"If their pensions are cut, thousands of city of Detroit retirees won’t have anything to fall back on other than their own savings, the support of their families or charity. That’s because the city’s firefighters and police aren’t eligible to receive Social Security benefits.
When Social Security was first instituted, the plan didn’t cover any worker with a public pension. States can opt in, and Michigan has, but each city, county, township, school board or other local government entity also has to join. Existing public pension funds can continue to operate out from under Social Security, and with generous government pensions, many workers felt they were getting a better deal from their own pension fund than they’d ever get from Uncle Sam. Instead, the contributions the employer and worker would have made to Social Security benefits went to their pension funds." Read More Here
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130812/METRO01/308120023#ixzz2boiQpHlz