Letters to the Editor

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PENSIONS: Get tough on those who game the system

Letter by Michael Kuntz, Lakewood on April 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm with No Comments »
April 22, 2013 1:58 pm

Your coverage of our state pension system (TNT, 4-7) is important to me as a taxpayer. I firmly believe more than a few high-ranking public servants game our pension system for their benefit. Examples cited indicate a hand-and-glove subculture in some local fire departments similar to the intimate subculture in the high-rolling financial sector that caused the recent recession.

This friendly subculture was also revealed when The News Tribune ran another newspaper’s article about gaming disability benefits by some rank-and-file firefighters in Seattle. I believe some administrative processes in some local fire departments need review by a Legislature that claims it maintains fiduciary oversight over a pension-benefit system not fully funded.

This News Tribune revealed a good-old-boys subculture with some professors of Washington universities who retire and immediately are rehired to draw both a salary and pension for the same salaried work. These professors and those who hire them are the most sophisticated hand-and- glove gamers of our pension system because tenure is supposed to require a deep sense of personal ethics.

Hey, legislators: What are you going to do about hand-and-glove gamers of our underfunded pension system?

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