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Cindy O.

My husband, Dennis, was employed by Schnucks Warehouse for 38 years and paid into the Central States Pension Fund through Teamsters Local 688 the entire time. He retired in 2008, with the promise that he would receive his full pension.  He received the dreaded letter a couple months ago and found that his pension benefit will be cut 50% beginning July 2016.

We have saved money for retirement, but this pension is an integral part of our retirement fund.  I am 65 and am still employed full time and I was planning to retire next August when I turn 66.  Now I am going to have to work indefinitely because of this proposed pension cut.  I can’t afford to trade my salary for the meager Social Security check I would be receiving.   Dennis has several health issues and the insurance premiums, co-pays and drug costs still are very high.  Plus the cost of living keeps going up and all our benefits keep being reduced.  I’m sure there will come a time when we will have to decide whether to pay for the medicine or buy food.

Why are simple middle-class folks like us not protected from this form of robbery?  You can bet that the Senators and Congressmen who proposed this Pension Reform Act will be receiving their full salary from the time they retire until the day they die – and all from our tax money.  We have to rely on Social Security, meager pension checks (if any at all) and any money we might have been able to save over the years.  It is not our fault that Central States made bad investment decisions or that UPS backed out of the plan or that many of the companies in the plan went out of business.

Please make Central States do the right thing and pay out the promised benefits to the people who deserve them.

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