See what a local teacher knows about pensions


To Machinists:

I'm not a Boeing employee. I retired a little over a year ago after after working 34 years as a union-represented public-school teacher. It's hard to find the words to tell you how glad I am that I have a traditional, defined-benefit pension that is similar to the one that Boeing is trying to take away from all of you.

Every month, for the rest of my life, I will receive a pension payment that allows me to live comfortably. I no longer have to be concerned about being laid off, being fired, or even becoming physically unable to work. If I pass away before my wife, she will receive that same monthly payment for the rest of her life. No matter how long we live, our pension won't run out. It's hard to describe how liberating it feels to have earned that kind of financial security.

If I had an Individual Retirement Account, or the savings plan Boeing is proposing, the experience of retirement would be completely different. I'd be sitting here with a sum of money in an account trying to figure out how much I could withdraw each month without running out of money before I died. If an economic downturn happened after I retired, as it did in 2008, I'd watch my retirement savings shrink by half.

A traditional, defined-benefit pension is worth fighting for, not just so you can retire in dignity and security, but so that one day your children and grandchildren can also do so.

John Borga