Rhode Island Pension Settlement Approved by Retirees; Union Members Next to Vote

Gina_Raimondo

Rhode Island retirees on Monday approved the proposed pension settlement between the state and its pensioners, according to the Providence Journal.

Retirees reportedly approved the measure by a wide margin, although voter turnout was low.

The exact numbers are still under wraps as the involved parties are bound by a gag order.

There are still several obstacles the proposed settlement has yet to maneuver: union members will vote on the measure throughout the week, and then the settlement will go to state lawmakers and eventually a judge for approval.

More details emerged Monday about the specific terms of the settlement. The Providence Journal reports:

More than one version of the proposed settlement has circulated. The version provided the select group of retirees voting on Monday promised more frequent COLAs – every four years, instead of five – and on a larger portion of the retiree’s benefits.

It says, for example: Those with a suspended COLA, who are retired “as of the effective date of the new deal’’ will get a COLA on their first $30,000 in benefits, while $25,000 will remain the base for future retirees.

‘The current “indexed cap’’ is $25,855, for those retirees in more than 50 comparatively well-funded municipal retirement plans that qualified for a COLA this year. “The indexed cap which will be used for the next 4-year COLA in 2017 will be approximately $32,225.”

Currently, Rhode Island retirees only receive a COLA once every five years.

The settlement is also rumored to include a lower retirement age and two $500 stipends for retirees.

 

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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