NEW: EngageRI Says Pension Proposal is on “Right Track”
Friday, October 14, 2011
A leaked proposal that includes a plan to suspend cost of living adjustments for up to 15 years in order to better fund the pension system is a step in the right direction, according to EngageRI, the recently formed pension reform group comprised of business and community leaders.
“While we will wait until the final bill is released and has been certified by an actuary, we believe that Treasurer Raimondo is on the right track,” said Ed Cooney, Senior Vice President, Nortek, Inc. and Co-Chairperson of EngageRI. “Allowing employees to control their assets, raising the retirement age, suspending COLAs and including performance-based triggers are all ways to create a system that is fair to employees and affordable for taxpayers – and that is the ultimate goal.”
The House of Representatives and Senate will convene separate sessions on Tuesday, October 18, at 4 p.m., to introduce pension reform legislation presented by General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Governor Lincoln Chafee. The bills will then be assigned to the respective House and Senate Finance Committees.
There is still some question over how much municipal pension reform will be included in the plan.
In a statement released last night, the Ocean State Tea Party in Action called on voters to contact Senate President Theresa Paiva-Weed and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s office to urge them to address municipal pension problems along with State pensions during next week’s special session.
“We cannot afford to ignore the municipal pension issue,” wrote the organization in an email marked “URGENT.” “[This] needs to be fixed via legislative action now.”