YOUR OPINION: Letter to the editor

By NEMS Daily Journal

Elderly retiree criticizes proposed PERS changes
I applaud former public school principal John Cother on his opinion article on Jan. 15.
As a state retiree recipient I am very disappointed in Sen. Nancy Collins concerning Public Employee Retirement System funds and her plan to freeze yearly cost of living (COLA) for these public retirees.
She also throws out irresponsible figures without any explanation to the general public who may not be familiar with the state retiree system.
This fund is built for each employee through month by month payroll deductions over the years of employment and matched by the state.
Upon retirement the employee receives the amount he/she has labored for monthly. The COLA amounts, though small, are vital to us to stay abreast of rising costs. No person receives any amount not earned and promised.
I suggest that any changes considered should be made to newer and future state employees who have time ahead to build their retirement, just as we have done, and not to penalize those who have served the state well and depend on these promises.
Also, the PERS board should continue to consist of members within the system and avoid the political takeover plan proposed.
My thanks to the legislators who are fighting to protect us, the elderly retirees, and I ask that the public acquaint themselves with this matter instead of accepting random information thrown at us.
Janie C. Williams
Tupelo