Snyder to Detroit’s Retirees: Survive on One-Third Less

by Pablo Ros  |  February 24, 2014

Snyder to Detroit’s Retirees: Survive on One-Third Less

Detroit retirees will see their pensions – the money they earned during their careers and that they need now to survive -- cut by 34 percent if Gov. Rick Snyder gets his way, according to a disastrous plan filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

At a time when working families are struggling to make ends meet, particularly in Detroit, the plan eliminates meaningful health care benefits and drastically reduces earned pension benefits.

The proposed plan “is a gut punch to Detroit city workers and retirees,” said AFSCME Council 25 Pres. Al Garrett. “Retirees cannot survive these huge cuts to the pensions they earned. The plan is unfair and unacceptable.”

AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders has been speaking out for Detroit retirees – who average just $19,000 a year in benefits – ever since politically appointed “emergency manager” Kevyn Orr filed for bankruptcy on behalf of the city back in July. Today, Saunders blasted Snyder’s skewed priorities.

“The plan of adjustment is not a solution – it’s an abomination,” he said. “The proposal effectively devastates retirement security for the hardworking city employees and retirees of Detroit. This is yet another example of the disdain in which Governor Snyder holds workers.”

AFSCME plans to challenge the proposal and continue to defend the constitutionally protected retirement security of those who gave so much to their communities.

“You do not need a degree in economics to know this is well below the amount of a livable level of income, yet this plan cuts future benefits to 30 cents on the dollar,” Saunders said. “We need better solutions that hold accountable those who created this troubling economic climate in Detroit and support those who devoted their lives to public service.”

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