The York Dispatch's Dec. 5 editorial gives an incomplete, inaccurate history of Pennsylvania's public pension debt, and reaches the wrong conclusions.

Contrary to the editorial's assertion, the primary causes of the unfunded liability have been investment losses during two major recessions, combined with underfunding by the employer (the commonwealth and school districts) over the last 12 years.

These two factors created 81 percent of the current debt, compared to only 19 percent attributed to benefit changes in 2001, according to the Public School Employees Retirement System.

The Dispatch contends the General Assembly and Gov. Tom Corbett should try to erase the pension debt by reducing future benefits to workers like me, who have paid for our retirement year in and year out, even when the state and school districts failed to make their required contributions.

This won't solve the problem. Even if school employees stopped getting credit for any additional pension benefits tomorrow, that pension debt would still be there and would have to be paid for benefits workers have already earned.

Politicians are trying to make public employees pay for mistakes politicians made. Instead, they should keep the promise made to workers, and fund essential public services by ending Gov. Corbett's corporate tax breaks.


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Travis Winemiller

Spring Grove