Detroit workers fear city’s bankruptcy could wipe out their pensions…(Coming To A City Near You!)
By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, August 4, 2013
Thousands of pensioners already struggling to get by are afraid they will be pushed into poverty if the city of Detroit is able to slash their benefits in a bankruptcy court.
Retired fire chief Jerry Franklin Smith spent 39 years battling blazes in a city filled with abandoned buildings and too many arsonists.
He’s worried that if a bankruptcy judge allows the city to wipe out its obligations to his pension fund he’ll need to somehow find a job at the age of 78.
“I’ve only done physical things all my life. But I really can’t do them anymore,” Smith told AFP. “It makes you nervous.”
Police and firefighters don’t qualify for the federally-run Social Security pension plan, which has an average payout of $1,268 a month. So their city-run plan is the only thing keeping them out of food banks or even homeless shelters.