Judge Signs Off on Rhode Island Pension Settlement


Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter on Tuesday approved the settlement which recently ended a long-running lawsuit brought by retirees against the state.

The settlement keeps intact the majority of the pension changes passed by Rhode Island in 2011, but gives retirees some concessions, including COLAs.

From Reuters:

The settlement was not the “perfect solution,” but was “fair, reasonable and adequate,” wrote Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter in a decision.

Rhode Island’s changes, championed by then treasurer and now Governor Gina Raimondo, were a model of reform at a time when many U.S. states struggled to rein in pension costs. Unions sued over the state’s reforms, but they later struck a deal.

After that agreement collapsed, they reached a settlement that came before Taft-Carter.

The agreement preserved roughly 90 percent of the savings hammered out in the original reforms. It pushes back some retirement age requirements and offers small cost of living adjustments.

“This settlement is in the best long-term interests of all Rhode Islanders and will keep our state on a path toward financial stability, economic growth, and job creation,” Raimondo, a Democrat, said in a statement.

The settlement’s last hurdle is being approved by state lawmakers, who have already been studying the proposal for weeks.


Photo credit: “Flag-map of Rhode Island” by Darwinek – self-made using Image:Flag of Rhode Island.svg and Image:USA Rhode Island location map.svg. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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