Rhode Island Pension Settlement Faces Next Hurdle

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Rhode Island’s pension settlement proposal, worked out earlier this year by retirees and the state, is expected to clear one of its final hurdles this week.

The proposal will be at the center of a “mini-trial”, where objectors can air their concerns and the state can re-argue their key positions.

From the Providence Journal:

Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter last month granted preliminary approval of the deal, which could affect some 60,000 public-sector workers and retirees.

Before she can decide whether to grant final approval, she will hear lawyers for the state and the plaintiff groups essentially argue their cases on whether the retirement cuts enacted in 2011 were legal. They will also outline what the ramifications would have been for each side had they prevailed — or lost — at trial.

Afterward, she will hear from 45 objectors. They are part of a group of 265 state workers and retirees who expressed objections in writing to Taft-Carter before last week’s deadline.

In a joint memorandum filed Friday with the court, lawyers for both sides said the relatively small number of people responding to the 60,000 mailed summaries of the settlement “weighs in favor of settlement.”

The settlement relaxes some of the retirement requirements set in the 2011 pension overhaul law and provides for some small additional cost-of-living increases.

Once the judge approves the settlement, the state General Assembly will need to approve it, as well.

 

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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