My grandfather, G. M. C. Massey, worked for the post office for 30 years before he retired. Excluded from Social Security, federal employees of the time depended upon various governmental retirement systems.
At age 81, Granddad contacted a U.S. Senator to ask for an increase in retirement payments, laying out his logic in this letter.
SAN ANGELO, TEXAS
JAN. the 18th, 1961
Greetings to you and yours, This wonderful year of 1961.
Senator Ralph Yarborough; In the beginning I want to Say that I have admired you since I first found you on the Democratic Ticket; and have voted for you every time that you have run for any office in the gift of our people And I have not said this for any selfish purpose at all; But it is just as I have felt about you from the first.
Now I want to tell you a little about myself: I am a retiree from the P.O. department, I am 80 years of age, and have been retired since April the First in 1950, And when I retired I was drawing $147.00 twice each month; But then my annuity began at $130.00 once each month; But my expenses were just as they had been all along the line; And I had to go to work as a salesman in order to keep going on; But in ’54, I was stopped from driving my car because of the growth of cataracts on my eyes; and of course that slowed me down to my annuity that was allowed. Then I was allowed an increase of $15.00 each month. Then a little later I was allowed another raise of $17.00 per month, Then some little time after I was allowed another temporary advance of 10% which brings it up to $175.00 each month; But while I was advancing to this new allowance; the worker at the P.O. was advanced a time or two; that I didn’t advantage by; and now they are drawing about $400.00 each month while I am drawing less than 1/2 of that amount; But I shop at the same grocery stores, and have to pay the same prices that they pay for the Groceries; and as for my utilities; I have to pay the same prices rate that they have to pay But I have less than half they have to pay it out of. Now do you think that this condition is right and equitable?
Don’t you think that we retired should have about 20% increase at the very least?
Since My retirement, I have had to have a cataract removed from my eyes; and had to have my right lower limb amputated; And that is my account and I’m asking you to do all you can for the benefit of the underpaid retirees; I belong to that organization, and need all the help that I should have in my case; Sincerely submitted for your consideration.
Would like to hear from you.