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 Using the Pension System
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- EXCLUSIVE: COLAs Killing State Pension System
- Experts React to Rhode Island Pension Reform Agreement
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- 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
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- 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
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- Ted Siedle: Hedge Fund Industry Loves RI Pension—For Good Reason
- Travis Rowley: Pension Reform? Or Pension Negotiations?
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- 10 Judges Pay Zero into Pension System
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- 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
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- 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
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- 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
- NEW: Raimondo to Host Local Pension Workshop
- NEW: Taft-Carter rules Providence Pension Changes “Fair”
- PODCAST: Chafee Pension Proposal More Severe than Caprio’s
- Pawtucket’s Unfunded Pension Liability Nearing $145 Million
- Pension Reform Lawsuit Decision: The Timeline
- Providence Pension Crisis by the Numbers
- RI Pension Crisis—How Can It Be Fixed?
- Rhode Island 2011/12 Elementary School Suspension Data
- Rob Horowitz: Public Employee Unions Losing Pension Battle
- Special Session 2011: Business Leaders Demand Pension Reform
- State Report: Rhode Island Pension Reform & Falling Off the Fiscal Cliff
- The Pension Tax - How Much Do You Owe?
- Triple Pension for Former Providence Councilman
- West Warwick Pension Crisis—See the Documents
- A LIVELY EXPERIMENT April 14, 2011 The Failing Pension System
- A LIVELY EXPERIMENT May 26, 2011 Part 1 Pension Reform
- A LIVELY EXPERIMENT: Pension Crisis
- BREAKING: RI Health Dir. Fine Halts Suspension of Pharmacist Blais
- City Board Takes Aim at Cianci Pension
- Donna Perry: Don’t Ruin the RI Pension Reform Law
- EXCLUSIVE: RI Pension Investment in Raimondo’s Pt. Judith Had Steep Losses
- Forbes: Retirement Planning in the Face of Pension Reform
- LISTEN- Pensions Will Cost RI More in 2013 Despite Reform
- Lisa Blais: RI’s Budget—State Pension, Tolls + The Big Win
- Municipalities Choking on Pension Costs: City-by-City Breakdown
- NEW: Common Cause Calls for more Public Deliberation on Pension Bill
- NEW: Fung Calls for Chafee and Raimondo to “Come Clean” on Pensions
- NEW: Judge Won’t Halt Pension Reform Law
- NEW: Providence Retirees Approve Pension Reform