Raimondo Ready to “Close the Chapter” On Pension Lawsuit

Gina_Raimondo

Due to a gag order, there is very little information circulating about the status of Rhode Island’s pension settlement.

Retirees and union members voted on the settlement last week, and will continue doing so this week.

But Gov. Gina Raimondo threw her full support behind the deal on Monday, saying the settlement would be “a good thing for everybody”.

Raimondo also said she was unconcerned about the costs of the settlement.

From the Providence Journal:

[Raimondo] acknowledged in a brief interview Monday with The Journal about the prospects for the pre-trial settlement proposal: “I hope it happens.”

Asked why, she said it would be “a good thing for everybody if we could have finality … take the risk off the table … take the uncertainty off the table. Just close the chapter and move on.”

[…]

When asked about the projected $31.6-million annual increase in costs to state and local taxpayers of the concession package, Raimondo said: “Basically, it’s small. At the end of the day, we are still saving billions of dollars over [a] long period of time and the system is fundamentally restructured.

“We increased the retirement age. We moved to the defined-contribution. The COLA is still based on the investment rate of return… . So it is still a substantial, long-term reform. And what we tried to do was make some smaller changes to address the biggest concerns of the plaintiffs.”

The settlement rolls back some aspects of the 2011 pension changes that originally spurred the long-running lawsuit.

If the settlement is approved, retirees will receive large COLAs at a more frequent rate.

The deal also increases benefits for long-time state employees (20+ years of service).

 

Photo by By Jim Jones (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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