This probably describes the way many PERS retirees feel today after learning that PERS caved in on the various public record requests to release a fair amount of information to the media about current retirees. While PERS got some concessions of what would be released and won a reprieve to allow notification of retirees about what information will be released, we basically got sold down the river.
This coming November, the local media (Whoregonian, Stateless Journal, Eugene Register Hard) will be getting a list of all current retirees along with their current retirement benefit amount. What the media does with this information is anyone's guess, but it is hard to imagine anything useful coming from it. I expect to be harassed unmercifully by those people who think public employees are worth "shit" and all are overpaid at work and in retirement. I'm not looking forward to this information being released. On the other hand, perhaps all of those idiots out there who are convinced we are bringing home at least 6 figures will be shocked to discover that few of our fellow retirees actually get 6 figures and, moreover, those that do could have been predicted by my pet roach.
Things get uglier next March (2012) when PERS will be compelled to release year of retirement, final average salary, agency, and job classification at retirement. PERS has been able to limit the damage to this information and will not have to compile all of the other information requested, and this information alone will not be enough to generate identify theft ---- at least that's what everyone thinks. The reality is that there is enough information that will be released that any intelligent identity thief could put together a credible dossier of information and financially rape almost any of us. The good news /sarcasm on/ is that PERS will notify us before they release this information /sarcasm off/. I'm so relieved that I can prepare to be screwed just knowing it is going to happen. Perhaps it will be time to file a name change with the courts. Maybe I'll call myself Prince.
For what it is worth, the PERS Coalition is examining the settlement to see whether there is any way to seek an injunction or file litigation to stop the release of any of this information. I personally don't think there is any way to stop this crass invasion of privacy. They are not releasing addresses, phone numbers, beneficiaries, social security numbers, employee ID numbers, or historical work data. It doesn't look terribly likely that the Coalition will be able to do much about this, and I can't imagine the public employee unions spending the money to stop this.
All I can say is that you've been notified and warned. The next time you see your name somewhere in print, it just might be in the Metro section of the Whoregonian. Maybe Steve Duin will bake a column just for us. Or maybe Elizabeth Hovde will write one of her classically snarky, unfriendly, and public-employee bashing columns about all of us piggies (and now she'll have names) slopping at the public trough. The next sound you may hear from public employees may be the scream, followed by aim and fire.