Humanizing Bankruptcy: A look at pensioners’ lives

Humanizing Bankruptcy: A look at pensioners’ lives

The Detroit Free Press’s personal finance columnist, Susan Tompor, profiles several Detroit retirees and what the Plan of Adjustment’s proposed cuts to their pension payments mean to them. Firefighters. Landscape architects. Librarians. How much are their pension payments, and how will the cuts change their lives?

Now when the stress of the job should be long gone, about 24,000 city retirees are taking on a new kind of stress as they’re forced to deal with personal budget cuts. In Detroit, the average general system retiree’s benefit is less than $20,000 a year. For police and fire retirees, it’s about $34,000.

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s initial proposal includes cuts of up to 10 percent for retired police and fire fighters, while retirees from other city departments would lose up to 34 percent. Tompor explains in detail what that means to several retirees, their families and their lives.