I want to state a case for improving the New Hampshire Retirement System for teachers covered by the system.

For some arcane reason, teachers who reach the age of 65 during their retirement years are subjected to a tax of their retirement income. It is nearly 9 percent. I find this incredible in a state that flaunts its no-income-tax “advantage.”

The reason given by the state is that New Hampshire law requires this “withholding” because teachers are eligible to receive Social Security benefits. They state that police officers and firefighters are exempt from this tax because they do not pay into Social Security.

This law ignores the fact that police officers and firefighters may retire at age 45 with 20 years of service, thus allowing them to pursue other careers where Social Security benefits can be earned. When they reach retirement age they can then draw on their Social Security benefits and their New Hampshire retirement income without penalty.

I do not begrudge our police and firefighters one cent of their retirement; they earned it in spades. However, teachers are being unfairly treated. They spend most of their lives preparing for and maintaining certification through additional education so they can participate in the teaching profession. Working for low salaries for the sole purpose of bettering our children so they can contribute to society.

The Legislature only recently took action on a cost-of-living increase after ignoring them for 10 years. We are waiting to see if the governor will sign the budget bill.

I hope you will tell your legislators to change Section 100 A/5 of the state law on N.H. Retirement System to cease taxing teachers’ retirement income. Teachers pay into both systems; they deserve all of their earned benefits.

JAMES POPLIN

123 Crestview Drive

Jaffrey