Puerto Rico pensioners are facing devastating effects of bankruptcy
Puerto Rico is facing a dire fiscal and economic crisis. It is one that many have called the largest and most complex bankruptcy in U.S. history. Amid the range of issues facing the island, from disaster recovery efforts to financial woes, lies an often overlooked human tragedy. Despite being a key piece in the island’s economic recovery, thousands of pensioners in Puerto Rico are facing the devastating consequences of an economic calamity. They are American citizens who devoted their lives to public service and put money away for their retirement.
There are about 167,000 public pensioners in Puerto Rico, and more than half are over the age of 70. On average, they receive about $12,000 in pension benefits a year, well below the federal poverty line considering the number of people within a household supported by this modest amount. Most rely on pensions to pay for their basic needs like food and housing, and many support not only themselves but also their extended families. Because of the economic crisis, an increasing number of pensioners care for their grandchildren and even their elderly parents.
Read More: The Hill