poll: Who Won this Round of the Pension Reform Battle?
Monday, February 17, 2014
Who Won this Round of the Pension Reform Battle?
Mayor Allan Fung of Cranston criticized the agreement and the adverse impact on municipal budgets. "Where would these additional amounts come from?" asked R.I. Taxpayers spokesperson Monique Chartier. "The state is currently looking at nine figure deficits. And Dan Beardsley correctly points out that 'city and town officials across this state are rubbing pennies together to balance their budgets'."
Who do you think won this round in the battle over pension reform - your turn.
Related Slideshow: Timeline - Rhode Island Pension Reform
GoLocalProv breaks down the sequence of events that have played out during Rhode Island's State Employee Pension Fund reform.
Governor Don Carcieri makes pension reform a top priority in his emergency budget plan. His three-point plan included:
1. An established minimum retirment age of 59 for all state and municipal employees.
2. Elimination of cost-of-living increases.
3. Conversion of new hires into a 401(k) style plan.
See WPRI's coverage of Carcieri's proposal here.
Rhode Island's state administered public employee pension system only held 48% of the assets to cover future payments to its emplyees.
"This system as designed today is fundamentally unsustainable, and it is in your best interest to fix it" - Gina Raimondo
Check out Wall Street Journal's coverage here.
Gina Raimondo defeats opponent Kernan King in the election for General Treasurer of Rhode Island using her platform to reform the structure of Rhode Island's public employee pension system. She received 201,625 votes, more than any other politician on the 2010 Rhode Island ballot.
Raimondo leads effort to reduce the state’s assumed rate of return on pension investments from 8.25 to 7.5%.
Her proposal includes plans to suspend the Cost of Living Adjustment (which allows for raises corresponding with rates of inflation for retirees), changing the retirement age to match Social Security ages, and adding a defined contribution plan.
Raimondo releases “Truth in Numbers”, a report detailing the pension crisis and offering possible solutions. She continues to work to raise public support for her proposal.
"Decades of ignoring actuarial assumptions led to lower taxpayer & employee contributions being made into the system." - Gina Raimondo (Truth in Numbers)
Read GoLocalProv's analysis of the report here.
Read the Truth in Numbers report here.
Governor Lincoln Chafee and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo present their pension reform legislation proposal before a joint session of the General Assembly.
“Our fundamental goal throughout this process has been to provide retirement security through reforms that are fair to the three main interested parties: retirees, current employees and the taxpayer…I join the General Treasurer in urging the General Assembly to take decisive action and adopt these reforms.”- Gov. Lincoln Chafee
Head of Rhode Island firefighters’ union accuses Raimondo of “cooking the books” to create a pension problem where one did not exist. Paul Valletta Jr. states that Raimondo raised Rhode Islanders’ assumed mortality rate to increase liability to the state, using data from 1994 instead of updated information from 2008, and lowered the anticipated rate of return on state investments.
“You’re going after the retirees! In this economic time, how could you possibly take a pension away?” Paul Valletta Jr (Head of RI Firefighters' Union)
Read more from the firefighters' battle with Raimondo here.
Check out the New York Times' take on RI's pension crisis here.
November 17, 2011
The Rhode Island Retirement Security Act (RIRSA) is enacted by the General Assembly with bipartisan support in both chambers. RIRSA’s passing is slated to reduce the unfunded liability of RI’s pension system and increase its funding status by $3 billion and 60% respectively, level contributions to the pension system by taxpayers, save municipalities $100 million through lessened contributions to teacher and MERS pension systems, and lower the cost of borrowing.
Read more from GoLocalProv here.
November 18, 2011
Governor Lincoln Chafee signs RIRSA into law. According to a December 2011 Brown University poll, 60% of Rhode Island residents support the reform. Following its enactment, Raimondo holds regional sessions to educate public employees on the effects of the legislation on their retirement benefits.
Read about how Rhode Islanders react to RIRSA here.
Raimondo hosts local workshops to explain the pension reforms across Rhode Island. She also receives national attention for her contributions to the state’s pension reforms. The reforms are given praise and many believe Rhode Island will serve as a template for other States’ future pension reforms.
Read about the pension workshop here.
Read Raimondo's feature in Institutional Investor here.
March - April 2012
Raimondo opposes Governor Chafee’s proposal to cut pension-funded deposits. She continued to provide workshops on the pension reforms.
December 5, 2012
Raimondo publicly opposes Governor Chafee’s meetings with union leaders in an effort to avoid judicial rulings on the pension reform package. In response, Chafee issues a statement supporting the negotiations.
Read more about Raimondo's opposition here.
Read about Chafee's statement http://www.golocalprov.com/news/new-chafee-issues-statement-supporting-pension-negotiations/">here.
Led by the Rhode Island State Association of Fire Fighters, unions protest the 2011 pension reform outside of the Omni Providence where Governor Lincoln Chafee and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo conduct a national conference of bond investors.
Read about Raimondo's discussion of distressed municipalities here.
The pension plan comes under increased scrutiny as a result of the involvement of hedge funds and private equity firms. Reports show that $200 million of the state pension fund was lost in 2012.
"In short, impressive educational credentials and limited knowledge of investment industry realities made Raimondo ideally suited to champion private equity’s public pension money grab." - Ted Seidle (Forbes)
Read GoLocalProv's coverage of the State Pension Fund's losses here.
Read Ted Seidle's criticism of Raimondo in Forbes.
- A LIVELY EXPERIMENT State Budget and Pension Reform
- Aaron Regunberg: Think Again on Pension Reform
- Chafee Pension Proposal More Severe than Caprio’s
- City Pays Over $130k Annually for Elected Officials’ Special Pensions
- Donna Perry: Union Strategy: Sabotage Pension Reform
- Experts React to Call for SEC Investigation Into RI Pension Fund
- INVESTIGATION: Providence Board Members Rack up Pension Benefits
- Laffey Blasts Raimondo on Pension Reform
- Michael Riley: Is the RI Pension Commission Making Up Numbers?
- NEW: Chafee Issues Statement Supporting Pension Negotiations
- NEW: EngageRI Supports Providence Pension Reform
- NEW: Governor and Treasurer Unveil Pension Reform
- NEW: Mediation Ordered in State Pension Reform Lawsuit
- NEW: Providence City Councilman Calls for Local Pension Reform
- NEW: Raimondo Addresses Supporters Following Pension Investigation
- NEW: Rhode Island Pension Lawsuit Update Postponed
- New Law Would Ban Council Members from Getting Pensions
- PODCAST: RI’s Out-of-State Pension Tab: $142 Million
- Pension Promises vs. City Services
- Providence Council Considering Overhauling Pension System
- REPORT: RI Public Pension Reform - Wall Street’s License to Steal
- Raimondo Launches Audit of Disability Pensions
- Rob Horowitz: Pension Reform Poised for Adoption
- Schaper: Taveras: Pools, Pensions, and Political Posturing
- State Pension System to be Investigated by Siedle
- Tea Party Lines Up Behind Treasurer Raimondo on Pension Reform
- Travis Rowley: Are Future Pension Payments “Property”?
- Unions Blast Pension Plan at Rally
- ‘Confidential’ Memo Shows West Warwick Pensions Just 19.8% Funded
- A LIVELY EXPERIMENT Using the Pension System
- Anti-Pension Reform Lawmakers Cash in with Unions
- Chafee Pushes Pension Reform to Cities
- Council at Odds: Members Call for Changes to Pension Reform
- EXCLUSIVE: COLAs Killing State Pension System
- Experts React to Rhode Island Pension Reform Agreement
- In Case You Missed It: Raimondo’s Pension Investments
- Landmark Pension Bill Passes House, Senate
- Michael Riley: The Municipal Pension Study Commission Is A Failure
- NEW: Chafee Release Video Touting Pension Reform
- NEW: Former Union Head Day Blasts City Council on Pension Reform
- NEW: Hassett and Igliozzi Call for Changes to Providence Pension Reform
- NEW: New Pension Reform Coalition Formed
- NEW: Providence Council Backs Disability Pension Audit
- NEW: Raimondo Featured In Institutional Investor on Pension Reform
- NEW: SEC Closes Rhode Island Pension Investigation
- Official Statement: Governor, Treasurer, Plaintiffs Issue Joint Statement Regarding Pension Lawsuit
- PODCAST: State Pols Left in the Dark on Pension Reform Bill
- Pension Reform Breakdown: Plan Kills COLAs For 19 Years
- Providence Council Passes Massive Pension Overhaul
- RI Disability Pension Tab Hits $19M
- Raimondo, Chafee Form Special Pension Task Force
- Rob Horowitz: Pension Reform is a Political Winner
- See How Much Providence Pays in Pension Fund Fees
- State Pols Left in the Dark on Pension Reform Bill
- Ted Siedle: Hedge Fund Industry Loves RI Pension—For Good Reason
- Travis Rowley: Pension Reform? Or Pension Negotiations?
- Unions May Go To War Over Municipal Pensions
- 10 Judges Pay Zero into Pension System
- A LIVELY EXPERIMENT, Pension Reform
- BREAKING: Court Rules Employees Have Rights to Pension
- Chafee: Everything on Table for Pension Reform
- Councilman Demands Outside Review of Disability Pensions
- EXCLUSIVE: Pension Rip-off—Providence Retirees Benefit from Loophole
- Experts Score Rhode Island Pension Battle
- Lawmaker Wants Budget Surplus to Cover Pension Lawsuits
- Municipal Leaders: Pension Bill Ignores Cities and Towns
- NEW: Chafee Releases Pension Reform Video
- NEW: Joint Session On Pensions Kicks Off Tonight
- NEW: Pawtucket Mayor Calls for Municipal Pension Reform
- NEW: Providence Council Takes Up Pension Reform
- NEW: Raimondo Reviews Pension Portfolio for Gun Holdings
- NEW: State Rep Holding Pension Forum Monday
- Official—AG Needs to Investigate Providence Disability Pensions
- PODCAST: Unions May Go To War Over Municipal Pensions
- Pension Reform Coming For Providence
- Providence Firefighter Pensions—Disability vs. Regular
- RI Groups Will Target Lawmakers Who Oppose Pension Reform
- Raimondo: Pensions Dragging Down RI Economy
- Rob Horowitz: Providence Pension Deal Provides Model for All Communities
- Showdown Looms Over Municipal Pension Crisis
- State Report: Cicilline VS Doherty, Pension Fraud & Carcieri Finally Speaks
- Ten Communities Facing Pension Disaster
- Travis Rowley: “Hope and Change” for “Pension Reform”
- Warwick Facing Pension Meltdown
- 23 Local Pension Plans in ‘Critical’ Condition
- A LIVELY EXPERIMENT May 26 2011 Part 2 Pension Reform
- A LIVELY EXPERIMENT, Pension Reform Pt. 2
- BREAKING: Pension Reform Bill Passes; Heads to Governor’s Desk
- Cianci, Cicilline, Esserman Pensions Targeted
- Does Rhode Island’s Pension Reform Law have Any Hope of Survival?
- EXCLUSIVE: Providence Unfunded Pension Liability Now At Least $831M
- Forbes Columnist: RI Will Be Blown Away by Pension Investigation
- In Case You Missed It: Siedle Report on RI Pension Investments
- Lawmakers Rake in $120k Since Voting Against Pension Reform
- Municipal Pension Reform May Be Impossible
- NEW: City Retirement Board Rescinds Former Fire Chief’s Disability Pension
- NEW: Freezing COLAs is Only One Step to Local Pension Reform, Group Says
- NEW: Judge Taft-Carter Won’t Recuse Herself From Pension Lawsuit
- NEW: Pension Fraud Hotline Launched
- NEW: Providence Police Union to Vote on Pension Settlement Thursday