persons under Social Security contributed 3 percent in 1960, 4.2 percent in 1970, 5.08 percent in 1980 and 6.2 percent in 1990 through the present. Both are entitlements, but a couple under Social Security has the first $32,000 exempted from taxes, whereas CSRS is taxed as income.

A retiree at Exxon Mobil receives a private pension, Social Security and stock incentives that far exceed a CSRS annual average $32,824 pension.

— Carl A. Bernacky, Indiana First Congressional District Liaison, National Association of Retired Federal Employees, Dyer, Ind.

VA backlog

In reference to the article “Complicated claims slow VA payments” [Sept. 3]:

I recently returned from my fourth temporary-duty assignment overseas. Part of my in-processing was attending an event during which a speaker addressed anyone who suffered battle wounds or sustained injuries during their deployment. He was adamant about getting everything documented into your medical records, from jamming your toe while walking to the dining facility to a splinter from sliding your hand across the wooden bleachers while watching a basketball game.

I couldn’t believe it — splinters! — and the young military personnel present were completely buying into it. Is this the message we want to send to our future leaders? All I and the seasoned vets could do was shake our heads while discussing how this type of message will hurt the military in the long run.

The man-hours wasted on these types of issues could be endless.

The briefings with this message will promote more Medical Evaluation Board claims and an overall weaker mindset throughout the military.

— Tech. Sgt. Joe Sommers, Horsham Air Guard Station, Pa.

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