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


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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