At first glance, David Kane, 63, appears to be solidly middle class.

He has a home on a lovely suburban street in Sandusky, Ohio, and a boat docked in the nearby marina.

But looks can be deceiving. Kane doesn’t have television or even a functioning wristwatch. He and his wife Dianne live on their boat, a 1976 Trojan Tri-Cabin in need of repair, for part of the year to save on utility costs. He does outdoor maintenance at the marina to pay for the docking fees.

After a 35-year career at Delphi, the primary parts supplier for General Motors, Kane expected retirement to look much different. He left the company at age 54 as it was downsizing, and he was offered a buyout.

Kane lost almost half his pension and now receives only $1,600 a month. He says it has been devastating. “It’s just a beat down, day in and day out, to struggle to get through.”

What makes it more difficult is that other Delphi workers who worked alongside Kane, members of the powerful United Auto Workers union, did not suffer the same fate. They are receiving their full pensions.


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