Letters to the editor

Pension protection Americans love catchy phrases and buzz words, but sometimes such marketing tactics are nothing more than putting lipstick on a pig. That is exactly what corporations are doing when they refer to a new-fangled, risky financial transaction that they have named "pension de-risking." This is when companies sell off their retirees' pension plans to investment funds or insurers converting what were federally protected pensions into annuities. This has the impact of stripping defenseless older Americans of legal protections of both the federal ERISA pension law and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. In addition, these annuities become subject to a variety of state laws, dependent upon where the retiree lives. Last year, General Motors sold off 76,000 retiree pensions to Prudential Insurance and this year, Verizon sold 41,000 pensions to Prudential. This is not just a GM and Verizon issue, it's a growing national crisis likely to impact all retirees. In reality, this practice is really "pension stripping," a violent act against retirees and their earned pension funds. America's retirees need help and real protections on the state level where insurers are regulated.
Pat Cogswell Sebring Veterans Day As we celebrate Veterans Day as free Americans, I am asking you to pause in whatever you are doing and remember than when the hands of the clock reach the eleventh hour (11 a.m.) of the eleventh day of this eleventh month, we all join in a moment of silence and in silent prayer and thank all the men and women in the armed forces, past and present, for their sacrifices to help make this country free. Also pray for our military for their safe return to family, friends and loved ones. We owe them that much which is a few moments of our time remembering with grateful thanks. It has been said and it is so true that a veteran is someone who at one point in his/her life wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for any amount up to and including his/her life. That is honor, courage, patriotism and is truly a persona sacrifice. Unfortunately, there are too many people in this country who mo longer understand this and too many who do not get it or want to. I am proud to say that veterans understand this; veterans will never forget it. Freedom is not free, it comes with great sacrifices - the sacrifices given daily by our military are why we enjoy the great freedoms we have today. I hope and pray that the sacrifices our military are making today in the present unforgiving conflict in the world will not be in vain. Honor our veterans who served and are serving in the U.S. armed forces and who gave and are giving so much for the love of this great country and freedoms. Remember this day and every day to say to all veterans, "Thank you for your sacrifices you made and are still making today to make this country the greatest place on earth for us to live. We do appreciate you." After you have paid your respects to the veterans this day, go out and enjoy your outing, whatever it is, and say thank, veterans, for the nice day. May God bless us all and God bless our great country U.S. of A., and keep us the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Suzanne Krueger Patriotic Instructor, VFW Post 3880 Lake Placid