NEW: Raimondo to Host Local Pension Workshop

Thursday, January 19, 2012


General Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo today announced that her office will be hosting a workshop for municipalities with locally-administered pension plans in advance of the reporting deadline set by the recently passed Rhode Island Retirement Security Act. The law requires municipalities to submit to the local plan study commission an actuarial experience study and actuarial valuations with current investment, mortality and other actuarial assumptions by April 1, 2012.

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The event will take place on Tuesday morning at the CCRI - Knight Campus.

"It is impossible to solve a problem until there is an accurate assessment of its magnitude. With updates to these studies, cities and towns will have a better understanding of the true extent of their local pension liabilities," Raimondo said. "This workshop is designed to set local leaders on a path toward understanding how to tackle and meet this important deadline."

Workshop topics include:
- Fiduciary training, presented by Treasury staff
- Working with an actuary to complete an experience study and valuation presented by Joseph Newton of Gabriel Roeder Smith & Company
- An outside perspective: Tackling the challenge, presented by former New York Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch
- Determining an appropriate rate of return presented by Allan Emkin of Pension Consulting Alliance

Newton of GRS and Emkin of PCA are consultants for the State of Rhode Island and were involved in the state-administered pension reform effort. Ravitch will speak about tackling financial challenges, specifically his task force work with former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker to examine several issues facing state governments, as well as his work in 1975 in New York City to avoid bankruptcy.

Collectively, the 36 locally-administered plans have a reported unfunded liability of approximately $2.1 billion, and funding level of only 40 percent. Unlike the state-administered system, which is governed by statute, many of these local plans are determined by collectively-bargained contracts. The local plans each have unique situations, varying widely in their design, funding status, and membership.


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