Letters to the Editor

Letter: Retirement risks

We have a huge number of state and municipal retirees in Alaska. Most of them do not know that their retirement benefits, PERS/TRS, are guaranteed under the Alaska Constitution. Article 12, section 7 states: “Membership in employee retirement systems of the State or its political subdivisions shall constitute a contractual relationship. Accrued benefits of these systems shall not be diminished or impaired.” This means that earned benefits for state troopers, city police, firefighters, teachers, etc. are currently guaranteed. Gov. Sean Parnell actually moved to shore up these systems during his term.

If the constitution were to be open for changes, someone like Gov. Mike Dunleavy could set about restricting or reducing those earned benefits, and we have every reason to believe he would do so. Just witness the treatment of education — the reduction of programs at the University of Alaska and the pending closure of six schools in Anchorage. So be mindful of keeping your earned benefits. Vote no on the constitutional convention, and don’t vote for Gov. Dunleavy.

— Holly R. Hill


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