61°
Mostly clear
FRI
 74°
 53°
SAT
 80°
 52°
SUN
 88°
 54°
MON
 88°
 55°
TUE
 82°
 56°

Vote for the Best of Sonoma County SO SONOMA COUNTY finalists: Best radio station, crab feed and more!

Letter of the Day: Disappearing pensions

  • (NICK ANDERSON / Houston Chronicle)

Disappearing pensions

EDITOR: Your Tuesday editorial (“Nation's other retirement problem”) didn't completely address America's pension dilemma. Because the Internal Revenue Service allowed corporate America to underfund the pension promises it made employees, American corporations collectively built up a huge (in the hundreds of billions of dollars) unfunded liability.

But not to worry. With the stroke of a bankruptcy judge's pen, that corporate debt evaporates, leaving thousands of helpless retirees twisting in the wind.

I know. Two of my pensions disappeared that way. Pan Am's huge pension obligation caused it to become toxic, and it disappeared from the face of the earth. On the other hand, when Delta Air Lines shed its pension obligations, it was able to become competitive again, and its stock is soaring into uncharted heights.

The retirees' only hope is the Public Benefit Guarantee Corporation, which makes up some of the loss and, of course, is funded by the U.S. taxpayers.

My question is: Why is this allowed to happen, yet somehow public employee pensions are sacrosanct, no matter how onerous or disastrous the results may be?

GERALD DION

Santa Rosa

comments powered by Disqus
© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View