A man who worked for 19 years as a subway worker in New York is now seeing his $1,414 per month pension slashed to just $5 dollars. Perry Kinard was nearly killed twice on the job. In 1978, he was stabbed in the lung while mopping the floors in a Manhattan station. In 1990, he was shot in the chest and head at a station in Queens.
The pension system for the city to which he nearly gave his life is now repaying him by nearly killing his entire pension. They say that he was incrementally over-paid for years and are now going to slice his monthly income to almost nothing.
“How am I supposed to live?” he asked. To make matters worse, Kinard was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Kinard was so dedicated to his job that he returned right to work after the stabbing. He had four children to feed, so he had no other choice. In 1990, he ran into a drunk making nasty remarks about African Americans. Two cops ordered the man to leave, but he came back. Kinard tried to calm him down.
“Did you call the cops on me?” the man asked.
“That’s all I remember, except pop, pop, pop!” Kinard said. “A bullet went through my chest. They say with the Lord’s help it didn’t hit the heart.
“The second bullet I’m walking around with in my head. They couldn’t take it out, or it would do more damage,” he said.
In March, the New York City Employee Retirement System (NYCERS) told Kinard that his disability pension would be cut to offset the $150 per week in worker’s compensation payments he’d received. Instead of his usual $1414 per month, he would only get $762.
Then, making matters worse, the state said that because it had not been withdrawing for worker’s compensation, they’d overpaid him by $163,422. So, his pension is being reduced to $5 per month until 2030 to make up the difference.
“I gave my life for this job, and this is what they do to me after 22 years. I think it’s awful,” said Kinard, who always thought he had been entitled to both payments.