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I can't touch retirement money I earned, through no fault of my own

To The Daily Sun,

I'm an average married middle-aged woman who has worked hard since the early age of 14. We pay our bills on time, pay our taxes, raised our sons and live on needs rather than wants. We don't have a lot of money, but what we do have we earn and have managed to stay afloat even in today's economy.

I was fortunate to be able to work full-time for a municipality for the past year and enjoy the benefits that come with that. The benefits were affordable health insurance, life insurance and mandatory contribution to a pension plan maintained by the N.H. Retirement System (NHRS). The mandatory contribution is set at 7 percent of an employee's gross income

Recently I was reduced to part-time hours with the loss of benefits. In defense of this action, I was initially hired part-time and due to circumstances beyond my control I was
returned back to this. I filled out paperwork to get my portion of the contributions to the pension plan controlled by NHRS back. For some people this wouldn't seem like a lot of money but
for me it is a lot of money. My plan was to open an IRA with my local bank and continue to make contributions as I could.

Then I find out that I cannot get my money back! I cannot have my money back until I retire or if I lose my job.

I also cannot make contributions to this pension plan. It'll just sit there being controlled by the NHRS.

Putting money into the pension plan controlled by NHRS is mandatory, having my hours reduced to part-time was not by my choice, I can no longer put money into this pension plan due to being part-time yet I also cannot have my money back. I am only expecting to have the back the 7 percent of my last year's pay returned to me.

I quote: "As you might expect, we have seen an increase in these inquiries as more employers transition full-time workers to part-time status. Our handling of these requests are governed by Internal Revenue Code requirements, RSA 100-A and applicable administrative rules."

Am I wrong? This is money I earned over the past year and now I am being denied the return of it. Yes it will earn interest sitting there. I won't lie about that. But I would prefer to have control over the money I earn.
Mary Pelchat
Thornton

Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2013 11:18

Hits: 276

You don't save money by paying guards to cover sites that are closed

To The Daily Sun,

The general counsel for the Archdiocese for Military Services stated that it would be illegal for any furloughed or contract priest to minister on base, and if they were to do so, they might be subject to arrest. This so outraged members of both political parties, that the House of Representatives, on Oct. 5, passed a resolution asking that the chaplains be permitted to perform their duties on a volunteer, non-paid basis. The resolution passed with a 400 to 1 vote; the lone dissenting vote coming from Democrat Bill Enyart, of Illinois.
The above is only one of many examples that show the government cares little if "the people" get punished, as long as politicians gain some hoped for political advantage. For example, it was absolutely outrageous that World War II veterans had no memorial to honor their service. A hero of that war, a man who was severely wounded in battle and spent years recovering from his wounds, former Senator Bob Dole, led the effort to raise the funds from private sources in order to erect a fitting memorial. No government funding was used in its building, and it is an open area — no gates or other limitations. "Honor Flights" bring WW II veterans from all over the country to visit the memorial where they pay their respects to their fallen comrades. Who in the government decided that this memorial should be barricaded, and guarded, so that veterans who have traveled from across the country could be denied access? Who in this administration decided to spend more money to keep the veterans locked out than it would cost to let them in? And who in this administration decided to lock the gates to the resting places of our fallen heroes who lie in foreign lands? Who is so insensitive to the desires of those family and fellow military veterans who spent substantial amounts of time and money to visit their heroes, only to be turned away? Who thinks it's all a political game, and the desires of the people be damned?

In another case, the "Claude Moore Colonial Farm" in Virginia, was ordered to close by the National Park Service (NPS). This farm, which is akin to Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, has been operating independently, without any government funding, since 1980, when the NPS stopped funding them. Repeated requests to stay open by the Farms Board of Directors have been denied. Anna Eberly, managing director of the farm stated, "In all the years I have worked with the National Park Service ... I have never worked with a more arrogant, arbitrary and vindictive group representing the NPS." Again, this is a case of the government spending money to deny access to citizens, whereas if they let it simply stay open, it would cost the government nothing. More political gamesmanship.

Somehow this administration needs to learn about how to run a business. It just doesn't seem to understand that you don't save money by spending money to pay guards to cover the sites that you closed, that didn't require guards in the first place. But even more than that, the administration doesn't seem to recognize the impact its decisions have on not only the citizenry their punishing, but on the commerce of the country. On average, our National Parks receive about 750,000 visitors each day. There are national parks spread across the country. Immigrants from the early 1900s take their grandchildren to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York, where they landed and began their life in America. Others take a ride up to Mount Desert Island in Maine to visit Acadia National Park, and some fly out west to see the Grand Canyon, or Yosemite, or Yellowstone, or any one of the 400 + national parks. The money the government supposedly "saves" is a pittance compared to the negative impact on the business community . . . you know, those entities from whom all tax revenues emanate.

Consider the average number of visitors each day who rent hotel or motel rooms, or rent space for their camper at a campsite, or rent a tent facility or room at the parks. How many thousands take an airplane, or board a train or a bus? Many will rent an automobile, while others put gas in their vehicles and drive their families to a park. Everyone eats, most often in local restaurants. And thousands purchase some mementos to remember the experience. Those 750,000 daily visitors are putting money into the economy every single day of their visits. That money goes to pay salaries and those salaries pay taxes. That money spent by the visitors also goes (in most cases) into company profits and that also contributes more income taxes (at the highest business tax rate in the world), and matching contributions to Social Security and Medicare, and local and state taxes. So, when the government denies the citizens access to a national park, it is essentially denying businesses and their employees, the ability to make a living and pay all those taxes to the local, state, and federal governments.

Punishing the people and businesses for some political gain. . . well, it's just plain dumb.

Bob Meade

Laconia

Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2013 11:13

Hits: 233

If seniors and veterans vote, we'll outnumber the no-nothings

To The Daily Sun,

It is time to take back America from the fools running the country. Veterans and senior citizens, banded together, can make it work by not letting your children vote as they do not teach them PAD (problems in American democracy) in the schools any more. If they did, then the children know nothing and do not listen, which is typical of children not trusting anyone over 30. So I ask you, why do the people running for office go after the young voters? Because they know that the simpletons will vote for them if they are promised a free ride into the future.

If the senior citizens and veterans get out and vote then we defiantly outnumber the no-nothings and could get this country to be number one again and not the laughing stock of the world.

Bev Buker

Gilford

Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2013 11:07

Hits: 260

Compare impact of food-borne pathogens to impact of terrorism

To The Daily Sun,

We are 110 times more likely to die from contaminated food than from terrorism. That being said a few statistics are in order. The U.S. has 14 trillion dollars on national security in the past 12 years and here are the results of this delusional paranoia: two destructive wars; an illegal surveillance state and a military style domestic policing courtesy of Israeli special forces. And in spite of all this we couldn't even prevent a couple of amateur murderers at the Boston Marathon.
With all due respect for the victims of 9/11, fewer than five hundred Americans have been killed by terrorism in the past 40 years and since Osama bin Laden's death only 17 U.S. citizens were killed in all terrorist incidents worldwide. The core leadership of al-Qaeda numbers about three to four hundred and its few thousand members operate mainly within the borders of Muslim countries.
By contrast, a typical year for food-borne pathogens causes tens of millions to be sickened, a hundred thousand to be hospitalized and three thousand deaths. Meanwhile the FDA (not one of my favorites) is struggling to get a paltry sum of one billion for the 2014 budget. In an age of global agriculture and food distribution this is criminal. If this "war" on terror doesn't sound rational then you either have to be from another planet or a right wing republican. Sometimes I think they are one in the same. So if the "axis of evil" is all that we are worried about then we have nothing to fear outside our borders!
We haven't even touched on genetically modified organisms (gmo) which are suspected of causing a whole host of diseases — especially in children. If one tried to read the ingredient label on a can of green beans and it read: "none of your business", I would imagine one would be upset? The N.H. Legislature is due to vote on GMO labeling in the near future. It would be wise to contact our district representatives and let them know that our food supply "IS our business". Our representatives need to "man-up" and "woman-up". They can send a clear message to Monsanto/Dupont by passing HB-660. When asked why most of the civilized world either bans or at the very least requires labeling of genetically engineered food, Tara Sad of District I and the Democratic chair of the Agricultural Committee replied: "they're wrong!". I really tried hard to pin the resistance onto Republicans but it's plain to see that members of both parties need convincing. Here's the irony of it all. Opponents of the bill talk about the "skull and cross bone" effect, which is interesting coming from those who are protecting Monsanto — the largest manufacturer of poisons in the world! Thank you Suzanne Smith, co-sponsor of the bill and representing District 8. You are the voice of reason.
Here are the three sub-committee members that we should all write: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (good luck with this one!)

George Maloof

Plymouth

Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2013 10:52

Hits: 186

'This, That & the Other Thing' not affiliated with any other store

To The Daily Sun,

I want to start off by introducing myself to you as a small business owner in Laconia. It's been brought to our attention that there might be some confusion to who we are — we are "This, That and the Other Thing" located across from Trustworthy Hardware on Union Avenue.

A shop with this that and other thing, we are not a pawn shop or a consignment shop, nor do we have any business connection to any of the previous occupants. There are other shops with similar names as ours which we are not affiliated with.

I join in this venture with my son, George Griffin who ran the Pembroke Flea Market in Pembroke. This store was to help with resale, because the flea market was only open on weekends and we have so many items to sell. We are a family owned and operated shop with lots of collectibles, furniture anything that might be in a flea market and more. We are open Thursday-Monday 9-5. We welcome you to stop by and find a treasure. We have something for everyone, if nothing a memory of years past.

Tammy Griffin

Gilford

Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2013 10:48

Hits: 358

 
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