Letter: Brancaccio didn’t tell the whole story
Friday, October 14, 2011
I read with no surprise Columbian Editor Lou Brancaccio’s attempt at influencing readers. As usual, he presented partial, biased material. I wonder whether he deliberately presents partial info or just cannot research his way out of a paper sack. His Oct. 8 column, “A class on retirement plans,” was about differences between public employee pensions vs. private employee 401(k) retirement. He claims that all “public workers” receive pensions, and that they are “paid for by the public.” Wrong, not that simple.
Brancaccio doesn’t divulge (ignorance, deliberate?), that the federal worker (a large percentage of “public workers”) retirement is not markedly different from “private.” Federal retirement provides benefits from three sources: Basic Benefit, Social Security, and Thrift Savings Plan. The Basic Benefit and Social Security parts require employees pay 7 percent of salary (6.2 percent Social Security plus 0.8 percent). The agency pays 1 percent of salary and matches employee contributions.
So, dear reader, our boy Lou did not tell the story correctly as he hurts public employees, who make much less than private peers for comparable work/responsibility. These folks accept less pay in return for helping society.