Detroit retirees face changes in pension and health care

(WXYZ) - Donald Smith worked for the city of Detroit for 29 years.  He now lives on an $800 month pension and $1,000 a month in social security. 

He's one of 21,000 retirees facing cuts in their pensions and health care coverage with bankruptcy. Donald Smith has written a letter to Governor Rick Snyder and talked with 7 Action News Reporter Jim Kiertzner.  The governor also replies in the video story.  

"Dear Governor Snyder,

My name is Donald Smith and I worked for the city of Detroit for more than 29 years. 

Over close to 3 decades of service to the city earned me a pension of about $800 a month.  After taxes and health care expenses are taken out, I am left with very little money each month to pay my rent, buy groceries and to cover my medical prescriptions.

Because of your decision to force Detroit into bankruptcy, I am starting to wonder which of my basic I needs can live without.  I did not bankrupt Detroit – in fact, I went to work every day to make it a better place to live. So I can't understand why you would ask retirees like me to give up the pension benefits we earned.

If you believe that we can afford to make do with less, then you must not know us. That's why I want to invite you to my home so you can get to know me and see what life is like for retired city employees.  I hope you'll join my family for dinner and hear what really matters to us in Detroit.

We are willing to work around your busy schedule.  We look forward to sharing a meal and our perspective with you."



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