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Veterans against CFSA benefit reduction at age 65.

It is regrettable but not surprising to military personnel to read in newspapers that most Canadians and politicians lack an understanding of issues facing disabled and retired veterans. It is pure hogwash to believe that military pensioners seek to increase their benefits for which they have not fully paid for. Veterans seek no funds from the public account! We simply request that a portion of the surpluses in our annuity plan be allocated to improve the standard of living to our veterans. Give them the financial dignity they richly deserve and have paid for.

The principal facts regarding the issues are that in 1965 the CPP was introduced to all Canadians as an "income security" program to supplement old age security. The government of the day created a gross injustice, a form of trickery, deliberate or otherwise, by not giving us a choice to participate and also by not properly advising us of the pitfalls we would encounter at age 65. We were dealt with in a negligent fashion.

Most unions did not go along with the government's plan to integrate rather than stack our pension contributions. Senior military officers did not hold assistant deputy minister appointments. Military personnel had absolutely no say in the matter of merging or stacking our annuity plans.

Most often forgotten by politicians and the Canadian public are our disabled veterans. Many were disabled fighting to maintain Canada's honour, dignity and security. When they are disabled and released from the Canadian Forces, their incomes are drastically reduced by a shameful, selfish government that refuses to give them their fully earned benefits. In order to maintain their home and a reasonable standard of living, they must now fight a different battle with a class action suit through the courts.

What happened to the surpluses the SISIP Plan accumulated? Veterans are a different government provider. We are available 24/7 without overtime pay. We may be required to give the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Politicians have exempted themselves from the clawback to their pension. Veterans also deserve to be exempted. Today's political leaders lack the knowledge and understanding of the daily responsibility and stress level associated with a military career. Our most senior decorated officers support our mission. The present government must terminate this misguided policy.

Veterans want their golden years financial dignity restored!

John Labelle

Lower Sackville, NS
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Title Annotation:POSTED IN: Letters to the editor
Author:Labelle John
Publication:Esprit de Corps
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Oct 1, 2007
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