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Stakes now even higher for Detroit retirees

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DETROIT (AP) - Some experts believe the time is right for serious talks aimed at solving a pension shortfall in Detroit's bankruptcy case.

Judge Steven Rhodes said Tuesday that pensions can be cut as part of an overall plan to bring Detroit out of bankruptcy.  It's a blow to more than 20,000 retirees who argue that the Michigan Constitution offers complete protection.

Most city pensioners get less than $20,000 a year.

Former bankruptcy judge Melanie Cyganowski says a settlement would bring certainty to anxious retirees. Unions acknowledge that negotiation is important but they're pledging to appeal the judge's decision.

Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr says he understands the hardship. But he says the city doesn't have money to shore up pension funds that are underfunded by $3.5 billion.

Last modified on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 15:34

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