A recent headline in a major Florida newspaper caught my eye. It read, "Big payouts in city pensions under scrutiny." The story contained actual examples of excessive payments paid for, of course, primarily by taxpayers, most of whom do not enjoy such perks.
In one example, a city police captain retired at 46 years old with a lump sum of nearly $700,000 and an annual pension of $120,000.
In another example, two firefighters recently retired with a lump payment of more than $1 million each, plus a monthly pension check and had their health insurance paid for life.
The article also mentioned that in several cities, police officers and firefighters can retire after 20 years of service. Many cities calculate pensions by including overtime, unused vacations and comp time.
Is that where Maine is headed and, yes, Lewiston and Auburn? It would be nice to have a factual story about what retirement benefits are being paid here in this state.
Marcel R. Morin, Auburn
Edior's note: These public employee pension questions can be answered by visiting the maineopengov.org and clicking on "Retiree Pensions." The Maine Heritage Policy Center has made a large collection of searchable pension information available there.