In response to the March 15 article concerning educators who “double dip” (“Are public workers who double dip unfairly criticized?”), I’d like to add information that was not mentioned.

It is true in Maine that all state employees pay into a pension plan with benefits that can be withdrawn depending on age and years of service.

However, what is little known is that an employee who may have previously worked at jobs that did pay Social Security and earned the needed 40 quarters is penalized because he or she receives a state pension.

This is true in 15 states, Maine being one of them.

It affects all Maine Public Employees Retirement System participants, including teachers, firefighters and police officers.

The law is referred to as the windfall elimination provision.

A companion provision, the government pension offset, significantly reduces Social Security benefits for survivors of deceased state pension recipients.

I paid Social Security taxes while working several years in private schools, and owning and operating a baking business for 16 years. I also taught in public schools for many years.

I have earned many more than the 40 quarters required for Social Security retirement benefits, yet I receive only 40 percent of my Social Security retirement earnings because I am a Maine state retiree.

Had I not been a teacher in Maine, but working in private business with a 401(k) account and making lots of money, millions even, my Social Security benefits would not be reduced. Instead, I worked for years both in public and private service, only to be penalized what was rightfully earned.

“Double dipping”? I am retired with a state pension and part of my Social Security, and I continue to work because pensions are fixed amounts that do not keep up with rising costs.

Katherine Ewing

Bath