Letters to Editor
From Issue: Volume XX - Number 23
I am writing in response to a letter in the Nov. 2 issue of Beachcomber by [Janet West] who seemed concerned that some people are able to retire at age 50 to 55 with “full pension benefits.” She wrote “ ... some government employees may collect his or her full pension benefits for an average of 28.50 years.”
The term “full pension benefits’ can mean different things to different people. It does not necessarily mean that a person retires with the same pay they received while working. I cannot speak for some groups, but I can speak for teachers. A teacher’s retirement pay is based on a formula involving three things-one of which is the age of the individual at the time of retirement.
Those who retire with 25 years of work experience, and are only in their 50s, will not receive as much retirement pay as an individual who retires at the age of 60 with the same 25 years of experience. Those who retire at 65 with 40 years of experience will of course receive a higher retirement.
Individuals who decide to retire in their 50s may have a good reason for doing so, but you can bet it is not based on thoughts of having a huge retirement benefit-at least not in the case of teachers. Those who decide to retire in their 50s pay a price for that decision. That price is a “reduced” pension.