Benefits well earned

A Herald editorial cites a recent report by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation on health insurance coverage for retired public employees (“The retiree dilemma,” Sept. 27). Like similar reports filed by the MTF in recent years, this report we believe is flawed and biased toward an ideological position, to cut retiree benefits.

In addition to cherry-picking its data to paint the most dire results, the MTF fails to account for reforms passed in 2009 and 2011. Communities opting into the new laws have collectively saved nearly $250 million in their first year.

While great news for local taxpayers, this represents a massive cost shift onto local retirees — whose pensions average just $21,000 annually. We support sensible reforms that strengthen the entire system for all retirees, not cutting benefits and imposing new costs on those who can least afford to pay.

— Frank Valeri, president, 
Retired State, County and 
Municipal Employees Association of Massachusetts

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