I call attention to retired and working educators in MainePERS.

In 2011 Gov. Paul LePage and state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin led the charge to lower pensions received by retired people in MainePERS. LePage, Poliquin and Republicans cut, capped and froze the earned benefits. This resulted in capping the cost-of-living-adjustment at 3% (9.1% this year).

COLA was applied to only the first $20,000 of the pension, not the total amount. A COLA is designed to keep up with inflation. By not paying the COLA on the whole pension, retirees’ buying power become less each year, driving more toward the poverty line.

These 2011 cuts continue to have a negative impact on current and future educator retirees. For example, a person’s earned pension is $32,000 times 3 percent COLA, equaling $960. Divided by 12 months, that’s an $80-per-month increase.

But the cap/cut allowed only $20,000 times 3 percent COLA, equaling $600. Divided by 12, that’s $50 monthly.

LePage and Poliquin aren’t friends of retirees.


Crystal Ward, Lewiston

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