poll: Who Won this Round of the Pension Reform Battle?
Monday, February 17, 2014
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 May 26, 2011 Part 1 Pension Reform
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- 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
- NEW: Raimondo—Pension Reform Needed to Avoid Budget Disaster
- NEW: Treasurer Raimondo Opposes ‘Closed-Door Meetings’ Ahead of Pension Case
- PODCAST: EXCLUSIVE: COLAs Killing State Pension System
- Pell Calls on Mediation Parties to Set Deadline in RI Pension Suit
- Pension Taxes - How Much Do You Owe?
- Providence Pension Projection Data Raising Questions
- RI Pension Fund Lost out on $700M in Potential Revenue
- Rhode Island 2011/12 High School Suspension Data
- Rob Horowitz: RI Leads the Way on Pension Reform
- Special Session 2011: Leaders React To Pension Ruling
- State Unfunded Pension Liability Goes Up $1.4 Billion
- The RI High Schools with the Most Suspensions
- UPDATED Triple Pensioner: How Much Does He Make?
- Will the State & Organized Labor Reach a Deal on Pension Reform?
- A LIVELY EXPERIMENT Pension Reform
- A LIVELY EXPERIMENT: Pension Crisis Pt. 2
- CHART: The Worst Funded Pension Plans in RI
- City Council Clashes with Taveras over Disability Pension Request
- Donna Perry: No Time for Timid Pension Reform in Providence
- EXCLUSIVE: State Pension Fund Lost $200M under Raimondo
- Former Teachers Union Head Blasts Raimondo’s Pension Investments
- LISTEN- Rhode Island Pension Battle: Who are the Players?
- Listen: ‘Confidential’ Memo Shows West Warwick Pensions Just 19.8% Funded
- NEW: Annual Costs of State Pension Funds to Go Up
- NEW: Conservative Think Tank Says Pension Liability may be $18 Billion
- NEW: Governor Chafee Says Pension Reform is “Incomplete”
- NEW: Mayor Taveras Criticizes Pension Proposal
- NEW: Pension Reform Coalition Created
- NEW: RI Has Sixth Worst Unfunded Pension Liability
- NEW: Report Finds Municipal Pensions Struggling
- NEW: Union President Says Pensions Have Been “Stolen”
- PODCAST: Free Pensions Cost RI $18 Million
- Pension Bill Out of Committees: Will it Pass?
- Pension Wars 2011: How Other States Are Solving The Problem
- Providence Pension Return Projection Flawed
- RI’s Out-of-State Pension Tab: $142 Million
- Rhode Island 2011/12 Middle School Suspension Data
- Rob Horowitz: Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee Botches Pension Issue
- Special Session 2011: Pension Showdown Begins
- Study Links Pensions to Teacher Performance
- The Worst Funded Pension Plans in RI
- UPDATED: Prov. Fire Chief Goes for Disability Pension
- A LIVELY EXPERIMENT May 19, 2011 Solution to the Pension Problems
- A LIVELY EXPERIMENT Pension Reform
- A LIVELY EXPERIMENT: Pension Reform
- Central Falls Paves the Way for Pension Reform
- City Moves to Block Pensions for Corrupt Cops
- Donna Perry: The Taxpayers’ Pension Tab and the Union Lawsuit
- EXCLUSIVE: Union Leader—Review All Disability Pensions
- Former Warwick Councilman Accuses Mayor of Ignoring Pension Problem
- LISTEN- State Pension Fund Pays $570,000 to Raimondo’s Former Firm
- MINDSETTER™ Ted Siedle: News from the State Pension is All Good
- NEW: Chafee Appoints Members to Municipal Pension Study Commission
- NEW: Governor Postpones Israel Trip to Focus on Pension Reform
- NEW: Mayor and Council President Call for Changes to Pension Plan
- NEW: Pension Task Force to Focus on Cranston
- NEW: RI Pension Lawsuit Mediation Update Coming Wednesday
- NEW: Retired Police, Fire Sue Providence over Pension Changes
- NEW: Warwick Dentist Caught Practicing Dentistry After Suspension
- PODCAST: Governor Chafee Broke Pension Promises
- Pension Fairytale is Ending
- Point Judith Made More than Providence on Pension Fund
- Providence Shells Out Millions in Out-of-State Pensions
- RIPEC Endorses Chafee Plan for Local Pensions
- Rhode Island Pension Battle: Who are the Players?
- Russell Moore: Don’t Gut Pension Reform
- State Pension Fund Pays $570,000 to Raimondo’s Former Firm
- Taveras Budget: No Pension Reform—Yet
- Tom Sgouros: Sharing Risk on the Pension Crisis
- UPDATED: ‘Deficiency in Controls’ Over State Pension Reporting
- A LIVELY EXPERIMENT May 19, 2011 Pension a Case of Property Rights?
- A LIVELY EXPERIMENT Pension Reform Pt. 2
- A-Z Pension Guide: The Terms You Need to Know
- Chafee Broke Pension Promises to Public Employees
- City Official Wants to Revoke Cicilline’s Future Pension
- Donna Perry: Time for Heavy Lifting on Disability Pension Reforms
- Exclusive Poll: Two-Thirds Of Voters Don’t Trust Pols With Pension Reform
- INVESTIGATION: Despite Reform, Pensions Will Cost RI More in 2013
- LIVE STREAM- RI ACLU Press Conference- Youth Suspension Implications
- Majority of Anti-Pension Reform Lawmakers Returning to Smith Hill
- NEW: Chafee Blasts Pension Bill for Not Addressing Municipal Problems
- NEW: EngageRI Says Pension Proposal is on “Right Track”
- NEW: Governor and Treasurer Outline Pension Reform Proposal
- NEW: Mayors Taveras and Polisena to Head Up Pension Commission
- NEW: Poll Says Rhode Islanders Want Pension Reform
- NEW: RISC Calls for Pension Bill to Pass out of Committees
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